Still recovering from pandemic-induced challenges,
This is the fourth time that MassMutual has conducted this survey (see results from 2018, 2015 and 2011).
“As we have already seen in 2022, many business owners continue to demonstrate resilience and commitment to their customers in the face of changing headwinds and uncertainty,” said
Labor issues are the most significant among the challenges facing small businesses. 69% of respondents said it was important to retain employees in the company; however, many miss the opportunity to seek professional advice.
* Many small businesses were forced to lay off staff or cut hours (19%) or hire new staff (19%)
* 43% are facing labor and staffing issues, especially maintaining employee productivity and morale and hiring in a competitive market
* 39% are facing supply chain issues, such as rising costs and increased shipping time
*To compete in the job market, small business owners offered pay raises (42%), more flexibility (41%) and bonuses (36%) to hire and retain employees
Investing in the future needs of business owners lags behind, but 3 in 5 would leave the business sooner if their future financial security was assured. When it comes to retirement savings, only 46% have invested in a qualifying retirement savings plan and 54% think they should save even more. About half (44%) have had a business valuation carried out in the past three years; however, most deprioritized three critical evaluation factors:
* Know if the business will be a sufficient component of their retirement income plans (26%)
* Creating a fair distribution of owner assets as part of an estate plan (21%)
* Establish a buy-sell agreement between partners (20%) – which only 32% of respondents have in place
Small business owners separate financial planning for their business from personal financial planning, but prefer an advisor who can do it all. Most small business owners (83%) say the well-being of their business and their personal finances are closely linked, but 80% ultimately prefer to separate their professional and personal financial planning. At the same time, 86% value finance professionals who can handle both personal and business planning, and 70% prefer working with a single advisor on their planning issues.
“The answer to many planning questions for business owners is the coordination between their professional and personal aspirations,” Fanning said. “We can all learn from global events and apply them to strengthen our financial foundations in the face of future uncertainties.”
* * *