Many of our clients are small business owners who care deeply about their business, employees and customers. As insurance agents, we help insure their home, auto, liability, personal life insurance, group health benefits, but are you asking about their Business Continuation plan or Buy-Sell Agreement?
On average, 45% of the business owner's net worth is tied up in the business.* This subject is near and dear to some of your best clients and if you start the conversation, your clients will be interested in what you have to say.
Only 26% of small businesses owners have some type of succession plan in place.* In fact, only 30% of family owned businesses survive to the 2nd generation and less than 12% to the third generation.** Healthy businesses that do not plan for business continuation properly can fail rather quickly; conversely, businesses that plan for continuation can survive and thrive moving forward.
URL Insurance Group was founded in 1986 by two partners, Gary Clemens and Richard Basciano. Unfortunately, our company has had to implement business continuation planning twice in the first twenty-five years of business, first, in 1997, on the death of Richard Basciano, then again, in 2012, on the death of Gary Clemens. Like many small businesses, URL is a tight knit group and you can imagine how difficult it was emotionally enduring losses personally and from a business perspective. Both men were well respected and loved by the staff and the agents our company serves.
Fortunately, URL took the proper steps for the continued success of the business through business continuation planning, buy-sell agreements and key person policies. Proper planning and a vision for the future of the company has helped URL thrive through difficult times.
The Emotional Connection & Buy-Sell Agreements
I love working with insurance brokers and their business owner clients on buy-sell agreements and business continuation planning. As a small business owner in a family business, I share URL's story. I share the difficult emotional times we have had as a company grieving the loss of our partners, as well as URL's success story from proper planning. When dealing with closely held small businesses, success in planning is measured monetarily and emotionally. The employees in the business are the business owners' extended family, and business owners want to plan for both the business and their employees to flourish when they are gone. One cannot discount the emotional connection when planning.
When meeting with your next business owner client, don't be afraid to ask a simple question, "when was the last time you reviewed your buy-sell agreement" or "when was the last time you reviewed your business continuation plan". Start the conversation; we can help you along through the process.