As an independent insurance agency owner, improvement is constantly on your mind. The best way to set up your agency for growth is to set goals, and start to tackle each one by one. But, how will you know you’ve met your goal? The answer comes in the form of hard data – the most efficient and effective way to track and show change.
We suggest you start out by asking yourself three simple questions to gauge your success, and getting answers through various forms of data. Is your agency improving? Ask yourself:
1. Did business increase? You can figure out business increase by looking at number of new clients or number of new policies written. It’s up to you to decide what is the best measure for your means. Also, take a look at how business came to you. Was it referrals? Online? Phone? From one producer more than others? Use this info to decide if you’re succeeding in marketing and sales.
2. Did income increase? The quickest way to tell income increase is a look at total premiums, but you can also garner information from average revenue per client and average premium per policy. Again, each measure tells a different story, and you’ll have to decide which is most useful in relation to your agency’s goals.
3. Did client retention increase? Retention rate is a telling stat, giving you insight into how you’re viewed by your clients. Take a look at annual and monthly rates, and check your average length of retention. Gathering this data will give you a good picture of any holes in your customer service and let you know what goals to set for future client retention rates.
Once you’ve started gather data to address your success, be sure to make a plan to do it consistently. Set up who will be gathering what data, when, and how. The most effective way to track data is through reports in your agency management system. Your provider can set you up with trainings on creating reading reports, like the Partner XE trainings offered throughout the year. Check out our client resources page to find out more about trainings, or contact us to find out more about how Partner XE can help you track success.
With the start of a new year, many are making resolutions to improve themselves. Such resolutions are not just for individuals, but can be made for your agency as well. One of the hardest parts of making such resolutions is knowing where to begin. Do you go for the big change, or start with something small? How many new goals should you set? What can you do keep momentum?
In our latest eGuide, we explore some effective ways to set and achieve goals for your independent insurance agency. We look at how to set goals, and the best ways to ensure you follow through on your plans. Being intentional about your goal setting sets you up for success in this year, and beyond.
Check out our eGuide today by visiting the SIS resource page. Once there, you can explore a host of other great resources, such as our blog, client stories, FAQ and Partner XE demos. See something missing? Contact us to let us know what you’d like to see. Happy goal setting!
With a new year upon us, you may be tempted to start an agency overhaul. However, all good things come in moderation, and you need to make sure you aren’t making changes just for the sake of doing something new. While a fresh start is nice, be careful about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. In order to make your agency better, you’ll first need to know what you’re doing right.
It can be a challenge to target and evaluate your successes. Here are a few simple tips to help you see what you’re doing right, so you can focus on the positive for a change.
Ask Questions. Survey your employees and clients, to find out what they think is going well. It’s always important to get outside perspectives. Chances are you’re too hard on yourself and are missing the things that are going well. Remember you still have the final say in what to do with what you hear.
Check Your Stats. Take a look at past data to see where business has grown. Pay attention to increases in profit, new clients and referral volume and see what happened around these times (i.e. hired new staff, marketing changes, updating processes). Pay attention to consistency. Short spikes can be flukes – real improvement is long lasting.
Assess Against Your Values. What defines or differentiates your agency? What do you and your clients value most? The answers to these questions point to what makes you successful. Be sure to hold fast to these values as you think about making changes in your agency.
Give Change Some Time. Once you know what works and what doesn’t, make one change at a time. If you change too much at once, you’ll never know what it was that made you better. By making one small change at a time, you can more easily track your growth or stagnation and know exactly what you need to tweak.
Your agency management system is the best tool for gathering and processing data, and your system provider can offer trainings in how to track and read this data. Our Partner XE has a host of ways to gather and synthesize information and our committed service representatives are able offer one on one consultation on how Partner XE can work best for you.
To find out more about Partner XE, and to talk with our amazing staff, contact us today at 800.747.9273 or [email protected].
Commercial lines download (CLDL) is on the rise, with more and more agencies making it a part of their practice. The recent CLDL updates have made it easier than ever to implement, and clients and carriers alike love the added workflow efficiency. However, if your agency is yet to implement CLDL, you may wonder:
How will commercial lines download benefit my agency?
What does my agency need to do to implement CLDL?
How does CLDL affect my partnerships with carriers and clients?
What makes commercial lines download better now than when it was first released?
You can find the answers to all these questions and more in the latest SIS eGuide, Adding Value to Your Agency with Commercial Lines Downloads. In this eGuide, we address the benefits and improvements of CLDL, provide a simple implementation checklist, and give advice on how to ensure your agency communicates well with clients and carriers on CLDL.
To download the eGuide, simply click here. You can also visit our resources page to check out even more great guides, whitepapers, and other useful info to help you agency stay up to date and successful.
As the holiday season is in full swing, your agency may begin to feel the holiday pressure. On top of your normal agency processes, you now have holiday party planning, policy renewals, and other end of year deadlines. It can be a bit overwhelming at times, but with a hard working staff and sense of comradery you will make it through! Not to mention a great agency management system to keep you organized and on-task. Our Partner XE management system will provide you that sense of ordered efficiency and, along with this holiday inspired poem, will help motivate and bring you a bit of holiday joy this season!
‘Twas the holiday season
And in agencies ‘round,
There was hustle and bustle
To get it all down.Contingencies loomed
And books needed closed.
Contracts were up.
My how the time goes!
And amongst payroll planning
Was a party or two,
And gifts to be purchased
But, what to get who?
Not to mention year’s end
With renewals to be done.
The deadlines loom closer
Hold off, Jan. one!
There’s tax prep! And bonuses!
And who to work when?
Not to mention those apps
For our ACA friends.
So much will happen
At this holiday time
But when all is done
Grab a good glass of wine
And gather round staff
To relax and distress
So happy holidays to you
From us at SIS!
This past year was one like no other. With the entire world forced to move to digital work rapidly, many industries felt growing pains and suffered from the sudden shifts. One industry that didn’t was insurtech.
The term “insurtech” applies to a variety of digital tools used in the insurance industry. Everything from a client portal to an integrated rater are insurtech. Overall, insurtech removes barriers in insurance, speeding up enrollment and claims processing, among other procedures, making it easier for agencies to grow their business and serve their customers.
In the latest of our “Behind Our Insurance Agency Software” series, we talk with Brad Ruben of IT services provider Archway Computing. Archway has been one of our industry partners for years, and we rely on Brad and his team to keep us and our community up-to-date on the latest insurtech and cybersecurity.
Brad Ruben has been working with insurance agnecy software since 1985, when he first helped a family friend install and run a Coast Premium Rater software as part of the friend’s insurance business. Since then, Brad founded Archway Computers to help independent agencies get the best insurtech and IT support at a price they can afford.
I talked with Brad about Archway’s partnership with SIS and the Partner Platform community, aiding agencies with IT services and providing expert consultation around insurtech and security.
Approximately 43% of all cyberattacks are on small businesses, and, in 2020, 12% were attributed to finance and insurance industries. In the age of digital insurance, your independent agency is part of that vulnerable small business group. And, this threat increased since the COVID-19 pandemic: researchers report a 30% increase in cyber-security breaches since the pandemic hit.
As a particularly vulnerable industry, insurance agencies must be mindful. The volume of files processed daily and the sensitive information contained in each mean insurance agencies are increasingly at risk. Yet, KPMG found that only 43% of insurance executives said their organization was protected.
Is your agency taking cyber attacks seriously? Here are some ways you can start.