You’ve just gotten your insurance license. And now, with the strength of that qualification, you can solve people’s insurance problems with more accuracy and precision than you ever thought possible. You can already see yourself being invited to all the banquets and becoming a fixture within the insurance industry.
There’s just one question left to ask yourself: Should you start a new insurance agency or should you join an already established business?
Although running an agency can certainly look complicated, it’s not as difficult in practice as it might seem. We’re about to tell you all about what you can do to make starting your business as simple and straightforward as tying your shoelaces. Read on to find out more.
- Create a Detailed Insurance Agency Business Plan
If you asked ten businesspeople to name the one item that every company needs before it gets off the ground, most of them would have “A business plan.” somewhere in their top three responses. However, because these pitch decks and plans can be long, complicated, and tedious to fill out, not a lot of entrepreneurs want to do them.
And when you’re eager to skip the whole “How would I like to do this?” issue in favor of jumping straight in, it can be especially difficult to justify taking time out of your day to puzzle minor details out on paper.
But here’s the thing:
Creating a business plan for your agency is like having an insurance company checklist sitting in your hands from the very moment that you make everything official. Are you getting office space right away? How are you planning to manage staff? If things go sideways, do you have an exit strategy in place that will leave you in good shape financially?
It might not seem like it right away, but when you’ve put the major pieces of your business together, you can give yourself more clarity when it comes to making your agency a success.
- Develop and Perfect Your Internal Business Practices
When you’ve got visions of running an agency dancing in your head, it’s easy to gloss over the day-to-day drudgery involved with owning and operating a business. And while you can get away with having a haphazard filing system and a disorganized calendar when you’re only dealing with one or two clients, things can quickly spiral out of control when that number goes up to several dozen.
Your customers will be counting on you to help them find the insurance they need in a timely fashion. When every other conversation involves you saying things like, “Excuse me while I look for your file.” and “I’m not sure where I put that email.”, it becomes a lot harder to deliver the goods as expected. And even beyond the whole customer service issue, disorganization only makes things more stressful for you.
Fortunately, the solution to this is pretty simple. You have to start implementing proper systems early. From managing email responses to processing quotes and booking appointments, when you have protocols in place to handle things, scaling your agency becomes a lot easier.
- Have a Marketing Plan
Have you ever wondered how some insurance agencies can put their shingle up and start seeing leads within days while others are grinding for half the results? The difference in many cases isn’t the quality of the insurance products or the skill level of the agents. It often comes down to marketing.
When you have a pipeline full of people who want to purchase insurance off of you, keeping your bottom line going is as simple as saying, “Debit or credit?”. However, advertising for insurance agencies often requires two different skill sets.
First, you need to be good at bringing in leads. And then, you need to be able to take that lead from interested reader to new insurance client. You can take a course on Facebook ads for insurance agents. Or you can hire a seasoned professional to run your campaigns for you. But without a proper system for onboarding and closing on new clients, your agency may struggle to get enough return for its marketing dollar.
- Give Yourself Time to Get Your Feet Under You
According to Entrepreneur.com, roughly 70 percent of businesses will eventually fail. And with insurance, it’s easy to burn out quickly between marketing costs and personal expenses.
The key to managing those business growing pains is to start with realistic expectations while giving yourself several months of financial runway. When you’re backed into a corner and your choices are basically to generate fast business or close down, bad decisions become a lot more likely.
However, when you’ve got solid financial backing and an effective marketing strategy in place, you can set your agency up for success without having to deal with the desperation that comes with watching your account balance slowly dwindle as the weeks go by. Put another way, it takes time to get momentum behind you when you start a business. You can weather those growing pains a lot more easily when you know that you’ve got time to see your startup through.
Here’s How You Can Put Your New Insurance Agency in the Best Position to Succeed
When you’re an independent agent, you have a lot going for you. You have access to a wide range of plans. You can focus on matching people to the best insurance policies available for them. And, as if that wasn’t fulfilling enough, you also don’t have to deal with quotas or demanding bosses.
In short, it’s the perfect mix of client-attracting positioning and job security. And when you’re armed with a business plan, a marketing strategy, and some solid financial footing, you can tip the odds in your favor when it comes to getting your new insurance agency off the ground.
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