Struggle with 401(k)’s Benefits? You’re Not Alone.

401k Plan

We’ve spoken before about how 401(k) benefits are becoming easier to access, but we wanted to share the struggles of a client of ours named Bradley. Bradley wanted to institute 401(k) benefits to his employees, but it all sounded like Greek to him. He was completely confused. He wasn’t sure what he should get. In addition, he had no idea of how he was going to explain it to his employees. Sound familiar? 

Thinking about making changes to your business? ProStrategix knows how to help. Read some of our other articles below, or feel free to connect with us and get a complimentary thirty-minute consulting session.

Bradley’s Story

Bradley runs a successful ecofriendlycleaning business. The company has several locations and roughly 30 employees. He, like 90% of all business owners, felt the benefits outweighed the hassles of running a retirement plan. Bradley knew it was important when it came to attracting and retaining talent. But he was overwhelmed by the complexity. He wasn’t sure which to choose, nor how best to communicate whichever plan he chose to his employees.

Bradley Wasn't Alone with 401(k) Struggles

According to a recent Nationwide study that touched on this and other business issues of 2019 wrote: 

[…]business owners viewed 401(k) plans as beneficial to both their individual businesses and their workforces. Most cited the importance of the plans in attracting top talent (88%) and improving employee retention (86%) and agreed that workers see 401(k) plans as a necessary benefit (84%). An overwhelming majority (88%) cited the tax advantages of the plans, which benefit small businesses and workers alike. 

And yet, nearly ½ of those surveyed mentioned that the cost and complexity of the plans were stumbling blocks. In addition, about the same percentage struggled with how best to communicate those plans to their employees. 

How We Helped Bradley

The first step was to sit down with Bradley and outline exactly what he wanted out of his plan. We went through the different options. Why? Many business owners say they want a 401(k), when they really mean they want a retirement plan. There are number of option available to small employers, and sometimes those other options are better. Here is a sample from Fidelity.

In fact, once we went through the options, Bradley realized that a Simple IRA was what he really wanted vs. a traditional 401(k). It was less paperwork and administrative burden. So, that was a key win. Once we knew what plan he wanted, we were able to work with our network to provide three providers, who we thought would be good fits. The reason we selected who we did was we wanted those who had employee education materials, which he could easily adapt and send out.

What to Do if You’re Facing 401(k) Struggles

If you want a retirement plan for your employees for all the reasons stated above, the first step you should take is to decide which plan is right for you. Do not automatically assume a 401(k) is the best and only option. If you do, you may saddle yourself with significant complexity and administrative costs.

At ProStrategix, we know you have concerns.  We’re designed to help give you the business support you need so you can focus on doing what you love.  If you would like to learn about how we might be able to help you, please contact us.

How to Benefit if the Small Business Market is Cooling

Your business is doing well. But what’s next? ProStrategix knows how to help. Read some of our other articles below, or feel free to connect with us and get a complimentary thirty-minute consulting session.

In the article “Market for small businesses appears waning, survey says” by Joyce Rosenburg, published in the Washington Post, she reports that:

The small businesses market appears to have peaked.

That’s the finding of a quarterly survey of brokers and
advisers who help owners and buyers complete sales of small and mid-size
businesses.  The survey found that owners
hoping to sell their companies are less optimistic about a sale than they were
a year ago. The survey found the drop in its measure of optimism was
particularly notable among owners of businesses in the $1 million to $2 million
range; it fell 6 percentage points from a year earlier.

So, how can you benefit from the cooling small business
market?

Hold on to your asset if you can

Like every market, the small business market is cyclical.  Just like you wouldn’t try to sell your house after the 2nd house in the neighborhood got less than their asking price.  The same is true with your business.  If you don’t have to sell your business, the best strategy is to hold onto it during this business market cooling cycle.

Make the needed repairs while the small business market is cooling

To re-use the analogy to the housing market, now is the time to invest in renovations that will make the house more valuable when the market eventually turns.  How do you do that?

  1. Clean up your business model: Take the time to fine-tune and root out the inefficiencies
  2. Strengthen your brand: Continue to delight your customers, and with their help, promote your business within their networks and with the broader market at large
  3. Improve your profitability: By fine-tuning your business model this may be a natural outcome, but if not, look for ways you can pare back costs without sacrificing quality.

Continue to invest to make those repairs and grow your business

In a previous post, “5 Proven Methods for Accelerating Small Business Growth”, we covered several hacks you can deploy to help keep your business moving forward.

While a cooling business market may not be great news to
some, it can be a great time for those who can invest in their business.  Why? 
In a cooling market, buyers are looking for bargains.  If your business is in good shape, it would
be better to invest than sell in a down market.

Business Case Example

Booming Small Business Market

Let’s use an example.  For instance, small business A has an annual revenue of $500,000.  In a normal market, Business A might find a buyer willing to pay 1.5 x revenue, or in this case $750,000.  So, Business A would make a net profit of $250,000 for that sale.

Cooling Small Business Market

Now, let’s look at Business A in a cooling small business market. Multiples are much lower.  In this market, Business A might be able to find a buyer willing to pay only 1.2 x revenue, or $600,000.  In this case, Business A would make a net profit of $100,000.

Instead, let’s say Business A invests that $100,000 in
improvements, either by getting a loan or reinvesting profits.  For the sake of the example, let’s say Business
A makes a net return on those improvements of 10%.  Then, the $100,000 invested in improvements
are now worth $110,000 in revenue.

Rebounding Small Business Market

So, now, the market returns to normal.  Business A has $610,000 in revenue.  At a normal multiple, Business A sells for $915,000.  This yields a profit of $305,000, which is more than 2 times as much. Therefore, you can see the benefit of investing during the cooling small business market versus selling.

So, What Does a Cooling Small Business Market Mean to you?

For instance, a cooling small business market might suggest more sluggish economic times ahead.  However, it doesn’t mean stop investing.  Smart investing now can have you poised to reap the rewards when inevitably the market returns to normal.

If you have any questions or concerns about what your business can do during a cooling small business market, you just have to contact us for help.

At ProStrategix, we know you have concerns.  We’re designed to help give you the business support you need so you can focus on doing what you love.  If you would like to learn about how we might be able to help you, please contact us.

Vacation from Your Small Business? Tips on How

vacation from business

For many small business owners, the idea to take a vacation from your small business seems like a luxury.  Visions of your vacation tethered to your phone or computer dancing in your heads.  While as impossible as it seems, taking a vacation away from your small business and enjoying it is possible.  Here are some simple tips on how to ensure your small business is running well so you can take a vacation from your small business without worrying.

Your business is doing well. But what’s next? ProStrategix knows how to help. Read some of our other articles below, or feel free to connect with us and get a complimentary thirty-minute consulting session.

Prepare Your Customers and Your Employees For Your Absence

Get clients familiar with your proxies before you leave.  Assign responsibility for handling problems to one employee.  Make a list of possible issues that would need your immediate attention and delegate all others to an end of the day update email.

Practice, Practice, Practice

In the weeks/months leading up to your vacation, practice taking a step back or a more hands off approach to train your employees to learn to handle additional responsibilities. It’s hard to let go of your baby, but if you’re committed to practicing it does get easier over time.  monster.com So, the next time you want to take a vacation from your small business, it won’t be as hard.

Close the Shop

If you just can’t bring yourself to delegate while you take a vacation from your small business, the next option is for your business to take a vacation as well. If you’re closing your business while you’re away, be sure to do it during your slowest season, and give your clients/customers as much notice as possible. Not all businesses can do this however, or even if they can, a lot don’t like the idea of not bringing money in the door, so I would still recommend the previous. thebalancesmb.com

Create a Financial Buffer

When planning to take a vacation from your small business, Setting up a cash reserve or a business line of credit that you can rely on in case of an unexpected crisis can put your mind at ease while you’re away. bluevine.com

Enjoy Yourself

Maybe you can’t break away to take a vacation from your small business for a week or two yet. Start by taking a long weekend to recharge.  When you’re worn out, your small business isn’t getting your best.

Preparation is key to any aspect of a successful business….even when you want to take a vacation from your small business.  With a solid business and marketing plan in place, following the above mentioned pointers is a lot easier.  So take the time now to get your ducks in  a row and then plan that much overdue break.  Have a great time!

At ProStrategix, we know you have concerns.  We’re designed to help give you the business support you need so you can focus on doing what you love.  If you would like to learn about how we might be able to help you, please contact us.