I’ve noticed one glaringly obvious trait as I reflect on visits with independent agents across Ohio:
You agents are quite passionate when it comes to advising and protecting your clients.
You are laser focused on understanding your clients’ unique situations, matching the appropriate products with their needs, being their best advisors and finally, protecting them.
Exactly how each agency executes on this mission is unique, but all achieve the same core outcome.
The beauty in being an independent agency owner is that you have many options in how to run your business.
So many choices!
Independent agency owners have choices, many choices, in fact.
The choices an agency owner and agency staff make are what ultimately transform the clients' customer experience.
As an agency owner, you can decide what customers you want to target, carriers you want to work with, products you want to offer, niches you want to focus on, your agency location, management system, mix of business, organizational structure – I could go on.
The bottom line is that those are all choices you are able to make.
There is no set plan or road map that every independent agent is required to follow.
This reality is a beautiful thing for those who have an entrepreneurial spirit and taste for adventure (ever think you’d see “taste for adventure” in an article about the insurance industry?).
These choices set independent agents apart from their captive cousins, but this also creates a unique challenge.
The diversity within independent insurance agency models in the IA space could leave you unsure of how to establish a group of "peer agencies" and determine how you stack up.
You may have no way of knowing which model of decisions will set your agency up for the best chance to succeed.
Is my carrier mix optimal?
Am I competitive on producer compensation?
Am I using the right technology systems?
Is my organizational structure reasonable?
You just want to know if the decisions you have made in the agency up to this point have led you to an efficient model that is sustainable, or if there are other options that you should be considering, right?
Where can I find help?
And I know, there is a TON of information flooding your inbox every day telling you about the latest “silver bullet solution” in technology, marketing and sales.
But where can you go for a gut check on those messages, to find out if they are relevant to your marketplace, your situation and your reality?
OIA has the information to provide that resource.
We’ve done business with thousands of Ohio agencies for more than a century.
We have learned a great deal about the agencies that we serve.
We have watched some agencies grow and shift as the industry changes, while others have suffered.
It is our organization’s sole purpose to help independent agencies be successful.
We believe one way we can serve that mission is by using the information we have to create peer group resources and benchmarks that you can use to measure the performance of your agency.
We have an opportunity to leverage aggregate agency data for you, so you can use it to make sure the decisions you’re making in your agency will lead to a path of sustainable success.
Essentially, we’re giving you the power to use big data in a trustworthy, mutually beneficial and easy-to-understand way.
The last word
There is no single right way to run an agency.
Which means that these benchmarks are meant to serve as a guide, not an absolute.
They will certainly provide you with actionable insights as you are making decisions about the future of your agency.
In some cases, these benchmarks will be used to validate that an agency is on the right track.
In other cases, this information may be the strategic foundation on which a new path forward is set.
Either way, we want to help you where you are in your journey.
Knowledge is power.
We want to impart all the knowledge we have and empower you use it to make the best decisions possible for the future of your agency.
Find out how OIA can help you harness the power of big data in your agency.