Protecting Your Assets During Challenging Business Times


If you’re like many small business owners, it may not feel like much of a recovery, at least yet. Actually, this could still be the most dangerous time for businesses, with resources cut to the bone and few reserves remaining in the emergency root cellar. All the more reason to cinch that belt one notch tighter, plan for the future, and take steps to protect your assets, during the lean times that may remain while the recovery picks up momentum.

Now is the time to develop a four-step strategy that brings your business through the next few months and positions it for growth as the economy strengthens.

1. Protect Your Customer Base

Your customers are vital assets. They provide the cash to make everything else happen. Take steps to keep them.

Start with some creative, short-term marketing to keep cash flowing for the next several months. First of all, advertise, so your customers know you’re still there. Call or write preferred customers (and today they’re all preferred customers) to thank them for past business and remind them that you’re still there for them. Invite them to drop by for a cup of coffee. Consider short-term price reductions. No business owner likes to discount products or services, but if one of your customers is looking to lower expenses, it may be better to offer a reduction yourself than find out that he or she went elsewhere.

2. Protect Your Employee

Do what it takes to retain quality employees, your greatest business assets. They’ve stayed with you this long: don’t let them slip away now.

First, do not cut pay or benefits. They’ll think your ship is sinking and they may jump. Instead, consider expanding your benefit package. No, you don’t need to do it right now. Instead, look at future benefits. Now may be an ideal time to explore 401(k) or other qualified plan options. Do your homework today. Then, if you like, defer the actual implementation until later in the year. This strategy gives your employees a vision for the future. Plus, it boosts their faith that there will be a future.

Also, now is the time to consider a benefit designed to retain select key employees by utilizing a form of deferred compensation known as “golden handcuffs.” The concept is simple: Using a written agreement, select employees agree to remain with your company until retirement or some other specified period of time. In exchange, they are promised additional compensation to be paid at a later date. (Or, if they die prematurely, their family is promised a life insurance benefit.) This can be a valuable way to retain top performers.

 3. Protect Your Business Infrastructure and Long-term Plans

Draft or update your buy-sell agreement for the eventual transfer of your company at your own retirement or death. Also, look at key executive insurance to help protect your company from loss if a valued employee should die prematurely.

4. Protect Your Company’s and Your Family’s Investment in You

While it’s not polite to brag, you are your business’s greatest business asset, the linchpin that holds everything together. So, protect yourself. Review your company’s life insurance program. That way, if something happens to you, your business and your family will be financially protected.

Data and information is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended for solicitation or trading purposes. Please consult your tax and legal advisors regarding your individual situation.


Posted by Troy Barrow, LUTCF – Troy is an independent Agent practicing professionally for six years and is the owner of Arlington Insurance Planning Services, licensed in the States of New York and New Jersey. You may contact Troy at 646 580-5189 or


Expiring credits, deductions extended by Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Taxpayers preparing to file their 2012 returns can breathe a collective sigh of relief.

The alternative minimum tax or AMT has been patched — permanently — and several tax credits and deductions that technically expired at the end of 2011 were extended as part of the fiscal cliff legislation that Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into law in January…

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Starting a practice 7-8 months out: Benefits and insurance

Choosing insurance coverage and practice perks can be daunting. This third installment of our series will help you snare the right ones.
You’ve been busy scouting a location for your practice, lining up experts to facilitate things, drawing up a budget, projecting your cash flow, and securing financing. You’ve also filed the paperwork for the certificates and licenses you’ll need to begining patients.
The next step—and it’s a big one—is to begin fleshing out the fringe benefit plan you can offer your staff and arranging for personal and business insurance coverage.
There’s a lot to digest, but don’t get discouraged. Your advisers can help, so lean hard on these people. Whenever possible, we’ll also suggest places for you to get more information.

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Human Capital…What’s Your Plan?

The ‘Bread Winners’ for most families go into the world every day with one particular objective; accomplish your goals to provide for your family. Your income is imperative to the current and future success of your family, short term needs like food & utilities to long term goals such as college funding for your children and retirement.

How often to you think about your true financial value to your household? Or your ‘Human Capital’ value? We consider Human Capital to be the future value of your present income or for example, your income ($100,000) x future need (20 years) or $2,000,000.

Having a plan to make sure your family’s income need can be replaced or provided if you the ‘bread winner’ can’t continue to provide it, due to loss of life or disability is very important to say the least.

As well having an ‘Emergency Fund’ established for short term ‘Human Capital’ needs is vital, and in some cases both short & long term needs can be handled with one solution.
Be proactive and establish or review your plan today to make certain your family’s future can be bright & successful regardless of the risks or hazards that life has in store.

– Troy Barrow, LUTCF is an independent Agent practicing professionally for six years and is the owner of Arlington Insurance Planning Services, licensed in the States of New York and New Jersey. You may contact Troy at 646 580-5189 or