By Nelson J. Rodriguez, MBA
Small businesses are the engine of the economy, and when the economy sputters they often feel it first. In the current climate of uncertainty, many small businesses have drastically cut expenses and tried to make their operations as lean and efficient as possible.
But even if a small business owner can’t control the marketplace, he or she can take steps to protect their key assets: the people the business relies upon.
Details Matter To Customers
A recession tests customer loyalty, as people cut back on spending and carefully weigh their options for even necessary purchases. For businesses that are cutting back themselves, it may be easy to let attention to the details of customer service slip. But this is the time that details matter most, whether it’s taking the trouble to send a holiday note to your mailing list or offering special incentives to prized patrons. The key to their loyalty is to let them know they matter to you.
Appreciate Your Employees
Of course, you want your employees to know they’re important, too. You need their knowledge and experience to navigate the uncertain times. The recession might mean sacrifices for everyone, but it is also a time to make sure valued workers know how much they are appreciated. Even small gestures, like movie tickets or a night at a local restaurant, can keep morale steady.
Supplement Benefits, Not Costs
You may want to consider enhancing your employee benefits package. A “Voluntary Payroll Deduction” (VPD) program is one of the simplest ways employees can purchase additional, personally-owned permanent life insurance. A VPD program can usually be set up using your existing procedures for payroll deduction. A life insurance agent would then meet individually with each employee to explain the benefits of life insurance and the ease with which it can be purchased.
All products purchased through VPD are employee-owned and paid for, with virtually no direct out-of-pocket cost to you. Adding a VPD program can be a smart way to supplement your overall benefits package, without draining your budget.
Note: Employee participation in a payroll deduction insurance program is completely voluntary. Since this program is not intended to be subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), employers cannot contribute to, or endorse, this program.
As the owner of a business, you are the most important piece of the puzzle. And especially during difficult times, it is important to think about how the business would function without you. One thing that can provide a greater sense of security is a comprehensive life insurance policy. It can be tailored to fit your needs and ensure that those who rely on you every day would be provided for.
So when you think about protecting your assets in this economy, consider your human assets first.
This educational third-party article is being provided as a courtesy by Nelson J. Rodriguez, MBA. For additional information on the topic(s) discussed, please contact him at (860) 298-1053. Neither New York Life, nor its agents, provides tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult your own tax, legal or accounting professional before making any decisions.