Many independent insurance agencies are not just small businesses, but family businesses, passed down from one generation to the next. Eventually the time comes when the next generation is ready to take over the business. No matter how involved you are in a business, taking the reins can be challenging. How do you make a successful transition from one generation to the next?
It’s important to know what to do, and what pitfalls to avoid as you work to take over your family’s agency.
DO adhere to your agency’s succession plan. You or your family members may be tempted to make exceptions, but the reason the plan is there is to keep you on track.
DON’T neglect to create a succession plan! Push for one to be put in place now if your agency doesn’t have anything set.
DO practice patience and compassion. Transition will take time, and it may be hard for your predecessor and/or employees to adjust. Realize the pain of change, and adjust to ensure everyone involved feels heard.
DON’T allow the “old ways” to take control. Although you must be sensitive to the “way things were”, you cannot repeat the past. Be assertive and take charge, putting your own spin on things.
DO assess your assets. Find out what is working well! Once you have an idea, think about what it is that makes these elements work well and how you can bring them to the areas where your agency is lacking.
DON’T throw everything out. You want to make your mark, but it’s foolish to think a slash and burn mentality will breed success.
DO make changes. Consult with members of your agency before implementing anything, and implement changes via trainings. Changing ways can be hard enough. Doing so without some sort of training can be near impossible.
DON’T change everything at once. You may have a lot of ideas about how to better your agency, but it’s smart to implement one or two at a time. Once the new becomes the old, you can start easing in a new change.
Finally, DO track your progress. By keeping track of how you’re doing, you’ll be able to know if your changes are making an impact. Also, showing growth to employees and clients will help build trust and confidence in your leadership abilities.
As you transition in to your new role, we at SIS are here to help you see how your agency management system can play a critical role. We can set up individual and group Partner XE trainings, or simply consult with you over how to use Partner XE to track your agency’s performance. Get in touch with us today at [email protected].