It’s hard to know where you’re going without a plan. Insurance sales is a fast-paced and hectic business, so it’s easy to get distracted from your “big picture” goals. That’s why it’s important to have a clear, concise plan to keep your agency on track.
Here are two things to always keep in mind when creating a business plan:
- Aim large and have a clear vision -Decide early in the planning process what the overall goal is for your business – e.g., annual income, growth in a certain line of business -and stick to it. Always have a reference point to refer to; this will drive the rest of the planning process.
- Keep your eye on ROI – When creating a business plan, it’s easy to get excited about fun things like brochures and websites. While marketing is important, you must stay focused on the “bottom line.” Without financial viability, the rest of your goals simply aren’t achievable.
The Five Basic Elements of Goal Setting
Creating a business plan requires a methodical approach to goal setting. Here are the five basic elements you need to consider.
1. Annual Income Goal – Create a chart that outlines all your lines of business (home, auto, property, etc.) Look at your previous years’ revenue for each line or, if you’re starting out, talk to other agents and industry experts. Either way, a managing general agency (MGA) can be a strong ally and resource for determining realistic goals for each. The total will give you your annual income goal.
2. Business Mix – Take a look at your existing lines of business. Things to consider:
- Which lines are your “bread and butter” revenue streams – and how can you maximize them?
- Which lines have the most potential for growth?
- Are there lines you should consider adding, like workers compensation or relatively new niche areas like cyber liability?
Again, an MGA can provide insight into analyzing your product mix – as well as access to a broad range of product lines.
3. Weekly Production – Do this calculation for each of your major lines of business:
- $ (annual income goal) · working weeks (50) = $ (income you must generate weekly)
4. Weekly Sales Required – Do this calculation for each of your major lines of business:
- $ (income you must generate weekly) · average commission = # of policies you must write weekly
5. Weekly Sales Activities – Create a weekly action plan to achieve the weekly sales required. Include specifics such as:
- Number of phone calls needed to generate face-to-face appointments
- Number of face-to-face appointments needed to generate proposal requests
- Number of proposals needed to close your required number of sales
Stay on Target – But Remain Flexible
As anyone in business will tell you, the minute you put a plan in place, the plan changes! You’ll always need to adapt to changing market conditions, so the details of your plan will need to adapt, too. Equally important, you’ll learn what works – and what doesn’t – along the way. But if you stay focused on the plan’s overall goal – just as you did in the initial planning process -you’ll know what changes need to be made to stay on target and succeed.