7 Tips to Manage your Agency

I wrote this a while back for insurance agency owners, but it may equally apply to your business.

1. Track (religiously) anything that you want changed. Information is power - and not a burden to track when it helps you achieve your goals. If you don’t know, well then, you don’t know. And if it takes you 30 minutes to find out, you won’t access that information very frequently. The old saying is true: What gets tracked, gets done.

2. Don’t rely on your carriers to tell you how you are doing. You are always doing “great” or “terrible” in their eyes… but how are YOU really doing? Can you show it to me in writing in ten minutes with assurance? Can you do it again next week with correct and updated information?

3. The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Success by Achieving More with LessLive by the 80/20 (Pareto) principle. Eighty percent of your business comes from roughly twenty percent of your customers. Do you know who they are, and more importantly, how to identify more of the same type? (Note: If you said “folks with a lot of money”, you’re guessing… and you’re wrong.

4. Mazimize your support staff. Most support staff are just there for a job… in effect, glorified bank tellers with insurance licenses. They are often more of a threat to you than a help. Do you share the important details of your business with them? Are you teaching them how to recognize the real opportunities? Are you getting rid of the dead weight? Do you even really know who is the dead weight? Or are you just using them as “free quote” providers?

5. Analyze your time. There are three variables in an agency: Time, Money, and Personnel. Guess which one is fixed! You can change the other two tomorrow. If you want to know what to change and why, you’ll need to spend some time each week analyzing raw data - and stop answering that phone!

6. Be serious about what making money. Have you been spending time making your workplace a “fun place to work”. Is that what they told you in those seminars about how to run a successful agency? Except you are noticing that there seems to be no lack of fun, but a decent lack of profits. How serious are your employees? How serious are you? Are you coming to work to take ground from other agencies… or are you there to answer the phone from your six-month old Yellow Pages advertisement and hope to get lucky?

7. Run audits constantly. Are you running audits of your book when you get a hunch? When your underwriter calls you with that tone in their voice? How about running them consistently and assigning (with accountability) to appropriate staff. Email me and I’ll send you the schedule I use that is a minimum guaranteed 2% increase in your retention rate, even if your staff is dull and disinterested… fix that and you are looking at 4%. Do you know how many dollars that equates to in your pocket? (Hint: you should!).

Technorati : agency, business, efficiency, insurance

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