The National Association for the Self-Employed is the nation’s leading resource for the self-employed and micro-businesses. Since 1981, the NASE has focused on providing a broad range of benefits to help entrepreneurs and their small businesses successfully compete in an increasingly competitive market place, and to drive the growth of this vital segment of the American economy.
The NASE is different from other small business organizations
There are a number of resources small businesses can turn to for help, from the SBA to online resources provided by a number of companies and publishers. However, the NASE is the only association to focus exclusively on the needs of businesses with fewer than ten employees, or “micro-businesses.” With the knowledge and understanding that comes from focusing on this unique segment for over two decades, the NASE is in a unique position to provide the education and support that these business owners need.
The NASE offers support
It is the most comprehensive support structure in the marketplace for micro-businesses, and it falls into four basic areas:
- Focused ‘How-To’ Resources. Through www.NASE.org, members receive a comprehensive menu of other resources, from free online tax advice and financial tips to access to the organization’s monthly, digital magazine, Self-Informed.
- Value-Added Benefits. Members receive a full menu of high-value benefits, including professional services—such as legal services, retirement and investment planning and payroll services—at discounted fees and rates. Access to a variety of health insurance plans also is offered, including major medical, prescription drug, as well as dental and vision plans.
- Legislative Advocacy. Through this outreach initiative, the NASE gives the self-employed a powerful voice on federal legislation affecting small business. Key legislative priorities include tax simplification, retirement security, access to affordable health coverage, among others.
- Other Programs. The NASE offers Business Development grants to members and scholarships to dependents of members.
The NASE Governance
The strategies and activities of the NASE are overseen and closely managed by a Board of Directors. The Board consists of small-business owners representing a cross-section of micro-businesses, from accounting and travel services to contracting and the medical field.
Currently, the NASE represents approximately 200,000 member businesses.
The key issues for micro-businesses today
They are complex issues, but most boil down to: how to manage for success. (And this is no small issue, especially for the tens of thousands of people starting their own businesses now in the midst of the recession, corporate layoffs, etc.) Managing for success covers finding new ways to managing cash flow…securing good health coverage…having access to solid financial and retirement planning…understanding important tax issues…and making sure the laws give small business fair treatment in areas from taxes to retirement and employment laws.
Beyond these factors, a key issue for micro-businesses is how to tap into technology to enhance and transform business processes and strengthen customer relationships.
Finally, especially with so many former corporate people starting up businesses of their own, a huge issue is simply getting a handle on the basics of how to start a business, from space planning to legal advice.
A typical profile of NASE membership
NASE membership is as varied as the self-employed community itself. But during the association’s history, the organization has seen a shift to include more service- and information-based businesses. This shift is reflective of trends in the broader economy. Over time, there also has been a trend toward younger workers entering self-employment, which is a domain that tended to belong more to older workers (who had built up enough capital to go into business for themselves).