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Mar 25, 2019


Episode 28 - Today’s episode is a little different. It’s an edited replay from one of my other podcasts, called Business in Real Life. I feel like this is a topic that is beneficial to insurance agents so I’m sharing it on this podcast. If you are an agency principal, particularly one that is somewhat new or focused on personal lines instead of business insurance, you might not be as up to speed on HR issues as you need to be.

This conversation will provide you with some of the issues that you need to be aware of that will help keep you out of hot water. If you are selling or servicing insurance and focus on business clients, this information will also be valuable. It will give you some talking points with your prospects and clients that can set you apart from your peers. If you aren’t in either of these categories, I still think you’ll find some great nuggets in this conversation.

Our guest is Nicole Orisme, President of NLH Contracting. She started her business a few years ago and has grown rapidly every year. She helps her clients with creating employee manuals, discusses the proper strategies for hiring and firing employees, and does things from an HR perspective that most business owners aren’t aware of.

One of the things we discuss is that hiring help, not just in the HR capacity but making the decision to hire someone to do some of the lower paying tasks sooner than later. With technology today, we often feel that we shouldn't hire anyone. Afterall, we can answer our own phone, we can answer our own emails, we can schedule our own meetings.

When you are feeling overwhelmed with your work or business and you are trying to figure out why, we have a good exercise for you to consider. It might seem overwhelming, but you only need to do it for one week.

  • Create a chart where you write down what you are doing every 15 minutes.
  • Then take a look at the end of the week at how long things are taking you.
  • Are there tasks on that list that should be done by a minimum wage person or lower wage person that your hourly wage?

Most of the time, the answer is yes.

The reluctance is to not hire because you might not have the revenue to support it, but what we have heard over and over from this exercise is that you actually double your productivity because you can focus on more revenue generating tasks instead of spending your time doing lower skilled tasks.

Something I’ve been saying for a long time is that we need to bring back receptionists and administrative assistants. Before voicemail and email, it was rare to see the business owner answer the phone or open the mail. That was assigned to someone else.

With the evolution of technology, those professions have been minimized but the successful business owner understands that having help is how to succeed faster.

While voicemail is efficient, how much easier is it for you to read a quick message and call someone back? Sometimes people can leave 5 minute messages, and if you get 5-10 of those a day and you’ve just spent over an hour just listening to voice mail messages. How much did that cost you in productivity?

How much time do you spend just unsubscribing or deleting the junk emails? All of that takes time which is time you could be doing tasks that generate revenue or grow your business in some capacity. I share this not to have you rush out and hire someone, but take a look at what you are doing and see if the tasks match your wage level.

Does it make sense to make a change? Just something to ponder.

Do you have your HR processes in place?  If not, you might want to contact someone that specializes in HR. You don’t need to have someone on staff full time, you can easily outsource this department and pay by the hour or a flat fee for their services. The goal here is that you want to make sure that you are doing this part of running the business correctly. For those of you in sales, knowing a few HR companies can also be a great strategic alliance for you. They have clients that need insurance and you have clients that need  HR!


When you go into business and have employees, you have a lot of issues that need to be addressed. These include:

  • Payroll
  • Handbook
  • Benefits administered correctly
  • Compliance
  • Employee manuals
  • Independent Contractors
  • Risk of not having the proper documents in place.
  • Making sure you are following FLSA
  • Hire an assistant sooner than later!


Nicole Orisme who is the owner of NLH Contracting.  Her website is the same as her company name: NLH  Connect with her on

If you need advice from an experienced human resources consulting firm, contact Nicole.  She and her team can keep you out of a lot of hot water!


  • One of the ways that we grow this podcast is with people like you sharing with your friends and coworkers.
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  • If you really like the show and want to help even more, please go to iTunes and leave a review. This works best if you have an iTunes account.


One of the benefits of listening to this podcast and finding the show notes is that you can schedule a 30 minute call to get some feedback on a current business challenge. It gives us an opportunity to talk, and see if it makes sense to work together.

If you want to schedule a call, click here to access my calendar and schedule a time that works for you.


This episode of the Business of Insurance is produced and hosted by Debbie DeChambeau, CIC, AAI, CPIA. Debbie is an insurance agent with an extensive business and marketing background. Her focus is helping insurance professionals be more successful. She is the co-author of Renewable Referrals and hosts two other podcasts Business In Real Life and Divorce Exposed. Connect with Debbie on LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram.  Coming soon. Single and Over Sixty and Seniors We Love