New Business Boosters Guide from MassMutual Helps Small Business Owners Make Good Decisions during Tough Economic Times
(Springfield, MA) - With small and family businesses facing tough challenges in today’s economy, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual) has introduced an online guide tailored to help businesses weather the downturn. The company’s Business Boosters Guide shares key strategies to help business owners navigate the current recession and lay the groundwork for future success.
One third of small business owners think the nation’s financial problems have significantly affected their business and one in four think it threatens their survival, according to a NFIB Research Foundation poll conducted in the fall of 2008.
“While this is no doubt still a difficult market, it also can be a time of opportunity for small business owners who act strategically,” said Beth Wood, assistant vice president of business owner advocacy for MassMutual. “This is a time when business owners need to closely examine what they’re doing today and plan to take advantage of tomorrow’s rebound.”
The NFIB poll also revealed that when small business owners applied for credit, 48 percent were either denied or received just a portion of the credit they desired.
“The down economy really began to hurt our business and we needed to find an immediate stream of cash. We were thrilled to learn we were actually sitting on the money we so desperately needed – the cash value of our whole life insurance policy,” said Buzzy Coleman, chairman of Coleman-Adams, a construction company in central Virginia.
“The policy gave us the extra cash flow we needed to survive the slowdown and actually gave us the confidence to get more aggressive with our business goals,” said Coleman.
MassMutual’s Business Boosters Guide gives tips and advice to help business owners survive and thrive. The guide offers practical suggestions on creating new business opportunities, tapping into cash flow that already exists, and connecting with other business owners to learn their secrets of success.
“The advice from my MassMutual agent proved invaluable when the economy threatened our viability. Now we’re well-positioned for growth, not just survival,” said Coleman.
MassMutual offers business owners a host of helpful free resources, including the Business Booster Guide, at massmutual.com/smallbusiness. Here is a sampling of the small business tips available:
1) Have a well-written business plan and stick to it. Set clear yet realistic goals and objectives, explore strategies that leverage your company’s strengths, and execute them with excellence.
2) Seek out a network of business advisors. By pulling together an informal board of directors, owners can help other business owners see opportunities within their businesses that they may not have been able to see themselves.
3) Define your unique value and explore additional revenue streams. Take the time to revisit your position in the marketplace. Be certain that folks understand your unique offering and how to get it. Also, don’t be afraid to diversify into a complimentary business. Don’t retreat into your core business and overlook a chance to leverage your existing infrastructure.
4) Find a financial professional with experience in serving small businesses. Working with a knowledgeable and experienced planner can help business owners lay sound plans for the future and find alternative ways to boost their business. For instance, many businesses may hold whole life insurance policies. At times such as these when credit is tight, a business can take a loan from its whole life insurance policy’s cash value to withstand poor market conditions.
5) Hire better employees and offer good employee benefits. Typically, there is a higher quality of talent available in the market during slower economic times. Take the time to find the right skilled professionals for your business. Many think this might be a time to trim back benefits, but think about benefits that will help sustain employees’ morale and productivity, and even attract better talent. For example, voluntary benefits, or those that the employer offers to employees at a typically lower cost than they could obtain on their own, can be provided at no direct cost to the employer.
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