Recent data show that the number of bank branches in low-income regions is declining possibly due to the consolidation of banks and at the same time the number of more expensive AFS services providers has grown in low-income regions and is high compared to business density.6 We also believe that lending to small businesses in LMI communities, while proportional to the number of small businesses, remains in higher income areas. A 2020 survey of small businesses conducted by Guidant Financial found that around 10% of small business owners still use family and friends funding as a source of capital. Small business owners rely on friends and family for important business roles such as consultants, employees, investors and partners. However, there are also disadvantages for family and friends funding your business. Alternatively, if you are afraid of paying yourself something because you don't want to diminish the value of the business they can also help you set an appropriate amount to meet both your needs and the needs of your business. Finding a consultant who charges a flat fee is usually the most transparent route. For this reason, it can be especially beneficial for small business owners to use the services of a financial advisor. However, many small business owners neglect to speak with a financial advisor or are reluctant to do so when starting a new business. It is never too late to consult with a small business financial advisor if you are considering some big changes such as acquiring a new business, transferring ownership in your organization to someone else, planning for retirement and more. Financial advisors have extensive experience and knowledge, which can help you get the most out of your initial business investment. No matter what products or services your new business offers, financial advisors can ask the right questions and find the right answers, making your life easier. In addition to a financial advisor who specializes in small business finance and works with other entrepreneurs, you will also want to find someone that you are comfortable with. In some cases, such as corporate finance management and planning, it is best to hire professional help to support businesses and entrepreneurs to overcome market shocks such as increased competition or increased regulatory requirements. Financial advisors can help small business owners develop a formal plan to transfer the business to a new owner when they are about to retire. Even if the small business owner makes the necessary plans for the future, it is difficult for the small business owner to make strategic investments when he has many other decisions to make. As your business income grows, a small business financial advisor can also help you determine how to invest capital to maintain business growth. Before turning to any outside source of business finance, take the time to come up with a business plan that includes costs, sales projections and profits. If you are an independent contractor, you need to develop your plan. To run a business you need not only good ideas but also the ability to financially support them. Identifying and mitigating risks is something every small business needs to do, but it is often lowered to the bottom of the list simply because creating a plan that takes all potential risks into account seems like a daunting task. This oversight of business succession planning is costly for many companies, and you don't have to be one if you get the right advice. While there are forms of financial advice that may not require registration, such as accounting coaching, outsourced your tax planning and training to a qualified CPA certified accountant or other financial professional who could help you in your business. In reality, almost anyone who presents themselves as a financial advisor - especially a certified CFP - is likely to offer some form of investment advice, and therefore you will need to register. The registration process must be done in the same state as the consultants before even starting the business. But in order to attract a client, the consultant must first set up an initial RIA in his home state. Fortunately, starting as a financial consultant is still fairly inexpensive (at least given the potential income that comes with it and the costs of starting a business in other industries. While many aspects of small business financial planning are similar to personal finance management - for example, budgeting, risk management, tax and investment strategies, retirement planning and property planning - there are some important differences : blotting the lines between personal and business goals can mean trading off one aspect of your finances in favor of another.