Starting Your Own Agency Checklist

 In Becoming an independent insurance agent, Opening an agency with AAI, Tips to entrepreneurs

The secret weapon behind every successful entrepreneur is the checklist. It helps you prioritize and stay focused. Starting your own business is overwhelming, and you’re (most likely) doing it all yourself. Having a daily checklist is going to be a big part of your success. To get you started, we’ve come up with the first list you’ll need to check before you can start your own agency.

Three steps to becoming an independent agent at AAI

The first step to becoming an independent agent is to pass pre-licensing courses for each of the types of insurance you want to solicit.

1. Get your license

  • Take and pass pre-licensing courses approved by the state where you wish to sell insurance.
  • Take and pass the licensing exam.
  • Apply for a license.

You will need to get a license for each type of insurance you plan to solicit (life, health, accident, property, and casualty). Some have pre-licensing course requirements. Courses can cost up to $500, and you’ll need to satisfy the 50 hrs that are required by most states.

Tips to starting your own insurance agency by AAI

Once you’ve passed your licensing exam, you need to start working on getting your startup capital if you haven’t already.

2. Acquire startup capital

Your startup capital can vary from just a few thousand dollars to $100,000 from state to state and even city to city. Be realistic about the budget you’ll need. Working from home is a practical way to cut down on a few startup costs like rent, furniture, decorations, extra utility bills and signage.

AAI's first three steps to starting our own insurance agency

Buying a book of clients from another agent is the easy part. Keeping those clients requires sales skills and a strong personality.

3. Acquire a client base

If you have connections to other insurance agents, you may be able to buy clients from them and take over their business. Agents who are getting ready to retire or scale back on their business may be motivated to sell their clients. However, just because you buy the resource from another insurance agent doesn’t mean that the account is going to stay with you. Keeping a customer happy is up to you, and for that, you’ll need to use your personality and your sales skills to make a new client trust you and stay with you.

There it is, future independent agents. Once you can check off the three items (and a few sub-items) above you’re one step closer to becoming an independent agent.

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