Guiding Businesses to Learn of a Lesser Known Lending Strategy
Did you know you could use your retirement fund to start a business? If you answered no, you’re not alone, few do. It turns out there’s a little-known financing method called rollovers-for-business-startups, or ROBS for short, that lets individuals roll their 401(k) or IRA into starting or expanding a small business, or purchasing a franchise. As one of the nation’s largest administrators of ROBS — assisting more than 14,000 entrepreneurs invest $4 billion in retirement funds since 2003 — Guidant Financial was uniquely positioned to educate the populace on the option.
The PR challenge? Lack of awareness and questions of legitimacy around ROBS as a financing solution. While a growing number of companies offer ROBS, it had until recently remained a niche industry without mainstream awareness. In addition, many accountants and financial advisers caution against risking one’s nest egg on a small business, and for good reason: starting any business is a risky proposition. And, while the IRS does not define ROBS as a “prohibited” transaction, it does consider it “questionable.”
Hollywood Agency employed a national media relations campaign driven by executive thought leadership and customer successes to create awareness of ROBS and address the sometimes-questionable image surrounding ROBS. In four years, Guidant and ROBS have been featured in virtually every top-tier business publication … more than once. More importantly, reporters are now familiar with ROBS as a viable option and willing to share information with their readers.