Bridging the Financial Planning Gap: A Deep Dive into Women-Owned Businesses

In the dynamic and ever-evolving landscape of entrepreneurship, the spotlight often focuses on the trailblazing endeavors of women launching businesses. While considerable attention is rightfully given to ensuring equitable access to venture capital, a recent in-depth study conducted by BMO Financial Group reveals a persistent challenge faced by women entrepreneurs—a challenge that extends well beyond the initial funding phase. This challenge is none other than the nuanced realm of financial planning for sustained business success.

Financial Planning Challenges for Women-Owned Businesses:

Unveiling Disparities in Financial Preparedness

While the entrepreneurial journey is often celebrated during its initiation, the BMO for Women Survey brings to light significant disparities as businesses progress along their trajectory. A mere 36 percent of women business owners boast a detailed financial plan for their companies, falling behind the 41 percent reported by their male counterparts. This discrepancy extends to contingency planning, where only 64 percent of women have a plan in place, compared to a more substantial 76 percent among men. Furthermore, a scant 32 percent of women business owners possess a detailed transition plan, highlighting a stark contrast with the 50 percent reported by men.

Transition Challenges:

Navigating the Complexities from Growth to Maintenance

Adding a layer of complexity, the survey underscores a noteworthy trend in post-transition phases from growth to maintenance. There is a significant decline in the percentage of women business owners continuing to work with financial advisors—47 percent compared to the 25 percent reported by their male counterparts.

The Importance of Financial Advisors:

Strategic Insights from BMO Wealth Management U.S.

Shannon Kennedy, Head of U.S. Advisory and Interim U.S. CEO of BMO Wealth Management U.S., underscores the pivotal role financial advisors play for all business owners, with particular emphasis on the unique challenges faced by women entrepreneurs. Kennedy asserts that neglecting the development of a robust financial plan is a critical mistake, irrespective of the business stage.

Practical Considerations:

Integrating Business and Personal Wealth for Holistic Planning

To delve into practical considerations for women business owners, BMO spokespersons Carolynn Pfaff and Caroline Donlin offer insights. Pfaff emphasizes the importance of understanding how to strategically pull assets from the business to build personal wealth for the future. Donlin, on the other hand, stresses that working closely with financial advisors not only provides valuable insights into various financial options but also serves as an essential sounding board for informed decision-making.

Overcoming Challenges:

Empowering Women through Dedicated Support Initiatives

Recognizing the need for a tailored approach, Pfaff highlights that BMO has established dedicated teams of women advisors, creating a supportive environment specifically designed for women business owners. The company’s initiatives, including BMO For Women and Women & Wealth, actively engage women across various lines of businesses through educational seminars, events, and support programs.


In a contemporary landscape where discussions about money are no longer considered taboo, the financial planning journey for women-owned businesses emerges as a critical aspect that demands meticulous attention. Bridging the financial planning gap requires acknowledging existing disparities, embracing the indispensable role of financial advisors, and integrating considerations of both personal and business wealth.

Investing in Your Future: X Ways to Secure Your Financial and Personal Growth

Investing is usually linked to financial profits but encompasses more than just money. It’s about investing in oneself, knowledge, relationships, and the future. 

This article will delve into seven ways to invest in your future, from financial planning to personal development. Prepare to discover new opportunities that will broaden your horizons and inspire you to take control of your future.

Start Investing in Stocks and Bonds

Investing in stocks and bonds is a highly favored strategy for building wealth and creating a stable financial future. 

Understandably, beginners may find this investment option to be intimidating. Fortunately, various resources are available to help beginners succeed. Platforms like Marketbeat offer specialized calculators to help with financial planning. These tools assist investors in identifying their risk tolerance level and developing an investment strategy that aligns with their long-term goals. 

With a carefully devised approach and a customized strategy, investing in stocks and bonds can lead to long-term financial success. It is important to note that investing in stocks and bonds requires patience, discipline, and consistent monitoring of market trends. By staying informed and keeping up with current events, investors can make informed decisions that positively impact their investment portfolios. 

It is also crucial to seek a financial advisor’s or professional’s guidance to ensure that your investment decisions align with your overall financial plan. By staying diligent and well-informed, investing in stocks and bonds can be a powerful tool in securing a brighter financial future.

Save for Retirement

Saving for retirement is an additional avenue to invest in your future. To achieve maximum benefits, it is advisable to start this as early as possible. The earlier you begin, the more time your savings will have to compound. 

It is recommended that individuals save between 10% to 15% of their income towards their retirement — this is a general guideline to ensure an adequate retirement fund. Depending on personal preferences and circumstances, different retirement accounts, such as 401(k) plans, IRA, or Roth IRA, can be invested.

Invest in Real Estate

Real estate is an excellent investment alternative that provides a consistent flow of passive income and has the potential to accumulate wealth over time. You can invest in real estate by purchasing rental properties, house flipping, or investing in real estate investment trusts (REITs). 

However, performing extensive research and evaluating your financial situation is crucial before making any real estate investment decisions. This will ensure that the investment aligns with your long-term goals and is financially viable. It is also essential to consider location, property condition, and associated expenses such as repairs and maintenance costs. Careful consideration and meticulous planning can pave the way for a successful real estate investment venture.

Start a Business

Starting your own company is a promising way to invest in your future, as it presents opportunities to pursue your passions, acquire new skills, and generate significant wealth. Nevertheless, it is crucial to recognize that launching and running a business can be a challenging venture that requires plenty of commitment. 

You can take several routes when starting a business, including initiating a small business, becoming a freelancer, or taking the entrepreneurial path. Regardless of the chosen path, having a well-structured business plan, comprehensive market research, and adequate financial backing are critical factors that ensure a business venture’s success. 

A solid business plan serves as a roadmap that guides the direction of the business, while market research helps to identify opportunities, trends, and competitors within the industry. Adequate financial backing ensures the company has sufficient funds to cover expenses and invest in growth opportunities. Starting a business requires significant effort, but the rewards can be tremendous if the proper steps are taken.

Invest in Your Education

Investing in your education is one of the best things you can do for your future self. It presents opportunities for better job prospects, higher salaries, and personal growth. There are various ways to invest in your education, such as enrolling in courses, attending seminars, or pursuing a degree in your field of interest. 

Education is a lifelong investment that can yield numerous benefits, such as personal development, critical thinking skills, and an expanded network. Investing in your education requires dedication, time, and effort. However, the rewards of increased knowledge, career advancement, and personal fulfillment are immeasurable.

Build Strong Relationships

Devoting time to building strong relationships is a valuable investment in your future. Strong relationships offer many benefits, including emotional support, networking opportunities, and a sense of community. You can invest in relationships by dedicating time to friends and family, volunteering in your community, or participating in social clubs. Cultivating solid relationships can help you navigate life’s challenges and attain personal and professional accomplishments. 

Building meaningful relationships requires effort, communication, and mutual respect. Through these efforts, individuals can forge lasting bonds that offer invaluable support throughout their lifetime.

Invest in Your Health and Wellness

Prioritizing investments in your health and wellness is vital to achieving a happy and fulfilling life. Additionally, it can significantly impact your future. A healthy lifestyle can reduce healthcare expenses, improve longevity, and enhance overall well-being. You can invest in your health and wellness through various means, such as adopting a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting sufficient sleep, and managing stress. 

Investing in your health and wellness may require lifestyle adjustments, but the benefits of doing so are immense. By focusing on your health and wellness, you can enjoy a better quality of life, higher productivity, and potentially reduce long-term healthcare costs. Moreover, all these benefits can have a ripple effect that pays off in the long run.

Final Thoughts

Investing in your future involves various forms, such as financial planning and personal growth. Achieving a balance and investing in different areas is vital in securing a better tomorrow. 

It’s important to note that investing encompasses more than monetary gains. It’s also about investing in yourself, your relationships, and your overall well-being. It involves taking risks, embracing failures as learning opportunities, and staying committed to pursuing personal goals. 

Individuals can create a better future for themselves and their community with a positive outlook and a strategic approach to investing in their future. It’s always early enough to start investing — the earlier, the better. No matter how small, every investment accumulates over time, making a significant impact in the long run. 


How to Invest in Yourself: A Complete Guide to Personal Growth and Development. The Good Trade.

10 Ways to Effectively Save for the Future. Investopedia.