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Protect Your Assets During Challenging Business Times

Small businesses are the engine of the economy and when the economy sputters theyʼre often the first to feel it. In the current climate of uncertainty, many small businesses have cut expenses to the bone and tried to make their operations as lean and efficient as possible.

But even if a small business owner canʼt control the marketplace, he or she can take steps to protect the businessʼs key assets: its customers and employees.

Details Matter to Customers

Recession tests customer loyalties, as people cut back on spending and carefully weigh their options for even necessary purchases. For businesses that are strapped, it may be easy to let attention to the details slip.

But in times such as these, details matter most. Whether itʼs taking the time to send a holiday note to your mailing list or offering special deals to prize patrons, your clients will appreciate the effort. The key to their loyal ty is to let them know they matter to you.

Appreciate Your Employees

Of course you want your employees to know theyʼre important, too. You need their knowledge and experience to navigate the uncertain times. The recession might mean sacrifices for everyone, but itʼs also a time to make sure valued workers know how much theyʼre appreciated. Even small gestures like movie tickets or a night at a local restaurant can keep morale steady. And, letʼs face it, when your employees are happy, theyʼre more inclined to try and keep your cusomers happy, too.

Supplement Benefits, Not Costs

You may want to consider “beefing up” your employee benefits package. A “Voluntary Payroll Deduction” (VPD) program is one of the most popular ways employees can purchase additional, personally-owned 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 no direct out-of-pocket cost to you except the cost of administration.

The VPD offerings 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.)

Protect Yourself

As the owner of a business, youʼre the most important piece of the puzzle. And especially during difficult times, itʼs important to think about how the business would function with out 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.

When youʼre thinking about protecting your assets in this economy, consider your human assets first. Pay attention to the details of customer service, show your employees that you appreciate them, work on expanding your benefits package, and protect your self and your business with a life insurance policy.

Jay A. Shah is an agent with New York Life Insurance Co. based in Orlando. He can be reached at (407) 999-0366 or nyljayshah@aol.com.