How business owners view money, retirement

By Staff | October 16, 2013 | Last updated on October 16, 2013
2 min read

Have you ever wished you could go inside the minds of your small business owner clients and prospects? Manulife Financial’s small business research report has uncovered their thoughts on their benefits, banking practices and how they view running a business.

Read: How to advise business owners

Their business:

• 88% of owners and senior executives say their main responsibility to their employees is to ensure the business continues.

  • A sense of obligation to employees is highest amongst those in Atlantic Canada (70%) and Ontario (69%), and lowest amongst those in Quebec (60%).
  • Companies in the start-up phase (44%) are less likely to report a feeling of obligation to their employees compared to those in the growth (67%) or established (67%) phase.

• When making business decisions, 54% rely on a combination of facts and figures, as well as intuition, while 35% prefer to stick to just the facts.

• When deciding to work with an outside business advisor, 86% say the individual is more important than the organization they work for, and 85% say they need to build a relationship with that person before doing business.

Read: Who wants my client’s company?


• Half of owners and senior managers use different banks for business and personal needs, and the other half use the same institution.

• 51% say they would use the same bank for both business and personal needs if they could save money on fees.

• Getting access to more credit is a top concern for small business owners when dealing with their bank.

• The area with which owners and senior managers are least satisfied is their bank’s ability to anticipate their concerns.

Read: Business owners optimistic

Benefits and Retirement:

• When it comes to health benefit plans, 47% of respondents currently offer some type of plan. Almost half (44%) offer employee health benefits, 20% offer flex health and benefit plans and 8% offer healthcare spending accounts.

• Only 11% currently offer an employee wellness program.

• Just 37% of companies that have a health benefits plan also offer a retirement savings plan.

• A majority (54%) of small business senior decision makers feel that the financial security of employees who retire from their company is a reflection on their company and on them personally.

• Of those owners without a plan, reducing employee turnover (28%) or attracting top talent (17%) are important motivators for implementing one. staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.