When Kim Allen and Corry Lawler became friends, they didn’t expect to sit down and discuss comprehensive business planning for Corry’s family company. But when Corry took over his father’s company, Lawman Heating and Cooling, Inc., he knew it was imperative to establish a financial strategy for the growing business.
“Most of my financial consulting starts on a personal level,” explained Kim Allen, LUTCF and managing partner of United Professional Advisors. “I am definitely a relationship guy. When Corry and I became friends he started asking questions about what we did…once he started realizing the different services that we provide for all our clients, then [the friendship] grew into helping the business.”
Corry is the chief executive officer of a general, all-purpose construction firm located in Sackets Harbor, New York. Lawman Heating and Cooling, Inc. was founded and run by Corry’s father, Mike Lawler and his partner, Ray Chapman.
When Corry filled his father’s role as CEO of Lawman Heating and Cooling, Inc., Corry started thinking about small business succession planning. He recognized there was a need to protect the company and have a strategy for business continuation.
“From an estate plan perspective, it gets pretty complicated,” said Corry. “I’m a builder, I’m not an estate planner, so we’ve been working together hand-in-hand to make sure…the best possible outcome that we could possibly expect actually happens.”
Corry and Kim worked with the Ameritas Advanced Markets team to craft a custom estate plan. The plan leverages the power of life insurance and more to cover diverse financial needs for the Lawman team.
“People spend their lifetime building these businesses, and so often they don’t take the time that really is needed to pull an estate plan together,” said Kim. “I think that the outcome of what’s going to happen to those family businesses and those assets they’ve acquired is so important.”
Another aspect of business financial wellness is employee recruiting and retention. With a shortage of skilled tradesmen, recruiting and retention in the construction field is difficult. Corry understood a robust retirement plan shows employees the company is invested for the long-haul.
“They really didn’t have any guidance,” explain Corry about their previous employee pension plan. “There was no professional consult about what they were actually getting.”
The Lawman team worked with Kim and the Ameritas Retirement Plans team to replace their outdated pension plan with a modern 401(k). Education of employees was a vital part of that effort. One of the thing’s Corry is most proud of is creating a culture of fiscal responsibility.
“[Employee] education is what’s going to make your company strong forever because people will want to work there,” said Kim.
There are many reasons for this business owner success story, but the key was planning for a growing business financial strategy to address the needs of the business, the employees and Corry’s family.
“What I love most about what we do is we get to help people,” said Kim. “I truly get to go out and make a difference in so many lives. It’s an honor. It’s not a job, this is truly what we do for our community and for our friends.”
Ameritas is proud to be a part of this fulfilling life story for Corry Lawler and the whole Lawman team.
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