In the first 10 minutes of a meeting, your client says:

“I’ve been gardening. I make and can my own dilly beans, and they’re so good my friends say I should sell them.”

At that moment

  • Ask your client what else she is planting and how she preserves her harvest. Get more details about the scale of her gardening. How much does she grow? Is it organic? Offer to send some gardening tips or share a gardening magazine.

Later in the meeting

  • Discuss how she would distribute her pickled dilly beans and how ambitious her plans are. Would she just sell a few jars at a local farmer’s market or is she thinking of a commercial canning operation?
  • Tell your client she’d need access to a commercial kitchen and professional canning equipment, and might need to have the nutritional content of her pickles independently analyzed.
  • Promise to send her’s small business plan template to explore the idea. Suggest she fill it out before your next meeting.

At your next meeting

  • Review your client’s business plan and whether her financial projections are feasible.
  • Determine whether her business expenses would impact her cash flow, and whether any adjustments need to be made to her plan. How will this this potential investment affect her anticipated retirement? Walk her through the available options.
  • Help her decide what type of insurance is appropriate for her venture.

by Gil Martinez, art director of Advisor Group