For captive agents, going independent will open up a new world of possibilities and opportunities. Being independent means you get a chance to make an impact on the industry and use all your knowledge and experience in the insurance industry to add value to your clients and community. However, the reality of becoming an independent agent does not come without its challenges. Before you dive into a new career move, you have to be realistic about what it will take to open an independent insurance agency.
What you need before opening an independent insurance agency
The very first thing you have to ask is whether you have the experience to go independent. You should have, at minimum, a couple of years of experience working as a captive agent. You will need this to prove your value and gain the trust of new clients and insurance carriers.
The two biggest challenges will be "out of the gate" expenses - start-up capital - while also possibly forgoing a paycheck for few months. It's the ultimate example of "spending money to make money." Taking a good look at your financial situation is a crucial first step to opening an independent insurance agency.
Be sure to include your family in the discussion, because this is going to affect everyone. Besides having to invest upfront capital, you'll also have to dedicate many hours and some sweat equity to ensure that your agency is successful.
Once you're ready to invest your time and money, you need to get yourself mentally prepared for two things:
Doing everything yourself - for many new agency owners you will be the boss and the assistant and everything in between. Be prepared to handle all the tasks associated with running an agency by yourself. Hiring staff might not be an expense you can afford during the first six (give or take) months. The only staffing expenses that are almost considered mandatory best practice when you open your agency are hiring an accountant and tax attorney.
Starting your client list from scratch - a solid, well-thought-out, and detailed business plan will make this aspect feel less overwhelming and give you a plan of action to hit the ground running.
Grow your independent agency bigger, faster, more efficiently
When you join Affordable American Insurance, you are independent but not alone. We give you the roadmap to success, including top-rated carrier access, training in how to start and run a successful business, marketing, and cutting-edge technology.