Starting Over: From Captive Agent to Agency Owner
The first step to becoming an independent agent is writing a business plan
Many successful captive agents think that their years of producing for an insurance provider has given them all the skills and experience they need to start their own agency. They are so sure of their ability to transition from captive to independent that they leap over the first three steps. Before you start hiring producers and finding an office space, take a few steps back and make sure you start from the beginning, dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s.
Starting an agency requires doing your due diligence
Poor planning is the main reason that most captive agents fail to succeed as an independent agent. Because you have so much experience, you think that you don’t need to do your due diligence when it comes to researching vendors, insurance companies, producers, and all the things required to build an infrastructure so that you can run your agency smoothly and efficiently.
Before you get to selling insurance and building a client base, you need to write a business plan.That means sitting down and figuring out what it is that you want to achieve with your agency. It should be one simple paragraph stating where you are now, and where you hope to be in 3-5 years. And then you start to answer the “How”. How are you going to get from point A to point B.
You start at the beginning. What do you have right now? This should be easy:
- How much money do you have
- What resources do you have
- What abilities do you have
Writing a business plan should be simple and straightforward. But, it should be realistic, and you have got, to be honest with yourself. Guessing will only come back to bite you later. Starting a business is often a reality check for many, but the sooner you realize that transitioning from captive producer to independent owner takes a lot of strategic planning, the more quickly your business will thrive.
Once you have a complete overview of what you are starting out with, it’s time to do some research to figure out the next plan of attack. What do you need to reach your goal? Many agents make the mistake here of thinking “I need to sell as much insurance as possible”, but again, you are skipping some important steps.
Join a network of independent agents in Colorado
You need to determine how much capital you need to set up your agency so that you can sell insurance. You need a professional office space to invite clients and investors. For that office to run efficiently, you need to implement the right management system, hire the right vendors, hire the right producers, and most importantly, you need to research your target audience and make sure that your plan and strategy is in sync with modern day technology.
Behind every great business plan, and every successful independent agency is an extensive network of peers and professionals that you can reach out to and lean on to help make sure you are on the right track. If you are thinking about becoming an independent agent, start your agency with us and become a part of that network and get access to exclusive Business Development Group seminars and courses to help you become a business owner, not just a producer.
Independent doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. AAI has your back!