A friend of mine and I recently attended a college football game. We sat down next to a dad and his son. I don't recall exactly how the topic came up, but the dad shared that he is the second-generation owner/CEO of a plastics manufacturing operation.
His father had started the company as a second career. In his first career, he had literally been a rocket scientist and used that knowledge to develop some sort of special, high quality plastic. There was a lot more of a technical explanation, but that's what I retained. : )
Anyway, our football neighbor mentioned how hard it had become for his business to compete and was quickly expressing his frustration over Obamacare (without me telling him what I do). He said they had cut back from 70 employees to 49 and freely admitted he didn't know if it was necessary. But, as he pointed out, that's part of the problem; nobody anywhere seems to be able to tell him what is the right answer.
Please don't feed the animals
Anyway, as interesting as all of that was, it was him sharing the policy of the National Park Service that kind of summed up his position and frustration.
As he pointed out, the National Park service asks us to not feed the animals. Their reason being that doing so makes the animals dependent on handouts and they quit taking care of themselves.
So, here is a business owner who has reduced the number of opportunities to allow people to take care of themselves as a result of a program that seems intended to create a whole new level of dependency.
I don't know about you, but I think that stinks!
And when I say "stinks", I'm not just talking about lost jobs and the bad legislation. What I'm also talking about is that there is a nation of successful businesses who have been put in a position of not being able to make informed decisions about how to run their business.
When you think back to Nancy Pelosi standing at the podium telling the rest of Congress that they have to pass this piece of legislation so that they can figure out what's in it, what else could you expect other than unintended consequences, frustration, and lack of information? All of which, when combined together, could have no outcome other than bad decisions being made.
This is exactly why you, as a broker, are needed more now than ever before.
There are countless other business owners out there who have no idea what the right answers are and are afraid for their very survival. I know the picture is changing almost daily, but you are the closest thing these business owners have to the right answer. They need you to bring a sense of stability to a really scary situation.
As I write this, the Marketplace website is a mess, there is talk of delaying the penalty for individuals not enrolling by the deadline, the "what you might pay" estimates are out of alignment with "what you will pay" reality, and you get a sense the confusion is only going to get worse.
To repeat myself, employers need you more now than ever before. They need you to help them make the right decisions for the future of their business. What a critical role you play as an benefits or insurance advisor. What an important contributor you are to their success. What an opportunity for your own success. Don't let them down.
Photo by wkeneipp.