Mar 27, 2023
EP - 70 This episode provides additional insight into starting your own business in the insurance industry.
We'll cover ideas to help you map out the process over the course of several months so you don’t have to do everything at one time. We'll talk about tasks that can be broken down over 12 months or done in 30 days if you don't have much time.
Define your ideas - what area are you going into? Agency, carrier, claims, Life, health, will you just do something like work comp, airlines or medicare? Maybe you are thinking technology in the form of a CRM for insurance, maybe you’ll white label a product that is working in another industry. There are a lot of things in between, these are just examples. But give some thought to your direction. Will you set up your business like everyone else or do you have ideas for being innovative? I don’t believe any of this is incorrect, you just need to define what you want to do and make sure you have done the research and have a great plan for moving forward.
Assess the impact on your life and family - I believe this is often overlooked and is an essential component of going into business. A business is like having another child. It is expensive, it takes a lot of your time, it can eat up your resources until you start making sales. Your spouse needs to buy in emotionally and financially. When I started my first agency back in the early 90’s I thought I had my husband's support. We agreed that I could tap into our home equity loan which was $25,000. Our marriage was set up where we each paid 50% of everything so I needed that money to pay my portion for awhile.( 2 kids with childcare, mortgage, groceries, and a car payment, along with the business expenses) 6 months into starting my agency, my husband was freaking out. I was making sales, but not enough to pay 50% of my bills around the house. Since I was home based, he thought I was doing nothing all day and that we could stop sending the kids to daycare and same some money. He just didn’t get it. Ultimately, we got divorced and while it was over a completely different issue, my being self employed weighed into it heavily. When I went looking for another partner, I wanted them to be in sales and understand being in business. I wasn’t going to be with someone else that did not understand you have to make some sacrifices short term for long term success. I can’t stress how important it is to get complete buy-in from your spouse or partner about how the finances and time will be for the next 2-3 years. If you aren’t making money after that then you might need to reassess!
Locate sources of business advice and support - in the last episode, episode xxx, we talked about different members of your team. This wasn’t people that would be on your payroll but people that you would get advice and wisdom to make sure you are successful. If you missed that episode, please go back and listen to it again.
THIS EPISODE OF THE BUSINESS OF INSURANCE PODCAST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY INSURANCEMAILBOXPOWER.COM
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Since we are talking about getting started in business in this episode, once you decide on your company name and logo, you can create a few custom items to see how it feels. Put the name and logon on a coffee mug, order yourself some custom pens. Just test it out to see how it feels before you commit to the final copy.
Use my affiliate link and go to insurancemailboxpower.com where you can set up a free 14 day trial account. Send yourself a few products and see how it feels.
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Obtain necessary skills - depending on what type of business you are starting, will depend on the types of skills you need. If you aren’t good at sales, take some sales classes. If you aren’t good at leadership, take some classes, if you don’t know what is involved in running a business, take some classes. Do this before you get started, so you have a better chance of finding success earlier, not after you open your doors. You’ll always need to be learning and there are different ways to get the information that you need, but the more you do this before you open the doors, the less mistakes you’ll make when the doors open.
Research carriers, IMO’s, Aggregators,industries etc.If you are going on the agency side, who will you write your business with? I think it is really important that you really do your due diligence here. Get the contracts. Read them. Have your lawyer review them. Sit on them and make sure you ask questions. Don’t take anything for granted. It’s easy to sign one, it is not always easy to get out of one. It might mean going to a few industry events to ask people who they are using, getting some feedback from others before moving forward. By doing this part before you open your doors, you will save yourself a lot of time and aggravation down the road.
Topics to consider:
What are the sales expectations, what technology do they provide?
Can you test ride it?
What type of support is available?
How are commissions paid?
What about overrides and contingencies?
What happens if you want to leave or move to another organization?
What happens if you sell your business?
There’s a lot of information you need before you sign up that will help you to be more successful.
Since there’s a lot of information to planning to open your business, we are going to stop here for today. We’ll pick up what to do in the next episode.
So until then, KEEP CREATING OPPORTUNITIES
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ABOUT THE HOST
This episode of the Business of Insurance podcast is produced and hosted by Debbie DeChambeau, CIC, AAI, CPIA - an entrepreneur, business advisor, insurance professional and content creator. Her goal is to inspire you to think differently and explore ideas that disrupt the status quo.
Debbie has an extensive business and marketing background with a focus of helping insurance professionals be more successful. She also works in the health insurance space, focusing on helping people navigate the Medicare Maze.
She is the co-author of Renewable Referrals.