Small Business Life Insurance Needs

Have You Given Any Thought To Small Business Life Insurance?

What Type Of Business Do You Own?

Is your business a Sole Proprietorship?

Are you part of a business Partnership?

Is your business an S Corporation?

What about a C Corporation? Is this how you incorporated?

Have you taken advantage of the new Limited Liability Company laws?

How about Key Employees? Do you have any employees that you can categorize them as Key Employees?

Small business life insurance as it applies to each type of business is different in many ways but there are also many similar features as well. What we are discussing here is not group life insurance but more specifically life insurance as it applies to the owners of each business and life insurance for the key employees. Let us take a look at each type of business and how life insurance could go a long way in protecting the business itself as well as the heirs of a deceased business owner.

The Sole Proprietorship.

Because the owner of a sole proprietorship and the business itself is considered one and the same one may think that the need for small business life insurance is limited. Nothing could be further from the truth. We put in a lot of time and effort building a business that has to be dissolved at our death. We do want to have this business transferred to a member of the family when we die. How can this be done?

The estate of the sole proprietor can sell the assets of the business upon his or her death. A small business life insurance policy can be bought during the lifetime of the owner the proceeds of which would be used to buy the business. A buy sell agreement, which would be binding, would determine the terms and the amount to be paid for the business.

Let us assume the proprietor is married and has a son or daughter who is interested in taking over the business upon his death. This young person has spent a lot of time learning the intricacies of operating the business from his or her father. So dad decides he wants to transfer this business to this child upon his death. He has a buy sell agreement drawn up by an attorney that would fulfill his desires. This agreement is funded buy a small business life insurance policy specially bought for that purpose.

The proprietors wife is not particularly interested in the business but if the business owner dies before her she will still need income. The proprietor dies. The proceeds of the small business life insurance policy is used to purchase the business from the estate and the wife has full value in cash. She can use this money to purchase an annuity that would pay her an income for a certain number of years or for a lifetime. Of course this decision will depend on the amount of money we are talking about here.

The Partnership.

The use of small business life insurance in a partnership is very simple and straightforward. The ownership of this partnership is in the hands of three partners. For the sake of easy explanation let us assume that that these partners own equal shares. A buy sell agreement would be set up that would state that the partnership would buy the shares of a deceased partner from his heirs. The buy sell agreement would be binding. The heirs cannot decide they don’t want to sell. The partnership would buy a small business life insurance policy on the lives of each of the partners in the amount of the value of their shares. The proceeds would be used to fund the purchase. In some cases the policies can be owned by the partners themselves. The results are the same.

The Corporations.

Small business life insurance for c corporations, s corporations are limited liability companies is very similar to that of the partnership. The corporation usually owns the policies on the lives of the principals. Upon the death of a stockholder the corporation buys the stock from the heirs of the deceased. A small business life insurance policy is the least expensive way to fund the buy sell agreement. It is recommended that the insurance is updated on a regular basis and that the buy sell agreement is reviewed and updated from time to time…as it is binding.

Key Employee Life Insurance.

What state would your business be in if a key employee died? Have you given this any thought? In my 40 years in the life insurance business I have seen many interesting situations. Some businesses had no key employee life insurance on their valuable employees…much to their detriment. Others were prepared and things continued on smoothly after the death of the key employee. It is recommended that if a business has a very valuable key employee that they buy a small business life insurance policy on the life of that employee equal to about 5 years of that employees income. Upon his or her beath the proceeds of the policy is paid to the business and used to help keep the business going while the company finds a capable replacement.

For more detail on Business Life Insurance go to: http://www.lifeinsurancehub.net

Why I Work with a Business-Life Coach

As one business owner to another, I highly recommend working with a business/life coach at least once during your life or the life cycle of your business. This experience will not only help you become a budding business owner, but you will gain insight and awareness about yourself as an individual. While I realize the expense of working with a coach may be considered a luxury, the benefits you gain far outweigh the financial constraints. I am not suggesting you go into debt to work with one, but if it’s within your budget, the payoff will justify the expense. I should know because I work with a coach and this experience has made a powerful impact in my life.

I am a Virtual Assistant and owner of The Essential Office. Before my career as a Virtual Assistant began, I was an Executive Assistant in the corporate world for over 14 years. All of my jobs were in industries I had no interest in and only stayed at them because they paid the bills. I consider myself a creative thinker and lifelong learner but these jobs rarely had tasks that challenged or kept me interested for long periods of time. Every couple of years, I’d get frustrated and move on to another job I thought would make me happy, but they never did. Soon, my frustration became visible to people around me, and this prompted me to take hold of my life. It dawned on me that the reason I worked at these jobs was because they felt “safe” to me, emotionally and financially. But I figured if I wanted to be happy, I needed to find a career I loved. So I began to do some research to find out what I could do to compliment the skills I had and give me the fulfillment I was looking for.

During my research, I discovered the virtual assistant industry. A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a business owner that provides administrative support to small business owners using the latest technology from their own home office. It sounded like an intriguing concept and something I never heard of in the administrative industry. As I continued my research, I learned a VA:

–> Owns her own business, and creates standards and boundaries for the way she wants to work

–> Chooses to work in industries that interests her

–> Works with people she wants to work with, forming partnerships and creating added value for them

–> Chooses the work she wants to do, while continuing to strengthen her skills and learning new technology

–> Works from home and creates her own schedule

I identified with so many of the skills and attributes of a VA. I thought it was the right career opportunity for me to give me the freedom to explore and challenge myself, but I was scared. Could I do this by myself, as a single mom? Who was I to ask for more than I had? Could I survive without a paycheck? What if I failed? Could I do this all on my own, and did I have the strength to challenge myself to get to where I wanted to be? Although these questions swam around in my head, something was tugging at me, that said go for it, find out more! Still, this was a new industry to me and I felt like I needed some guidance. As I kept reading and absorbing more information, my research led me to my coach, Pam and her website, http://www.whatswithinu.com. I’ve worked with therapists in the past, but I never worked with a coach. Being the open-minded person that I am, I decided to find out what the benefits were from working with one, so I contacted Pam and she gave me a free 30-minute consultation. At the end of our conversation, I knew I wanted to continue talking with her.

Pam is my cheerleader, confidante, and a shoulder to cry on. She motivates me, keeps me focused, and encourages me to do things I don’t trust myself to do (we’re still working on that one!). She reminds me to congratulate and treat myself on a job well done. Best of all, she reminds me of what I sometimes fail to forget – that I can do anything I want to. It hasn’t been easy for me. I opened deep wounds and fears that I stored away for a long time. I didn’t want to deal with them, but I knew I had to in order to live in the present and forward my life. Pam is so patient and she does not judge me. I trust her enough to say anything that’s on my mind and it feels so good when I do.

During the year we have worked together, so many changes in my life have taken place. I applied and was accepted into the Virtual Training Program at AssistU (www.assistu.com), the premiere training organization for VAs. I graduated from the program and started my VA practice last year. Eventually I overcame my fear of losing a regular paycheck, and quit my corporate job. If that weren’t enough, I took an even bigger step and moved away from our family and friends in New York City to Durham, North Carolina. We know almost no one here, but we moved so I could build my VA practice full-time, live at a slower pace, and create more time in my schedule to be with my daughter whenever she needs me. It’s been almost two months since we moved here. We’ve started to meet new people and I’m making contacts and learning new things that will help me build my business. Best of all, I am able to take my daughter to and from school each day, something I was never able to do when I worked in the corporate world. Each day I feel stronger and more confident in my abilities. It’s still scary, but as I continue to work with Pam, the fear is slowly disappearing. Our sessions help me set goals and be accountable for following through on them. One of my goals is to create a full practice of ideal clients and never go back to a corporate job again!

Like therapists, most coaches receive certification. Organizations like, International Coaching Federation (www.coachfederation.org) and CoachU (www.coachinc.com) offer training programs. Some coaches work with their clients in-person, or coach over the phone like I do with Pam. They specialize in life, business, and career coaching and within these specialties are detailed niches. For example, Pam supports “career professionals, entrepreneurs, and divorcees through the transitory, stuck, “What to do now?” stages of life.”

The best part about working with a coach is that you can make it what you want it to be. Coaches are there to support you and talk about anything you want. A coach helps you concentrate on living in the present and establish goals for getting you to a life you want to live. If you decide to work with a coach, it is important you feel comfortable working with him or her. Do some research, read their website, make sure they can support your needs and that you can afford their rates. But don’t despair, if you can’t find someone you can afford, some coaches do pro bono work or offer sliding scale rates. And if you are a business owner, some coaches will let you barter your services until you are able to pay them.

The advances I’ve made in myself and in my business have been life changing. I can’t say for sure I would be where I am today if I did it all by myself, but having support along the way has helped me build confidence in myself and my capabilities as a business owner. I’ve learned so much from working with Pam, I’ve decided I want to offer my services to coaches who help other people live beyond their dreams and create the life they want. Coaching may not be for everyone; it’s an emotional commitment and you have to be willing to work at it. But for those who are looking to make some changes and need a helping hand, working with a coach will get you started in the right direction.

How To Combat Negative Feelings In Your Business Life

Do you struggle with negative feelings? Honestly, who does not? These critical times are marked by economic uncertainty and hardship, volatile violence and careless injustice. It is hardly surprising that countless people today are troubled by overwhelming sadness, excessive guilt and a sense of personal worthlessness.

These negative feelings can be toxic. They may undermine our confidence, paralyse our reasoning ability and steal our joy. When we feel discouraged, we are weakened. We need our energy and power in order to keep on going in this burdened world. It is vital to keep negative feelings under control. (Note however, those who suffer with long-term or chronic depression may need to consult a qualified doctor).

There are three ways that may help you combat negative feelings.

  1. You need to be aware of those who are genuinely interested in you. The people who care for you, love you and value you highly. These are the people in your life who honestly have your best interests at heart and are understanding to your feelings. It is a comfort knowing that these are individuals who have come to know and respect you, and despite your flaws and mistakes, they are still sincerely concerned about your welfare.
  2. You need to surround yourself with a healthy, positive support group. Negative feelings cannot be dispelled if you surround yourself with depressive or cynical people. People who haven’t set clear goals and take action to achieve them, often have too much idle time which gives rise to negative thinking and inaction. These individuals won’t build you up, they will tear you down. Who you choose to be friends with will have a positive or a negative impact on your life both at home and in your business.
  3. You need hope or something to look forward to. What is your focus? Perhaps you are in a situation or environment that is conducive to encouraging negative feelings. You may be stuck in a job you don’t like with an unappreciative boss you have to answer to. You may be in a highly demanding corporate job, which robs your quality time from you and your loved ones. You may be overwhelmed by debt, concerned about your financial affairs and the security of your family. You may have been laid off your job or forced to take early retirement. Alternatively you may be forced to work longer before retiring and you are tired and seeking something that will give you better satisfaction. You may be a mother experiencing guilt at having to return to work after maternity leave. Perhaps you are anxious at the thought of leaving your children in a stranger’s care or the rising costs of childcare. Let’s face it…there are numerous factors in life, both personally and in business that can cause negative feelings. Do not panic. There are solutions. There are always choices even if they don’t seem abundantly clear at first. Education is important if you are going to stay ahead of the curve and create a secure nest egg for you and your family. Times are changing and only the well-informed individuals will be protected from the negative influences that abound today.

Don’t be a victim. Take action in combatting negative feelings and securing your future both in your personal and business life. What is your outlook? Don’t focus on what has gone wrong. Focus on what to do next. Spend your energy on moving forward and finding the solution. Securing your financial future in today’s uncertain economy is just one of the many steps you can take in ensuring a better life for you and your loved ones now and in the future. Act without delay. Secure Retirement Funds.