8 November 2023

The Importance of Financial Literacy for Small to Medium Business Owners

Running a small to medium sized business can be exciting and challenging! Founders and owners must juggle various responsibilities, make critical decisions and navigate the complexity of finances.

Financial literacy is a crucial skill that can significantly impact the success and sustainability of a business.

  1. Better Decision Making

Financial literacy empowers business owners with the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed decisions. Whether it’s determining pricing strategies, managing cash flow, or allocating resources, a solid understanding of financial concepts allows business owners to assess the potential outcomes of various choices. Informed decisions can lead to cost savings, increased profitability, and a competitive advantage in the market.

  1. Effective Financial Management

One of the primary reasons businesses fail is poor financial management. Without a clear grasp of financial principles, business owners may struggle to create and manage budgets, track expenses, and set financial goals. Financial literacy provides the tools needed to establish financial stability, plan for future growth, and avoid common pitfalls that can lead to financial hardship.

  1. Access to Capital

Small and medium-sized businesses often require access to capital for expansion, investment in new equipment, or even day-to-day operations. Financial literacy is essential when seeking funding from investors, lenders, or venture capitalists. Business owners who can demonstrate a strong understanding of their financial statements and business performance are more likely to attract investment and secure loans on favourable terms.

  1. Risk Mitigation

Understanding financial risks is another critical aspect of financial literacy. Small and medium business owners face a range of financial risks, including economic downturns, unexpected expenses, and market fluctuations. With a solid understanding of financial principles, owners can develop risk mitigation strategies, such as creating contingency funds, diversifying revenue streams, and ensuring proper insurance coverage.

  1. Compliance and Taxation

Navigating the complex world of taxation and regulatory compliance is a significant challenge for business owners. Financial literacy enables them to understand tax obligations, deductions, and incentives. With this knowledge, owners can minimise tax liabilities, prevent costly compliance errors, and keep their businesses on the right side of the law.

  1. Effective Communication

Financial literacy is not only vital for personal decision-making but also for effective communication with stakeholders. Whether it’s explaining financial performance to investors, negotiating with suppliers, or providing clear financial reports to employees, the ability to convey complex financial information in a simple and understandable way is a valuable skill.


Phil Hall, Head of Financial Planning, Senior Adviser

Freedom = Travel and the Beach 

Phil is an experienced planner who enjoys working with clients to meet their financial goals now and into the future. Having previously been a teacher, Phil educates and guides clients; enabling them to make informed decisions to build, protect and manage wealth through a broad range of financial strategies.

Phil grew up in Hobart, but has worked and travelled overseas and interstate prior to returning and settling in Tasmania. He commenced working in the Financial Services industry in 2002 and has completed a Masters of Financial Planning, Bachelor of Education (Honours), and several specialist courses in ASX listed products, SMSF, margin lending and is a Certified Financial Planner®. Phil enjoys travel, getting outdoors and spending time at the beach with his family. LinkedIn

Masters of Financial Planning, Bachelor of Education (Honours), CFP®.