NEDME’s technical sessions aim to give attendees valuable information from industry experts across a wide range of topics. This year, Diana Wojcik of Waddell and Reed will be speaking on “Financial Planning Strategies for Business Owners,” and she shared a few of her insights with us in advance of her presentation.
Tell us about a change you see coming in the industry, and a way in which companies should be positioned to meet it.
The “cost of quality” is an increasingly important concept in the industry and presents both a challenge and opportunity for Pacific Northwest manufactures. In an environment where the difference between outsourcing overseas compared to local production is only a few percent, local firms are at an advantage in delivering both quality and saving to the customer after factoring in higher cost to the client in the event that foreign manufacturers make mistakes. Among the challenges facing contract manufacturers are already small and shrinking profit margins, rapid innovation in the tech industry that keeps CMs shifting gears to satisfy existing and new clients, and a new minimum wage and tax policy in Oregon that forces businesses to reassess and redirect their operational decisions. This means increased volatility in the CM industry, with more mergers, restructures and new players, and an overall trend towards vertical integration. I find with my clients, proper financial planning in this volatile environment puts them in control through difficult decision-making and in preparation for business transitions and succession.
What has been one of your favorite work projects in the last few years?
My favorite project recently was creating a transition strategy for an owner in combination with a financial wellness program for employees, where succession was easy and we had solutions in place for making retirement last, funding future generations’ financial goals, and doing it in a tax effective way. The most fulfilling part of my work is seeing the positive effects of helping people take comprehensive control of financial situation, and seeing it make the difference between financial stress and excellent financial health for my clients, their families, and for their employees.
What is one thing that you hope people will take away from your presentation?
I hope to encourage a comprehensive, proactive approach to making financial decisions. I help my clients identified and prioritized their goals, understand fully their current financial position, and create strategies with them to overcome the obstacles in their way to achieving those goals is the basis of the financial planning process. My talk will include a few financial solutions business owners can use to get ahead of unnecessary tax liabilities, and to make business transitions seamless, efficient and protecting their bottom line.