Starting your own small business is a daunting task; this much is obvious. From choosing a niche where you can operate to finding great employees to back you, and especially trying to attract customers to your business, all these pieces to opening a successful business are just as important as the next.
If you have settled on opening a private car insurance agency, you’ll need to know best practices specifically for that industry to succeed. This article will cover a few of the basic principles you will need to focus on once you start the business to grow and succeed.
Choosing a Location
While this might seem like the most basic of steps, your physical location is an integral first step in running your business. You’ll want to make sure you’re not going over your allotted budget, but you always want to be in a nice, trustworthy area. Your clients will judge your business from the minute they see it, so having a storefront you’re proud to show off is integral.
You’ll also want to avoid placing your location directly in the vicinity of competitors. Choose a place where you will stand out and not be in constant competition with the storefront a block away.
Initial Funding and Budgeting
Most of your business’s initial budget will stem from what you have saved up. If you need a little extra, you can also take out a small business loan to help offset those initial costs. Consider the prices you know you’ll be incurring, such as employee wages and rent, and keep those at the forefront of your mind as you plan your overall company budget.
Many small businesses follow Elizabeth Warren’s 50/30/20 rule when planning their budgets. This rule supposes that 50% of your budget (be it your personal or your company’s costs) should go to anything you NEED.
After that, 30% can go to the wants, and 20% should be saved. While all budgets should have room for movement, starting with a base such as the 50/30/20 rule will at least give you a jumping-off point to plan your budget.
If you’re not already certified, you will need to get your business’s certifications in order before you can even think about opening a shop. These certifications can vary from state to state, so you’ll want to make sure that you thoroughly research exactly what certifications you will need to run an insurance business.
Outside of certifications for insurance specifically, you may also need a small business license in order to operate. These are simple enough to apply for, and once they are acquired, you will be well on your way to opening your doors for the first time as a new business!
Growing Your Car Insurance Industry Knowledge
This one may seem redundant, but you will want to be an expert in your field. To compete with the larger chains, or even the smaller businesses around you, becoming incredibly knowledgeable in what you are trying to do business in is extremely helpful in growing your business. Think about what types of policies you want to offer, from temporary plans to 12-month auto insurance policies.
If you can, you should get outside experience as well. Work for other firms before opening your own, so you can see what works and doesn’t work for them and gain the knowledge of all of the employees that were there before you.
Finding Successful Employees
What’s a businessperson without a great team behind them? Bringing in great employees to help your business is an essential beginning step to take before opening your business. While attracting candidates to a job that doesn’t necessarily exist yet can be tricky, there are many ways to bring in stellar employees.
For example, writing very detailed descriptions of the job you are hiring for helps your potential employees pick your location amongst the rest. Experts also recommend delivering a great first impression to anyone who applies to keep them interested in your business and create trust between you two from the get-go. Be sure to compare reviews for established agents to make sure you get the best for your business.
Fostering a Results-Driven Culture
While bringing in great employees will help your company culture begin on the right foot, it is also up to you to lead your employees in delivering results and maintaining an atmosphere they want to work in.
Making strides to show you care about all of your employees, both in regard to their mental health as well as their performance, goes a long way in creating a successful work environment. A 2020 study by Compt showed that 31% of employees are not happy at their current job due to the company’s environment and perks.
By keeping tabs on your employees and asking them directly what they’re happy and unhappy with, you will see the general attitude of your team rise. And with a happy team, you will be more likely to deliver great results for your business.
Attracting Your Client Base
Perhaps the most important item on this list, knowing how to find your customers is critical to the success of your business. Dedicate yourself to a firm marketing plan, and perhaps outsource your marketing to a professional company to help you gain clients online and through advertisements. Most professionals will offer a free anonymous quote to help you run a private insurance agency.
This will help you send the right message and can even help you focus on the specific types of clients you are trying to find. The best type of marketing, however, is word of mouth. Treat every client the same and with a very high standard, and you should watch your business grow from the positive reviews.
It’s Time to Take the Leap
Are you ready to start your own private car insurance agency? With the tips above, some elbow grease, and dedication, you will be able to open your own successful business and watch it grow in no time.
Just remember, treat everyone you work with and for with kindness, push yourself to work hard, and at the end of the day, reap the rewards of finally fulfilling your dream of opening your own insurance agency.