Financial Needs of Established Business Owners

The role of small business owners in the US economy has been well documented by the Small Business Administration among other organizations. The vibrancy and growth potential of this group has been especially dynamic over the last two decades. While this research has been revealing, it has not focused on a number of important segments that make up the small business population. The focus of this research is to better understand the financial needs of perhaps the wealthiest, most dynamic and diverse group within this larger population. These are owners of established businesses (i.e., those with two to five hundred full-time employees in addition to a full-time owner).

This study measures the size of this group as well as the degree of their affluence. The affluence measures are determined by income and wealth excluding the value of their residence. Beyond this, we identify various segments within these broader categories and the extent business owners in each category are prepared to seriously address what we have termed business life events. Business life events are critical moments in the life of a business owner that trigger a series of actions that influence the future direction and success of the firm and its owners. The table defines five business life event categories.

Business Events

Baby boomers are the dominant segment of the wealthy owner marketplace. Given their age and wealth, they will need to address critical business life events over the next fifteen years. In two of these business life events, retirement planning and estate planning, a majority of wealthy business owners indicate that they have addressed these issues to varying degrees. The others, those tied to the value of their business, remain a mystery. As well, it is not clear that business owners with estate plans have updated those plans for gains in business value over the last decade. A primary objective of this study is to measure the degree to which owners are prepared to address business valuation related issues.


This summary is taken from a paper written by Axiom’s President, Roger Winsby and its Chief Valuation Officer, Stanley J. Feldman. Access Financial Service Needs of Established Business Owners here.

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