Being an insurance agency owner is similar to being the quarterback of a football team. One of the principles of leading an agency to ongoing success is setting a game plan. It is naive to think that we can “win” without having a game plan. The value of having a well-conceived business plan is that it aids in the day-to-day decision-making process. Sure, we are all going to get “sacked” a few times along the way, and we might fumble the ball occasionally, or have to throw a “Hail Mary” pass once in a while to pull off a big win, but a written game plan is our road map to success for the long haul.
The first step in writing a business plan is to assess your current situation. To help you get started, answer the following questions:
What are your strengths as an agency?
What value proposition do you offer to your customers?
What sets your agency apart from competitors?
The next step is to visualize what you want your agency to look like in three to five years. Write down your goals and aspirations. Do you visualize a large agency, departmentalized with well-trained staff people filling key positions? Do you want to own your own office building? Do you want to create a solid base of 1,000 high-quality/high-density households? Let your imagination run free to open up all possibilities.
Once you have determined exactly what you want to achieve, set a timeline to achieve your goals. This is where the personal commitment comes into play — it’s the turning point. I know from experience that once I make a commitment to accomplish a particular goal that the information, the people, the inspiration, the ideas come to me. It’s an amazing phenomenon, but it works every time. And it will work for you too.
Now you must formulate a tactical plan on how to achieve your goals. This is the action plan. Let’s say for example that the goal is to attain X-amount of revenue from selling specialty products. The action plan would follow a logical sequence of items to get accomplished such as the following:
1. Set aside time to list out products offered. Example: motorcycles, ATVs, boats, RVs, etc.
2. Do a gap analysis of your current clients who have or do not have specialty products.
3. Identify households with a high propensity to buy.
4. Launch a marketing campaign to advise clients and prospects about the products
5. Set X-number of specialty product appointments per week.
There is no big mystery about setting goals, yet few agents actually take the time to do so. Having a written plan keeps me focused in a proactive way rather than just reacting to daily events.
If you take small action steps toward your goals every day, those goals will be achieved in the timeframe you have specified. Remember, as an agency owner, you are the quarterback of your team. The only question is will you call the right plays to lead your team to victory or get sacked day after day? The choice is yours. Hike!
If you have questions about designing a business plan for your agency, or are simply ready to take your agency to the next level, Korsgaden International can help you get there with our complimentary training videos for individual insurance agents.