Insurance Broker Blog

Three Common Small Business Types and How to Win Them Over

As an insurance broker you meet businesses of all shapes, sizes, and industries. You know every one of your clients is different and work with them to tailor a comprehensive benefits package that meets their benefits and pricing objectives. Small businesses are no exception to that rule – and they come with their own unique needs. Depending on how long each small business has been around, their goals, and their structure -- they fall into distinct categories. Use this to your advantage and help them discover what their needs are. Here are three of the most common types of small businesses and what they are looking for.

The Startup

The startup is one of the most common types of a small business these days. The startup consists of a just few people, a big idea, and a lot of uncertainty. The image tends to include exposed brick, the tech industry, and scrappy millennials working long hours in jeans and hoodies. But startups can be created by anyone and they exist in every industry. Here are things important to startups that you should keep in mind:

  • Solving Problems. This is the bread and butter of startup – presenting your services as a solution to a problem can help them relate to your services.
  • Keeping Costs Low. Budgets and resources are especially uncertain for startups, so giving them cost-effective options for your services can go a long way.
  • Growth. Startups have a growth mentality. Offer them service options that can grow with them!
  • Mutual Goals. All startups have a vision – and it is accompanied by goals and value. Showing your business shares their vision can go a long way to building a relationship.

For more information on selling to startups, check out OpenView Partners’ post on Selling to Startups.


The Established Small Business

Unlike the startup, the established small business has been around awhile. They might be the local store that always manages to stay in business, or maybe a small-town accounting firm – but these businesses are around and here to stay. In fact, most small businesses in the U.S fall into this category and have been around for more than 10 years! Established small businesses account for 66% of the U.S.’s small business employment. Here are some things that are important to them:

  • Small Business Loyalty. These businesses know the value of small businesses firsthand and will want to partner with other businesses like them.
  • Buying Local. Their community is important to them. They will look to buy from other local businesses and invest in opportunities that strengthen their community.
  • Cost-Effectiveness. Like other small businesses, cost is a concern. But a lot of established small businesses are well seasoned in being frugal and operating with low overhead costs. Make sure to take their needs and spending habits into account.


The Family-Owned Business

The family-owned small business can range from the traditional “Mom and Pop” diner to just about any type of company across any industry. They can also be startups or established small businesses. All that matters is that they are owned and operated by a family. According to SCORE, 78% of all new jobs are created by family-owned businesses. The wants of family-owned businesses can vary across industries – but here are a few that are universal:

  • Quality Benefits. Their employees are their family. These businesses will be especially concerned with getting their employees the best benefits they can.
  • Shared Values. Most family-owned small businesses are very value focused. After all, most people learn their values from their family! Effectively showing you share the same core values as these businesses will go far in helping you build a relationship.
  • Balance. Many family-owned businesses struggle with work/life balance. It can be easy to take work home when your coworkers go home with you. Wellness programs that help encourage work/life balance can be extra alluring to these businesses.

All small businesses are unique, but understanding these three basic types can help you gauge your clients’ needs a bit easier. If you’d like to learn more about small businesses, check out our page on Breaking Down Small Businesses. And be sure to download our Social Media Guide to learn how to use social media to market yourself to small businesses!

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