My flight instructor, Mike Denton, says learning to fly an airplane well is not something you can write a check for - you have to do the work.
The same thing is true with learning about the insurance business, starting an independent insurance agency, and being successful as an insurance agency entrepreneur. But here's the thing: learning to fly a complex airplane isn't something you do all by yourself. And neither is something as complicated, time-consuming, and new to you as starting an agency of your own. That's where coaching comes in.
Is it hard to start an insurance agency?
This is a great time to start an independent insurance agency, and with all the information available you may think all it takes is some capital and getting office space and a license. Sole proprietorship is exciting, but it can get lonely, especially if you don’t have experience in the insurance industry or contacts with insurance companies.
A coach can make the journey easier and faster, so your company gets started on the right foot, avoids pitfalls, and grows quickly.
What Can a Growth Coach Help with?
See the future
I had a great coach and mentor when learning to fly this new airplane: Mike was there all the time, making sure that if I made a mistake, he could fix it. He was anticipating things that I didn't have the experience to anticipate. So we were prepared.
The same thing is true when starting an insurance agency. That's why at One Agents Alliance we use agency growth coaches, who have been in the insurance industry for decades and have seen it all before. They will help our independent agent members master the ability to start a business, grow their book of business, develop their business plan, and run outstanding insurance agencies. But they can't do it for you. The owner still has to do the work.
Correct course when you're off track
If you don’t have a lot of experience in the industry, you are likely to make expensive mistakes, which you may not notice until it’s too late. A mentor has seen it all and will be quick to point out mistakes and risks so you can correct your course and fix problems before they become so expensive that they set you back.
One of the things my pilot instructor did really well for me was that as soon as I mastered something, he added complexity. He continued to add complexity all through our training environment. What that did for me was allowing me to learn just that much faster. Growth coaches do the same thing with agencies - as soon as an agency owner masters something (such as agency management systems, types of insurance products, or errors and omissions coverage) they add something else, and then they add something else on top of that. And that's why OAA members get off to such a great start and develop so quickly: It's because they have great mentors.
What an Insurance Agency Coach Cannot Do
Do the work for you
But successful agents also are committed to their own success as a small business. They know what Mike told me is true, which is that they have to do their due diligence and they have to do the work. Start-up costs and office space are not cheap, and insurance carriers won’t fall over themselves to work with you at first. As the owner of an independent insurance agency you are primarily responsible for their own success or failure if they don't do the work.
After all. becoming a successful business owner is not something you can write a check to someone else to make happen. You have to do it yourself.