If you’re a small business owner, you’ve likely spent years honing your craft and building your company. You’ve won customers, learned how to keep them, gained experience, and created a reputation and a brand for yourself and your business. Chances are you haven’t been working in isolation; you’ve likely had a strong team of employees underpinning your success and helping your company thrive. For one reason or another, though, you may not offer a group benefits plan.
Here’s why you may want to reconsider: maintaining a healthy workplace and a healthy workforce are two critical pieces of every business plan, and group benefits can help achieve those dual objectives.
A good thing to do for your employees, your business and yourself
Perhaps, as time ticks on and medical needs grow, you’re recognizing that providing health coverage and financial protection is a meaningful way to thank your employees for their hard work. After all, one of the greatest gifts you can give your team is the confidence that comes with knowing many of their own medical needs – and those of their family members – are covered and that their loved ones can be protected financially in the future.
Or, maybe you’re starting to realize that you need group benefits to attract and retain skilled employees who will help keep your business strong and viable, protect your investment and enable you to reach your personal financial goals before you retire.
Let’s look at a hypothetical example that might ring true for you.
Case study: growth puts pressure on the owner and the team
Sharon is the 56-year-old owner of an environmental consulting firm. The company performs environmental assessments and monitoring, and consults on the clean-up and remediation of urban brownfield sites – former industrial and commercial lands. Due to changing government regulations, and a recent foray into the booming energy sector, Sharon’s enterprise has grown from seven to more than 20 employees, and she’s opening two small satellite offices to put her company closer to her newest contracts.
Over the past year, Sharon has devoted her energy to winning new customers; hiring new staff; training her new, young employees; opening offices; leasing equipment and vehicles; and meeting the many other demands of a growing company. During this period of growth, Sharon has had less time to devote to her long-term employees.
In recent months, Sharon has seen some employees leave, including one key team member she depended on. These staff departures have happened in the midst of Sharon’s efforts to hire talented people who will help support the growth of her firm. With big plans for the future, she is now anxiously looking for new ways to attract and keep high-performing staff. Sharon realizes that she has to take steps to keep all her employees – both new and long-term – satisfied in order to continue building her business.
In the past, Sharon never gave serious thought to offering group benefits to her employees. Her husband had a good program, and so did many of the spouses of her employees when the company was small. With a growing company, and more competition in her field, Sharon knows it’s time to seriously consider offering her employees a benefits plan. She wants to help protect them, and she wants to protect the company that she worked so hard to build.
Sharon’s advisor helps her create a plan
Sharon sets up an appointment with her advisor to discuss the possibilities and finds out there are several quality options available, from simple, more affordable benefit plans to more flexibile solutions that give the employer great choice.
At the end of the discussion, Sharon sees that the simpler planmay have satisfied her needs two or three years ago, but given the growth of her firm she now requires a program that will offer flexibility to her diverse workforce and give employees a strong incentive to stay.
Simple, more cost-effective benefits plans are ideal for new small business owners, who may not have the time or resources to maintain a more involved plan and are looking for a streamline, almost “set it and forget it” solution.
Established business owners – like Sharon, with her sights set on the growth and staff retention – are great candidates for a flexible, customizable benefits plan with more comprehensive coverage to meet the needs of her employees.
Talk to your Advisor
Implementing a group benefits plan helps your employees and their families, and it can also be an important tool that helps keep your business strong and protect your investment in it. No matter what stage you’re at with your business, your advisor can guide you towards solutions that best meet your needs.