Starting a new independent insurance agency can be difficult. At SIAA, we recognize what is required of a new insurance agent to succeed. Most start-up agency owners have a zeal for insurance and a burning desire to make new sales and grow their book of business. Yet, they may not have all their ducks in a row when it comes to building and running a successful insurance agency. You need to do more than offer insurance products and start selling insurance to grow your business.
There are things anyone interested in insurance should do before joining any insurance alliance or starting an agency. Taking a step back, they need to analyze their business model and address the essential items needed to establish the agency and build credibility with both potential clients and insurance carriers.
In this article, you’ll learn more about some of the things required to build a successful insurance agency. You’ll also learn about the things insurance business owners must do to establish themselves as independent insurance agents and what they can do to better position themselves in the insurance industry.
Establishing Your Insurance Business: Getting Started Selling Insurance
Before becoming an insurance agent of any type, you must have your insurance license. It doesn't matter if you're interested in selling life insurance or other insurance products to a potential customer; before you can get started with any insurance business, you must carry the appropriate license. Check out this blog about the logistics of becoming an independent insurance agent for more details about licensure.
After you finalize your insurance licensing, you’ll need to tackle the following items to get your insurance business off the ground:
- Choosing a corporate structure
- Obtaining insurance business licensure(s) to operate
- Setting up the business’s own insurance policies, which includes but may not be limited to liability, property, E&O as well as cyber policies
- Creating bank accounts and banking relationships must be set up as well.
- Researching marketing vendors and social media needs
These items are just the tip of the iceberg for your insurance company.
We know a decision like this can be challenging, so explore our step-by-step guide to give you the specifics you need to free yourself from captivity.
Locating Your Target Market to Grow Your Business: Getting Started
How can you find your target market to grow your business? After all, you’re the owner of an insurance agency. Maybe you don’t have a background in marketing, and you’re looking for ways to increase your book of business that you can implement on your own.
One of the easiest solutions to embrace for agency growth is content marketing. However, the keys to successful content marketing are:
- Understand the social media platforms your target market uses and create an online presence for your insurance agency.
- Create a website so that you can implement an appropriate SEO strategy
- Publish new, high-quality free content to market insurance products regularly
- Ask for potential customers to contact your insurance business (called a “call to action”) to get a free quote on an insurance policy on every post
A successful agent knows how to talk to and with their target market. Do not be afraid to seek out someone who can assist you if you do not have the time or desire to do these tasks. You won’t be the only successful insurance agent in the industry who gets help from experts!
Invest in Great Customer Service
In the insurance agency, customer service is a true game-changer. Although your goal is to build a successful insurance agency, think back to the last terrible customer service experience, it doesn't matter where from. We’ve all had a moment where we’ve at least considered never doing business with a company again because of a terrible experience.
We all know how big of a part customer service plays in a company’s success. The insurance business is no different. So what does investing in great customer service mean for you as an agency owner? It depends on what you plan to offer potential customers and how quickly you experience agency growth.
- Hiring skilled customer service representatives for your independent insurance agency. Not everyone makes a great customer service representative. Find the right people. Treat them well and pay them well.
- Create the right tools that improve the customer service experience. This may include a self-service app, a website with a clients-only area that allows each client to see their insurance policy information and make changes, and other automated services.
Does an Insurance Business Need to Follow a Process When Setting Up?
As a new agency owner, should you follow a process when establishing your insurance agency? The short answer is yes.
It’s important to establish the independent insurance agency in the business sense because if a new agency is bombarded with operational restraints, it is practically impossible to focus on building the book of business. When you created the agency, the goal is to begin the growth process and become profitable as soon as possible!
Is it beneficial to join an insurance alliance when starting my agency?
Of course! The agency failure rate can be high if there is no coordinated effort between the agency owner and the Alliance. At SIAA, we look at the relationship from day one as a partnership, and it’s why we offer multiple layers of support and training to help all members navigate the challenges of building a book of business, all while running their agency.
Also, knowing the agency's sustainable lead source will be relied upon for growing premium volume. There are numerous options for lead generation, but also important is managing the agency’s pipeline.
SIAA’s background and experience have led us to create the Agency Foundation program where we work from the first day to help our new members have a firm foundation for their agency. This program includes partnering with Agency Zoom to ease prospect management and reduce redundant entries.
Coupled with QQ Catalyst, client relationships are easily maintained to allow the agency to concentrate on production. We also have Agency Growth Coaches who work one-on-one with our members mentoring, listening, and providing solutions.
Throughout the process of starting an agency SIAA places a concerted effort on access to resources, training, and seasoned personnel to help direct the agency to a successful outcome. Having market access is important, but establishing a solid operational foundation is critical to reaching a new agency's full potential. Success can come by luck or hard work, but planning appropriately and aligning oneself with a true partner will reduce the failure rate, focusing on what's important, which is growing your business.
If you’re ready to start or grow a successful insurance agency, we want to hear from you. Contact us to get started.