Most insurance agencies hope to expand their operations, but this will come with some growing pains. While there will be struggles as you grow, each of those will also present an opportunity to improve your agency and your revenue streams. Learn some of the most common growing pains for insurance agencies, and how to avoid them and set your agency up for success.
There Will Be Bumps Along the Way
One of the most important things is to accept that there will be bumps along the way. What worked well when your agency was small may not work as well as it grows. But you will eventually learn to adapt. Remember that failure is just a stop on the path to success.
One of the biggest growing pains or bumps for growing insurance agencies will be lead times, whether for appointments or processing paperwork and claims. This is a natural consequence of having more clients.
You can overcome this with some efficient planning and keeping your clients updated. If you are behind on a claim or processing paperwork to open a policy, let them know and explain why. Keeping clients updated will do wonders for their loyalty and satisfaction.
Have Realistic Expectations
To set yourself up for success, be realistic with your expectations, and include those bumps in them. Yes, you can hope that everything goes smoothly and plan for that to happen, but don’t expect it to be the case.
Don’t just expect your employees to automatically improve their productivity to keep up with the new pace. Give them the tools to do so and time to adapt.
Think of the Long-Term
Part of having realistic expectations means looking ahead to the future. This will give you an important perspective so you can understand why you are making temporary sacrifices for future growth.
When Training New Employees
One example of this is when training new employees. You will likely need to hire more people as your business grows; it is a natural consequence of growth. You can be frustrated that you have to take time out of your day (or have someone else do so) to train them. And you can be frustrated if the new employees don’t catch on right away. Or you can be realistic and understand that this temporary setback will help you push ahead. New employees will temporarily drain your resources, but then they will deliver a productivity boost.
When Getting New Tech or Adopting New Processes
Another example is when you adopt a new process or use a new piece of tech. As you grow, you may need to switch to a more efficient agency management system like Jenesis. Or you may need to adopt other tech. As with training new employees, there will be a learning and transitional phase. This may be slow or frustrating, but it is worth it as you will boost your efficiency in the future. Of course, you can mitigate this somewhat by choosing intuitive systems.
Make Communication a Priority
No matter the growing pains that your agency is experiencing, make communication a priority. Communicate your expectations as well as your goals. It’s also a good idea to encourage your team to share their concerns or questions with you. This is the best way to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Open communication will also help mitigate any bumps along the way. After all, the employees involved in a process may come across a potential issue. If they feel comfortable approaching you, then you can address this issue right away. If they don’t feel comfortable communicating with you, it can lead to a major problem.
As part of your communication, do your best to be transparent, especially about your insurance agency’s plans. If your employees know your new goals, they will be more motivated to adapt. They will also remain more positive even with growing pains.
Encourage Confidence Across the Team
Growing a business is daunting for everyone involved. As the owner or manager, you may wonder if you are up to the challenge of growing your insurance agency or if you are going about it in the right way. Similarly, your employees may not feel confident that they see the new vision or understand a new process.
Practice confidence for yourself and encourage your employees to do the same. Focus on positives and what you have already achieved. This should give you the confidence to push through. Encourage your employees to have the same positive attitude. You can further boost their confidence by highlighting things they’ve done well.
As your insurance agency grows, you will face challenges. But with proper planning of long-term goals, you can overcome them. On top of that, make communication a priority and help your team gain confidence in their skills, especially with new processes.