As we travel across the country we find that every agency owner wants to grow. After all, what business owner doesn’t? What we also find is that agency owners have a wide variation in what they are willing to do to grow. We often use this example: “I’d love to lose 10 pounds but I’m not willing to do what it takes to be a bikini model. (I enjoy my red wine far too much!)” If you want to grow, you have to set a goal and pick your level of commitment towards that goal. Anything is possible with the right amount of effort but start by being honest with how much energy you are willing to put into it. We are blessed to work with agencies across this country and we have found five things that any agency can do today to start growing. When we say start today, we mean it.
We are blessed to work with agencies across this country and we have found five things that any agency can do today to start growing. When we say start today, we mean it.
When leadership is pulled together and has a clear plan, almost anything is possible. When there is a void of true passionate leadership, the agency will fail to grow. So let’s get started growing and amplifying our growth with these 5 simple steps!
STEP 1: GET CLEAR ON GROWTH
Far too often we see agencies focused on accounting rather than core agency metrics. You can see you’ve grown by the numbers on your P&L, but you have no idea how, or even if it’s accurate. You may have been paid for a big account or maybe not paid one month. Resist the urge to look at growth strictly from your bank account. Instead start pulling reports from your management system. We generally look at policy count, premium and revenue. In today’s world you have to look at all three. Carriers are cutting commissions, and workers’ compensation often pays less than other lines. You need to review all three to see a trend. Once you get a handle on the numbers you need to be honest with what growth looks like. Do you want to grow by 5% or 10%? You have to know and understand what real growth looks like. You can use our Growth Calculator so you can see what you need to do to grow a certain percentage. This takes into consideration rate increases, retention and even sales by team member. Visit www.agencyperformancepartners.com to access this helpful tool.
STEP 2: LET GO OF THE PAST
Forget anything that didn’t work in the past immediately. Also forget any of your agency friends who said something didn’t work. Finally, forget the idea of how your team may feel or if they will adapt to new ways. Once you have a clean head you can create your plan of attack. Far too often we think about the ways things won’t work rather than the way they will. So stop thinking like your least favorite underwriter and start thinking like an awesome business owner.
STEP 3: PICK ONE THING
Ever go to an industry event, watch a webinar or listen to a podcast in the industry? Do you leave inspired, enthused and ready to come home and do it all? Instead you need to bucket your ideas into three categories: complete this quarter, consider for next quarter, and great idea but I have to wait to fıt it in. If you feel overwhelmed with everything on your plate, consider taking a step back and being selective. All you need is to flawlessly execute two to three ideas per year to see results. So resist the urge to come out like a cowboy and dump a slew of new ideas that are partially pulled together. Instead, pick your one thing that you are committed to and detail it out. This includes how you will track it and incentivize the team.
STEP 4: HOLD A LAUNCH PARTY
Well you may not be able to do this today but you can pick your launch party date. Notice how it’s not a meeting, it’s a launch party. When you initiate anything new you want to make it fun. Showing the team it will be awesome is step one of getting your team’s buy-in. Whenever you launch something new, make sure you have all the details – scripts, tracking, reporting. Everything should be ready to go. Don’t bring your team into a half-baked idea.
STEP 5: FOCUS
When you launch something new don’t expect everyone to do it immediately. You need to focus on it and make sure that people are adopting the new initiative. When you see people not adopting, it must be addressed. When you see success you must champion it. When you are asking your team to make the commitment you must also commit to your end of the bargain, which is being a great leader!
This article was published in the July 2019 edition of Colorado Insurance News (COIN). To view more articles and read the whole COIN, click here.