Co-operators Supports Small Businesses in a Post-Pandemic World
Small business owners have weathered some major storms in recent years. And those who made it through, it seems, have emerged more resilient than ever.
A new internal report from PMG Intelligence, a Canadian market-research and data science firm, suggests that more and more small business owners feel like they’ve turned the corner, less concerned about volume of business, cash flow and managing costs than during the pandemic. Instead, they’re turning their focus to building and expanding their business.
The report—PMG Intelligence’s 2023 study on Small Business Owners and Self-Employed Individuals—suggests that business owners are feeling that they can once again focus on other things, such as their personal financial goals, instead of spending all their time and resources on keeping their business afloat.
“The pandemic took a toll on small business owners and many had to get very creative to stay afloat,” says Andy Chow, a Toronto-based financial advisor with Co-operators, a co-operative that has been helping Canadian small businesses for more than 75 years. “What we’re hearing in conversation with clients is that they’re applying learnings from the pandemic, streamlining operations and really focusing on growth again.”
As business owners transition from survival to revival, there’s a growing desire to find a trusted partner who can provide comprehensive support in a single place.
A one-stop shop for small businesses
While small business owners want to thrive, the findings from PMG’s tracking study underscores a challenge: less than 40 per cent of owners reported being ‘very satisfied’ with their financial providers. In response, an increasing number of small businesses are actively seeking the convenience of a one-stop shop for their financial needs.
For Co-operators, a one-stop shop means all financial needs can be taken care of under one roof—insurance, investments, group benefits, retirement planning and more—for the business, the business owner and the employees.
“As simple as that sounds, it’s actually pretty rare in the industry,” Chow says. “Oftentimes, clients have to approach several different companies or institutions to get all their needs met.”
But as a one-stop shop, Co-operators takes a holistic approach, which allows advisors like Chow to see all parts of the business as one. Beyond the time and energy saved through a single point of contact, a comprehensive provider can enhance risk management through its coordinated approach, offering the right products and services—along with ongoing advice—to ensure long-term success.
“We’re finding that we’re getting more and more referrals from existing clients that have experienced our ability to create a holistic plan,” he adds. “People are telling us ‘I’ve never had someone provide all this—I’ve had to go to three or four different people.’”
Part of the small business community
The rate of small business owners who are open to switching their financial provider is rising, according to PMG’s research, and the majority will be looking for specialized services targeted to small businesses.
By leveraging solutions provided by Co-operators, small business owners can make better—and safer—business decisions, says Chow. These solutions include group benefits and retirement plans, protection against equipment breakdown, loss of income and cyber threats and specialized coverage for co-operatives and non-profits.
And, while offering products and services tailored to small businesses, Co-operators advisors like Chow are driven by the success of small business. As local business owners themselves, they’ve gone through some of the same struggles and hurdles as their clients, and even have a keen understanding of local business challenges.
“As a fellow small business owner, it really means a lot to see other business owners in my neighbourhood succeed,” says Chow.
Ready to protect and grow your business? Enjoy the convenience of holistic business advice and solutions from Co-operators. Learn more about switching to a one-stop shop.