In This Episode – Brian introduces a new segment to the Small Business Edge podcast. It’s called “Big Business Advice for Small Business Owners.” His guest for the first episode is Kara Hoogensen, SVP of Specialty Benefits at the Principal Financial Group. She shares a wealth of great information and stories to help business owners navigate the insurance maze and how to provide benefits that will help them hire and retain the best employees. 

Advice from Kara Hoogensen:

  • Many business owners believe they are too small to have a benefits program. That is untrue. Companies with two unrelated members in the business can get group insurance.
  • Employee benefits such as dental insurance, vision insurance, group life insurance, short term, and long-term disability insurance, along with worksite products like critical illness, and accident insurance are essential today to attract and retain talent. 
  • A silver lining to the pandemic is that companies are having more open conversations about mental health among their employees. I believe we will continue to see more solutions brought to market for people that need help with their brain health.
  • When small businesses evaluate their benefit programs, they often don’t know where to start. So, Principal Financial created The Benefits Design Tool which allows users to enter their zip code, number of employees, and their industry to generate a custom report that will show the most common benefit offerings for similar companies. 
  • The pandemic fundamentally changed the way we do business and a business owner’s relationship with their employees. If a company has a benefits program and hasn’t reviewed it recently, now would be a great time to do that.