Friday, May 6, 2016

So Many Hats to Wear, So Little Time

Not only did we just wrap up National Small Business Week but Sunday is Mother’s Day. Lots to celebrate over eight short days. The two occasions are so close together that they caused me to think that we should pause a moment and, on this day, celebrate all working moms, especially moms who own businesses…”mother-preneurs”.

Frankly, I don’t know how they do it. Being a mom is a full-time (and a half) job, working is a full-time job, owning a business is a full-time (and a half) job. Working and owning a business are really two separate functions…there’s working in your business and working on your business. Strategizing and executing. If you own an early stage company you are probably doing both. So let’s see…if you count the “halves”, being a working, business owning mom is like having four full-time jobs. That’s a lot of hats to wear. I’m tired just thinking about it.

According to American Express Open, today four out of every ten new businesses are started and owned by women, many of whom are moms. In fact, every day in the United States 1,200 new businesses are started by women. Women own more than 9 million companies generating nearly $1.5 trillion dollars in revenue. Women- owned firms lead growth in eight of the top thirteen industries in the US.

And so, to all moms, to all working moms, to all business owner moms, we take our hats off to you. For 27 years we have had the privilege of serving thousands of you, watching you create, innovate, and grow your companies. You are an inspiration. You deserve your day and much more.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Alan Leafman, President, Blogger

Monday, May 2, 2016

What if Life Insurance Policies were Cars?

As you probably know, the entire insurance industry is highly regulated, with layers of state and federal rules and laws that govern nearly every brochure, ad, commercial, and application form. That’s why you never see very creative ads from insurance companies. It’s also why the “sexiest” offers that you ever see are the ones that provide you with a “FREE QUOTE”. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t spent very much for my insurance quotes. Actually, in my lifetime I’ve spent exactly zero, zilch, zippo for insurance quotes. I imagine the same is true for you.

But what if we could advertise life insurance policies the way that dealers advertise new cars? Here’s a real example of an ad I saw the other day:

“New 2016 ***** ***** LX, $129/mo”

Sounds pretty good, right? The car advertised sells for about $23,000. Dig just a little bit further and here’s what’s in the fine print:

  •  First, it’s a lease, which means that you give the car back after three years. So far, not too misleading.
  • Next, in order to get the $129/mo payment you need to pay $2,999 up front as a “down payment”. Hmmm…a down payment is usually for something you own not rent.
  •  Next are the license, tax, and title fees. But there is no mention of the amounts of those fees.
  • Next is the doc fee of just $409. Doc fee? Why do I need a doctor to buy a car? Oh, document fee. I can buy a lot of documents for $409…fill up a whole book shelf. Or maybe that’s just what the finance manager gets for putting those documents together. About an hour’s worth of work if he takes his time. And for that he gets $409. Not bad.
  • Next is the “Acquisition fee”, a mere $595! What is that? Is that what I pay for the salesman to hand me the keys? Wait, I’m not done.
  • Then there’s the “Dealer Adds”, whatever that is. Usually some mats, a piece of plastic in the trunk, and another $900.
  •  Oh, and if I drive more than 12,000 miles a year I get to pay an extra fee for each mile over the limit.

So let’s add up the known, disclosed fees. Not counting license, tax, title fee, and dealer adds I’ve shelled out $4,003 before stepping foot inside my $129/mo new car.
Let’s assume that I don’t drive more than 12,000 miles per year. Including my $129/mo payments, my 36 month cost for this leased car is really $8,647 (plus tax, title, license, new braces for the sales manager’s kid, etc). That really comes out $240/mo, nearly double the advertised price.

Let’s see what a life insurance ad would look like if life insurance policy ads were like cars ads…

That’s amazing isn’t it? Ninety-eight cents for $1,000,000 of life insurance.
Here’s how the microscopic print would read…

  •  Applicant must be a healthy, slim, non-smoking 20-year old female with healthy parents, brothers, and sisters.
  • $2,000 down payment required at time of application.
  • $75 policy fee required at time of application.
  •  Policy expires after 10 years (even though you’ll probably live to be 100)

If we ever ran an ad like that the regulators’ suspenders, belts, and bow ties would be tied in knots. They’d shut us down, fine us, and toss us in jail for five years. So, of course, you’ll never see a life insurance ad like that from us or from anyone else.

I guess the best I can do is “Call us at (800) 955-0418 today for your
FREE Life Insurance Quote.”
Really gets your juices pumping, right?

Thanks for reading.

Alan Leafman, President, Blogger