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Nov 1, 201812:40 PMOpen Mic

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5 tips for today’s small business owners

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A new nationwide survey released by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) reveals that American business owners are doing a lot of things right, but there’s plenty of room for improvement. 

The survey, known as the 2018 MassMutual Business Owner Perspectives Study, surveyed 914 business owners between Dec. 13, 2017 and Jan. 4, 2018. Respondents have 500 employees or fewer, they have been in business for more than a year, and they have annual revenue of $100,000 or more.

The top findings of the research lend themselves to these five tips for today’s small business owners:

1. Surround yourself with trusted advisors who have expertise and experience in succeeding the way you define success.

Surprisingly, nearly three out of five (58 percent) small business owners in MassMutual’s research turn to their spouse as their trusted advisor for financial and business advice. While this is a positive sign, business owners should look to expand their pool of trusted resources beyond their spouse for diversity of expertise and experience.

2. Know who your successor is — and prepare accordingly.

This includes telling them. The good news is that two out of three (64 percent) business owners have a succession plan in place for their business. However, 25 percent people in line to take over a small business aren’t aware they are the chosen successor. Furthermore, nearly three out of five (58 percent) family-owned business owners intend to divide the business assets up equally among all their children, regardless of the child’s involvement in the business. This opens the door to a potentially difficult yet necessary conversation.

3. Know the true value of your business.

Nearly two out of three (63 percent) say they’ve had their businesses valued in the last three years. However, 25 percent valued their businesses themselves, which may lead to unsubstantiated valuations.

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