Profiles In Innovation

Small Business Owners and Their Financial Advisors Embrace BOLD Planning

Business Owner Life-stage Design guides advisors through small business owner financial planning step by step

October 17, 2014 – ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–“I think a lot of advisors don’t want to get into the small business market because it’s so complicated,” said Channing Schmidt, JD, CFP™ from Securian Financial Group. He helps financial advisors provide the planning tools small business owners need.

“The benchmark helps the small business owner have a realistic view of what the business is worth”

“Right now we have about 38 different strategies for business owners,” said Schmidt, senior advanced marketing counsel. “In the past, it was difficult for advisors to decide which strategies were best.”

Simplify with BOLD

Securian made it easier for advisors by developing a framework for breaking small business owners’ many financial needs into six clear categories. They turned it into a turnkey marketing campaign called BOLD – Business Owner Life-stage Design.

Advisors are enthusiastic about the campaign: Securian delivered 53,000 brochures, presentations, mailers, and other collateral materials this year in response to advisor requests.

“BOLD helps guide advisors to the specific strategies that are useful for individual business owners,” said Schmidt.

Succession planning

Dan Zagata is a managing director at Evershore Financial in Florida, which has offices in Orlando, Palm Beach and Boca Raton. He encourages his advisors to build their small business owner clientele with BOLD because of the many opportunities, including succession planning.

“Business owners are concerned about succession planning but they don’t know where to begin and they’re scared to address it,” said Zagata. “That’s why BOLD is so useful. It offers a manageable succession process that business owners can understand and embrace.”

Research conducted by Securian Financial Group among 500 small business owners revealed that while one third of them plan to leave their businesses in the next five years and 60 percent plan to exit in 10 years, many have no exit plans in place. Without exit plans, a small business owner risks the future of the business as well as its ability to generate income for the founder.

Not product-focused

Business owners are concerned about succession planning but they don’t know where to begin and they’re scared to address it

“I like BOLD because it’s planning-focused not product-focused,” said David Rochester, an advisor with Shoemaker Financial in Germantown, Tennessee. “The program allows us to act as consultants focused on helping clients make wise decisions and execute those decisions.”

The centerpiece of the campaign is a circular graphic that breaks a business owner’s financial priorities into personal and business life cycles: Retirement income and estate planning are on the personal side and retirement plans, executive compensation, key person protection and succession are on the business side.

“Small business owners are extremely busy people. You’ve got to get to your point quickly and make an impact,” said Rochester. “The graphic does a great job of simplifying complex financials into six bullet points,”

Business Benchmark

Another popular element of the BOLD campaign is the Business Benchmark – an informal valuation of a business. Securian creates the benchmark using information supplied by the business owner free of charge.

“The benchmark helps the small business owner have a realistic view of what the business is worth,” said Rochester. “They tend to overestimate the value of their businesses, and the benchmark spurs them into action.”

Advisor as quarterback

By introducing a holistic business planning concept, the advisor is at the center of the effort without being expected to provide the answers to every single question.

“Small business owners aren’t experts on retirement plans and buy-sell agreements,” said Evershore’s Zagata. “They want an advocate to work with all the professionals who provide the various types of expertise they need. BOLD puts the advisor at the center of the business owner’s financial plan.”





Since 1880, Securian Financial Group and its affiliates have provided financial security for individuals and businesses with insurance, investments and retirement plans. Now one of the nation’s largest financial services providers, it is the holding company parent of a group of companies that include Minnesota Life Insurance Company and Securian Life Insurance Company, a New York authorized insurer.