Reese McFaddin wants to bring health insurance from her home, to yours.
McFaddin is the owner and operator of Workplace Benefits, a consulting firm based out of Daniel Island. “I try to make insurance have a personality, and to make insurance applicable,” explains McFaddin.
Starting up her one-woman operation in May of 2006, McFaddin saw a real niche for a small, health-focused, and female-operated insurance consulting firm in the Lowcountry. After working for a larger firm, McFaddin decided to ditch the overhead, staff, and open her own business out of her home.
“Within a week I had a business. I made cards, logos, everything as cheaply as possible, and went out and networked like crazy. I’m on my own, and it’s super effective. I can give people a personal touch, I’m not the traditional insurance salesperson.”
Workplace Benefits currently represents 6 major carriers, including BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Cigna, and UnitedHealthCare.
“I mostly aim to help individuals and small businesses with all of their insurance needs,” she explains.
It’s McFaddin’s nontraditional approach to health insurance that makes her successful. She utilizes social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, and creates her own YouTube videos to help her in marketing and sales. “It helps me reach a younger demographic, and it also helps people open up to me. Most people come to me because they are recently divorced or unemployed. I just listen to them, and provide them with a solution. I come to them, sometimes to their house, hold their children, and people like that. I’m relaxed, and so is my approach.”
It’s safe to say that McFaddin breaks the mold when you think of the usual insurance salesman, which is usually an older gentleman in a stuffy office. McFaddin’s bright, feminine clothes, bubbly smile, and positive personality makes insurance a lot less drab, and a lot more relatable.
And McFaddin stays ahead of the curve. “I have an edge in Charleston, being young, female, and social media savvy. Everything is going to the web already, and it makes my job a lot easier!”
When approached with questions about how healthcare reform could change her business, McFaddin is prepared, but on her toes: “We really don’t know what is coming, or how that is going to affect and translate to the market. But when things start to come down, I want people to know who they can turn to, in a quick, easy, way, because that it is going to happen. And I nip at the heels of the insurance companies and their products, because let’s face it, insurance companies are not that good at thinking outside of the box, so I am like a crazy person to them!”
To other young women thinking of starting their own business, Reese offers these words of advice: “Go ahead and take that leap. Keep your overhead as low as possible for as long as you can. There are going to be some really up ups, and some really down downs. You’ve got to somehow, as cheesy as it sounds, still get up everyday and believe that there are people out there that need your help, and it really doesn’t matter what anyone else says or thinks.”