Business+ Design+ Finance

By Melissa Daniel

Carolyn B. Anders career path has certainly been a road less traveled. She transitioned from a career in Commercial Interior Design to one in Financial Services. As part of a supplemental series, Anders will combine the business of the design industry and finance with the perspective of a former industry insider. “As a financial services professional at New York Life, I am solely responsible for managing my workday and developing my own client base from scratch.  I am responsible for creating my own business plans to determine the most time-efficient methods to generate income, decide when certain critical business activities are best delegated to others (i.e. monthly bookkeeping!), and develop my own marketing and customer relationship management plans. I may no longer be a professional interiors architect, but being able to help designers & architects- especially entrepreneurial ones- achieve financial success is what I love most about my new career”, says Anders.

Small businesses are the engine of the economy, and when the economy sputters architects often feel it first. In the current climate of uncertainty, many small business owners can take steps to protect their key assets: the people the business relies upon.  Anders list three key points on protecting assets during challenging times; Customer Details, Supplement Benefits Not Cost, and Protecting Yourself*. First key point is that details matter to the customers.

“A recession tests customer loyalty, as people cut back on spending and carefully weighs 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*”, says Anders.

The second key point is to supplement benefits and not costs. “You may want to consider supplementing 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**”, says Anders

The last key point is to protect yourself. Anders concludes, “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 in a worst-case scenario.*”

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As a Financial Services Professional with New York Life, Carolyn B. Anders is able focus on her passion for relationship building and a talent for solving problems, both on a more complete basis. She helps the individual and business to prepare custom-designed plans that fit their needs and personality, protects them from the unexpected, and evolves as they do in this ever-changing world around us. To learn more about Ms Anders, please visit www.carolynanders.com

* ‘Protecting Assets During Challenging Business Times’ SMRU:  493304 (exp 07/01/2013) For additional information on the information or topics discussed, please contact Carolyn at cbanders@ft.newyorklife.com.

**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.