5 minutes of reading
Starting an agency from scratch is possible, but can be very challenging. Owning an agency gives you the ability to be your own boss, have the satisfaction of helping people protect their securities and investments, as well as providing you with good earning potential for many years to come.
make your plan to succeed
There are many things you’ll need to consider when starting an agency from scratch, from a business plan to financing and investing in education. Small Business Administration can help you understand if being an entrepreneur is right for you, questions to ask, steps to start a business, data development, and more.
investment capital research
You’ll need start-up capital to cover things like office space, equipment and furniture, e&o insurance, and marketing. And don’t forget you have to pay yourself. the big i” has an affiliated bank, insurbanc, that specializes in helping independent agencies with business financing and cash management.
obtain an insurance license and comply with state regulations
In all states, you must be licensed to sell insurance. You will be required to take a certain number of training hours and sit for a licensing exam. In most states, you’ll need a license for each type of insurance you want to sell. pre-licensing, licensing and continuing education are state specific. choose and contact your local state association with a big i for help understanding this critical aspect of running an insurance operation. Rules on the sale of insurance and consumer protection information are available through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
how to access insurance companies
after you are licensed, you will need to have access to insurance companies to have insurance products to sell. To get an appointment to sell insurance with many companies, you’ll need a marketing plan, some sales background, and a solid business plan. Research your anticipated customer base and learn which companies will serve them best. the big “i” can help with access to personal lines markets through our new agency eagle agency program.
Other resources include:
- the right start series: a set of tools to grow and get your business appointments helps you prepare for the conversation with companies.
- am best company is also a good resource to help you understand which insurance markets to represent.
- the big ‘i’ virtual university is a comprehensive insurance technical resource with thousands of articles and an area dedicated to agency property.
- Understand the current market and consumer base with our market resource groups and prepare for agency growth with our diversity resources.
- Review the management products available through our best practices program.
- develop talent and support the future of the industry through the great “i” young agents and diversity and inclusion programs.
- create your agency’s technology and let it work for you; See the big picture through our agent advice for technology.
- sell your agency by leveraging the tools and resources created by the only national brand for independent agents: trusted choice.
- train employees through the basics of the big “i” vu and beyond the agent training program.
- Learn how big “i” professional liability can protect your agency, including cyber liability coverage, to keep your agency’s and clients’ important data safe.
- Access our fully searchable and online resource library: Big “I” Virtual University for Big “I” members only.
- check out and sign up for the webinars offered through the big “i” vu
- check with your local large “i” state association education department for educational opportunities. click here for a map of the state.
- learn about important mistakes & omissions insurance coverage and risk management for your online agency at e&o happens.
developing your great management skills
You need to excel in sales, marketing, and administrative management to operate a successful insurance agency at the start-up level. You’ll have to wear many hats and you’ll need a variety of skills to ensure success.
the big “i” helps independent agents through:
developing your technical knowledge
monthly reading to stay on trend
the independent agent magazine focuses monthly on areas that are critical to the independent agency system. Through the wide variety of free content, you can stay ahead of what’s next in the industry and incorporate what you’ve learned into your agency operations. benefit from agency operations and best practice articles; understand the critical need to recruit, hire, train, and prepare for the future; develop successful sales and marketing strategies to help you prosper; and plan for the future with perpetuation and valuation information.