Small Business Report 2019

Every year around this time we deliver business news that we think our small business owners and entrepreneurs care about. 2019 has been a good year for those willing to stay on top of trends and charge headlong into the competitive landscape of the dot-com world.

In Ohio, small businesses employ over 2.2 million people, almost half of the State’s full employment. Our growth was slightly under the national average, but up from the previous year. The average small business owner that’s incorporated makes around $52,000; if unincorporated, the figure is around $23,000.

One of the fastest growing segments is the small business startup. For those startups to survive, they must be aware of and participate in today’s business trends:

  1. Automation Software: Successful business owners do more with less using automation for accounting, data entry, email marketing, customer service and customer relationship management.
  2. Smart Technology: Smaller business infrastructures, from smarter systems and manufacturing methods, the success small business owners learns how to reduce the cost of goods and services using technology.
  3. Smaller Brick & Mortar: Remote work environments give small business owners the freedom to have more hands on deck without the expense of increased office space, phone systems, utility bills, and amenities like larger break rooms and parking passes. Work-from-home employees stay in jammies and save on their commute time. They are happy, and this makes for greater productivity.
  4. Digital Access: In 2018, over 70% of small businesses used social media, websites, and email marketing to grow their business, find leads, solve problems, and deliver customer service. When the 2019 numbers come out, we expect them to have increased to 90% or above. According to Nextiva, 57% of customers would rather contact companies online than call a help desk, expect when it’s a payment issues.

In this connected world, consumers expect information at their fingertips, quick response to problems, and ease of purchase. 

Employees want casual work environments with state-of-the art technology that is fast, consistently updated, and available from almost any device.

We believe that small businesses who can best define their brand online and deliver great customer service through the use of digital marketing will be viewed most favorably and grow the fastest in 2020. We love to write about small business in our home town of Cincinnati. If you haven’t read past blogs, we invite you to visit us here or on Facebook.

Time to Review Medicare

Every October, Medicare gets a makeover. Now, through December 7, those on Medicare have the opportunity to make changes to various aspects of coverage.

October… it’s not just about Halloween.

According to MedicareResources.org these are Key Takeaways for 2020:

  • The Part B deductible is projected to increase to $197 for 2020.
  • Part A premiums, deductible, and coinsurance are projected to be higher in 2020.
  • Medigap Plans C and F will no longer be available for purchase by newly-eligible Medicare beneficiaries.
  • The Medicare Plan Finder tool has been upgraded for the first time in a decade.
  • The income brackets are high-income premium adjustments for Medicare Part B and D will be inflation-adjusted for the first time in 2020; “high-income” will start at $87,000 for a single person, instead of $85,000.
  • Medicare Advantage enrollment is expected to continue to increase.
  • Part D donut hole will no longer exist after the end of 2019, but a standard plan’s maximum deductible will increase to $435, and the threshold for entering the catastrophic coverage phase (where out-of-pocket spending decreases significantly) will increase to $6,350.

For those wishing to talk to a “real live person” about the best options for yourself, or for someone in your care that is on Medicare, we recommend the good people at The Medicare Plan Store. Let them know we sent you.

Alzheimer’s & Power of Attorney

The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease is on the rise. According to the Alzheimer’s Association report for 2019, an estimated 5.8 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s and are being cared for by more than 16 million family members. Maybe one of those family members is you!

They project that in thirty years, the number of Alzheimer’s sufferers will reach nearly 14 million.

Children of aging parents who suspect a parent is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, or have  a parent already diagnosed with the disease, should consider a Power of Attorney (POA).

A POA gives a family member the legal right to step in and make decisions that a parent with an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis is unable to make themselves, or doesn’t want to. 

There are various, even urgent, situations when having a POA is extremely important. For instance, you may need to:

  • Find a trusted money manager to handle day-to-day bill paying and the daily money management of bills, medical and insurance statements, tax preparation, and other personal financial tasks.
  • Act as family spokesperson regarding medical appointments, surgery, and doctor appointments.
  • Take care of things at home if your parents or loved one is still healthy enough to travel in retirement, or at any time they are away from their home.

We hope you will consider us if Daily Money Management is a concern. We are experienced, trusted, and a member of AADMM, the American Association of Daily Money Managers.