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Priorities And Practices In Conflict For Business Owners

According to new research from the Principal Financial Group ®, business protection remains the top priority for business owners at small to medium-sized businesses; yet only 36 percent have these benefits in place.

A new white paper from The Principal ®, How Priorities Align with Practices, outlines the findings from the recent survey of owners at small to medium-sized businesses and key insight for financial professionals. Owners cite health and wellness as their second priority, followed by income protection ranking third.

“Owners of small to medium-sized businesses often juggle a number of conflicting priorities, creating a discrepancy between priorities and practices,” said Steve Parrish, national advanced solutions director for The Principal. “While the research shows growing their business is the top goal of business owners in 2013, they can avoid adverse business results by balancing short and long-term goals.”

When owners rank their priorities, they place the highest priorities on their businesses, followed by employee benefits and then personal needs. The paper outlines key implications for financial professionals including:

  • Aligning owners’ personal needs with business financials.
  • Focusing on short-term versus long-term planning.
  • Recognizing the importance of key employees.

“The white paper provides insight on how financial professionals can help business owner clients better align their business, personal and employee priorities to achieve successful short and long-term goals,” says Parrish.


Harris Interactive ® conducted the survey, which included 505 online interviews conducted from May 4, 2012, to May 21, 2012. Interviews used the Harris Interactive ® Small Business Panel.

Respondents qualified for this survey if they met the following criteria:

  • United States residents age 21 and older
  • Currently employed, either full-time, part-time or self-employed
  • Business owner of at least 5 percent of the company
  • Actively manage their business
  • Own a company with between 2 and 500 employees

The results weighted a company size based on the number of employees, entity type, and annual sales. Potential respondents selected for this survey were among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive ® surveys. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated because the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris Interactive ® online research panel.

For more news and insights from The Principal, connect with us on Twitter at

About the Principal Financial Group

The Principal Financial Group ® (The Principal ®) 1 is a global investment management leader offering retirement services, insurance solutions and asset management. The Principal offers businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services through its diverse family of companies. Founded in 1879 and a member of the FORTUNE 500 ®, the Principal Financial Group has $392.2 billion in assets under management 2 and serves some 18.3 million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Principal Financial Group, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PFG. For more information, visit

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries, including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant and consumer package goods. Serving clients in more than 215 countries and territories through its North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help clients stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit

1 “The Principal Financial Group” and “The Principal” are registered service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.

2 As of September 30, 2012.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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