The past 12 months saw robust mergers and acquisitions activity for insurance agencies. Across the country, agency owners in their 60s and 70s who are transitioning into retirement provided opportunities for savvy buyers to acquire existing agencies with a strong track record. Younger brokers struck out on their own with the purchase of an independent agency or book of business, while other insurance agency owners entered new markets by folding an established agency’s operations into their growing enterprise.
Whether you acquired an insurance agency in 2017 or are considering selling your brokerage in the not-too-distant future, the New Year presents the perfect opportunity to establish fresh goals to grow your business. Here are five resolutions that can boost your agency profits and help you have a happy and prosperous 2018:
1. Get Organized. From the office refrigerator to dusty file cabinets, now is the time to toss, clean, and rearrange your work environment to improve productivity. This includes shredding archived documents you no longer need to keep on hand, cleaning out storage closets, making needed repairs, and replenishing supplies.
2. Automate Operations. From implementing a secure Web-based portal for sharing client documents to upgrading software applications and outsourcing payroll processing, now is the time to take a fresh look at ways to streamline your business operations through automation.
3. Be Social. If you do not have a written plan for social media marketing, you’re missing a prime opportunity to reach new clients and establish yourself as a trusted resource. Whether you hire a social media consultant or delegate the responsibility to someone in your office, put together a plan for leveraging LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social networks to promote your agency.
4. Update Financials. In addition to getting a head start on tax planning, catching up on bookkeeping that may have fallen behind can give you more accurate data on profitability and cash flows. Prospective buyers also will want to see at least three years of financial records to assess the fiscal health of your agency.
5. Empower Employees. Your business should run like a well-oiled machine, even when you’re not in the office. Look for opportunities to train existing support staff to handle client requests and day-to-day operations, and explore creative ways to incentivize your agents to achieve their sales goals in the first quarter.
If you want to supercharge your efforts to grow and expand your business in 2018, Springtree Group (STG) can provide access to working capital. Although most traditional banks are reluctant to provide loans in the insurance space, STG has long-standing relationships with numerous specialty lenders. By employing actuarial models to analyze commission streams and using agency cash flows from renewal commissions rather than tangible assets to collateralize a loan, these lenders can provide access to funding for new equipment, additional personnel, or even an agency acquisition.
For more information about available agency funding options or to discuss strategies that can improve the profitability of your insurance agency, send us a message through our contact page, or call Springtree Group at 972-395-8811. We look forward to learning about your business and helping you reach your goals in the New Year!