The urgency is clear from the point of view of financial planning. As Fabraro points out, small business owners will typically have a significant amount of their net worth or personal capital invested in the business. And depending on the size and type of business, there are many cases where the business suffers if the principal owner falls ill or is managing health issues.
In a 2018 survey, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) found that 72% of small-business owners were planning to go out of business in the next 10 years, generating $1.5 trillion in business assets. But only 49% of respondents had a succession plan, and only 8% had established a formal written plan.
As the world approaches the second anniversary of the COVID pandemic, Fabraro says consultants should be prepared to guide their clients in two areas. From a financial perspective, they should address concerns such as income replacement, inheritance planning, and having insurance to protect against critical illness, disability, and the potential need for long-term care, just to name a few.
“During the pandemic, people in some industries were laid off and others changed careers, which highlights the need for short-term or emergency cash reserves,” he said. “In the long term, customers need assurance that they will not be out of their money, which means having a consistent and varied monthly income stream.”
In addition, Fabraro says, mentors must provide protection from a social or emotional standpoint. This means ensuring a will, for example, or that an executor is appointed. Having a bequest companion or asset directory, knowing the location of bank accounts and safety deposit boxes, and having login details for digital assets are all items to consider.