Small Business Employer Plans

Providing small business employer plans allows you to deepen client relationships and potentially generate a steady flow of new assets under management.


Evaluate Your Client Base

Begin with your existing pool of clients to identify potential candidates for a small business employer plan.

  • First, identify clients who are self-employed or own a business. Doctors, lawyers or accountants are targeted by most financial professionals, so consider businesses that may have steady cash inflows, like gas stations, auto body shops or drycleaners.
  • Choose the simplest plan that meets the needs of the owner, the business and the employees, like a Simplified Employee Pension Individual Retirement Accounts (SEP-IRA), SIMPLE IRA or Individual (k).
  • If you have small business owner clients who already have a plan, ask about their satisfaction levels with their current plan providers. For larger companies, you can use a Form 5500 database, such as www.FreeERISA.com, to see if the business owner already has a retirement plan.
  • Identify clients who work for a small company who could refer you to the business owner or individual responsible for the company’s retirement benefits.
  • Read Cultivating Employer Plan Opportunities.

Then create a written assessment using a Client Profile Sheet and call your top priority clients to set up appointments.

Educate Yourself and Prepare for Meetings

Learn more about small business employer plans, including employer responsibilities, tax advantages and employee benefits, such as employee recruitment and retention.

Develop Proposals to Meet Your Clients’ Needs

Once you have identified your clients and scheduled appointments, learn about your small business clients’ company objectives, size, financial situation and plans for growth.

For small businesses without a retirement plan in place, identify reasons why your clients might not have implemented a plan in the past. For small businesses with an existing plan, determine if there are any satisfaction issues with their current provider.

Develop a comprehensive proposal for your clients with specific recommendations on implementing a suitable small business retirement plan.

Conduct Client Meetings

Present your retirement plan proposal recommendation to your small business clients.

Include features and benefits that could potentially motivate your clients to either offer a new retirement plan or consider changing providers, such as low administrative costs, ease of administration, potential business tax credits, tax deductible employer contributions, enrollment and marketing support or investment performance results.

Build a Business Resource Network

Look for the centers of influence in your community:

  • Reach out to certified public accountants, attorneys and payroll companies, who are great resources to reach small business owners.
  • Join networking clubs that focus on businesses in your community, such as the Rotary Club or other entrepreneur networks, to establish relationships with small business owners.
  • Identify individuals who started a second career in their retirement years, such as consultants.

Promote Your Retirement Capabilities in Your Community

  • Conduct breakfast or lunch seminars for business owners in your community.
  • Purchase a prospecting list for mailing or cold calling purposes. Be sure the list provider gives you individuals in your area who are not on the National Do Not Call Registry. Individuals should fit specific criteria; for example you might choose prospects ages 50 through 64, with an annual income of $100,000 and a net worth of $500,000.
  • Promote your retirement capabilities. Explain to prospective clients and your network how you have expanded your practice to include retirement planning and be prepared to showcase your new focus on retirement.

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