Do you have what it takes to be your own boss? Many people, frustrated with the volatility of the current job market, are asking that question. You might be tired of answering to the whims of a manager who might not have your best interest at heart. Perhaps you’re frustrated with not being recognized for your contributions to the company. Maybe you’ve always had a good business sense, a solid work ethic, and the drive to grow professionally and financially. If any of those things are true, you are an entrepreneur in waiting. You might simply need the right idea or opportunity for your own company.
The insurance industry, with a low startup cost and minimal experience needed, could be the answer to everything you’re looking for. Take a look at the following steps of how to start an insurance business in the U.S. This might be all you need for motivation to call the shots, become recognized as a successful businessperson, and grow your career.
1. Franchise or Independent Business Model?
The first decision you need to make is if you want to build your own company from the ground up or join an existing team of professionals with a proven track record and brand recognition. The former can be a tough road to travel. After all, you’re literally starting from nothing when you decide to bootstrap and start a company on your own.
If you choose to start an independent organization, you’ll need to do everything yourself, from securing a location to financing, hiring, training, building processes and systems, establishing a recognizable name, and more. This will require a highly skilled innate sense to run a business. Even then, a lot of things have to break correctly to succeed.
If you choose to join the existing team and established brand, you’re talking about investing in an insurance franchise. When you do this, just about all of the struggles that come with an independent agency are addressed by the parent company. You’re still your own boss and in charge of making decisions related to hiring, customer service, and more.
However, you’ll have support in the site selection process, financing options, and training staff. You’ll also receive the same systems and processes that have already proven effective for other owners. Most importantly, you’ll have the brand recognition to make profits right away. People know an existing brand when they see it and are naturally more comfortable developing a relationship with you than they would be if you were an unknown company.
2. Choose Your Location
Site location can be more difficult than it sounds. In fact, this is where a lot of independent owners get tripped up. They see a location that seems right, but for reasons that aren’t plain to the inexperienced businessperson, it just doesn’t work out well.
By starting an insurance business under the franchise model, you’ll have help in choosing just the right location. The franchisor has already done this countless times, so they know what works and what doesn’t. Work with them, and you won’t need to worry about your spot on the map as an impediment to your success.
3. Secure and Flexible Financing
Make sure you have enough money to not only hire capable talent, but buy all the necessary technology and office equipment needed to operate the business. The initial franchise fee, which should be included in the business plan for an insurance agent, could run anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000. After you sign the agreement, you’ll need to purchase the necessary equipment for operations. All totaled, you’re looking at somewhere between $50,000 and $75,000 to get started.
Don’t let those figures scare you away from your entrepreneurial endeavors. If you don’t have a lot of cash to start with, most insurance franchises will help you with flexible financing options. You can make small payments at a reasonable interest rate. The payments will be a small draw on your location’s profits until the loan is paid. After that, you’ll attain an even greater return on investment.
4. Become a Licensed Agent
Many people make the mistake of thinking they need to be a licensed agent for several years—even decades—before they could operate their own agency. Truthfully, you can buy into an existing coverage company with no experience. The parent company will only require an ability to conduct operations efficiently, manage people well, and provide excellent customer service.
The license is almost a formality. You sign up for a study program, take the test and Voila!, you become a licensed agent. That is why there is no need to get bogged down in fulfilling this requirement right away. Deciding on a business model, choosing your location, and securing proper financing should come first. Then, you can get that license and prepare to sell, sell, sell!
5. Hire Your Staff
No company can be successful without great people. Starting an insurance business means prioritizing talent. During the recruitment process, know what you’re looking for when hiring the people who will represent your organization. Remember, customer service is big as a policy provider. You want to onboard team members who treat the customer with friendliness, respect, and professionalism.
Hiring staff is more than looking at a resume. Someone could be a graduate of the Harvard Business School and come with all sorts of amazing credentials. If they don’t possess people skills to serve your customer or get along well with the rest of your company, they won’t be a good fit. Look for personality traits as well as qualifications.
6. Promote Your Business
This is where the fun begins. You’ve gone through the necessary steps of finding a place of operations, getting the necessary cash lined up, becoming licensed, and hiring great people. Now, it’s time to let the world know that you’re ready to exceed all their expectations for their coverage needs. As part of the franchise business model, you will be able to lean on their marketing and support efforts to promote your business. All you need to do is take advantage of the franchisor’s assistance, cut the ribbon, open the doors, and let the profits come in!
Now that you have a step-by-step guide of how to get started as a franchise owner, give Freeway Franchise a call at (877) 822-3024 or fill out our quick online form. We’re always looking to work with smart, driven, and entrepreneurial-minded people to own and operate a location with our brand name. Your success is our success. Join our team today!