Questions Small-Business Owners Should Answer Today

If I asked you to ballpark the percentage of businesses in the U.S. that are small businesses, what would you say? 25%? 50%? Maybe 75%? The answer is actually astounding: It’s 99.7%, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. And those businesses employ over half of all private-sector employees. Here are some additional statistics that may surprise you. Small businesses …

•    Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
•    Have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years.
•    Create more than half of the nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP).
•    Hire 40 percent of high tech workers (such as scientists, engineers, and computer programmers).

When you watch the news and read the newspaper, so much more space is taken up covering large corporations. But it’s clear from these numbers that small businesses are a precious national resource, and should be treated as such.

No business is immune to the vagaries of the economy and forces beyond the owner’s control. Life happens—to people and businesses. So if you are a small-business owner, you should ask yourself these questions:

•    What will happen to my business if I die?
•    What will happen to my business if I become disabled?
•    What will happen to my business when I retire?
•    What will happen if certain key employees die or become permanently disabled?
•    How can I help ensure that my business will be able to weather unforeseen financial hardships?

The answers to these questions most likely include things such as a buy-sell agreement, business overhead insurance, keyperson insurance, and individual disability and life insurance. Sound daunting? It doesn’t have to be. The videos on this small-business planning page can help you with some of the important basics. Then, contact your agent or advisor to get help that is tailored to your specific needs. If you don’t have an advisor, be sure to watch the video that gives you pointers on finding one that is right for you.

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