Let's say you want to sell your business. To prepare, you must show not only increasing revenues in the past several years, but also a strong pipeline that portends increasing revenues in the foreseeable future. What better way than to plant the equivalent of seedlings in the orchard you're currently managing? These seedlings represent future revenues that can grow in an incubator under your watchful eye. When the time comes for them to blossom, you'll automatically benefit from the fruit they bear.

Every small business in America embraces this metaphor. Those servicing small businesses, like many retirement plan advisers, live this metaphor every day. The small businesses they currently serve, while providing modest revenues today, offer the promises of great multiples of revenues as they grow in the future. In a sense then, these small-business clients represent the saplings, an investment the service provider is making today for greater rewards tomorrow.

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal FiduciaryNews.com and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/christophercarosa/)and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ChrisCarosa).