Minding Your Business

Dressing Up for the Wedding: Agency Operations, Part 1

Business owners have a lot to consider when running a successful business. Unfortunately, many do not consider an exit strategy, especially in the early years of the business. Agency owners without an exit strategy will sometimes make decisions based on …

Stop Selling Like It’s 1985

There is a video on YouTube by Jim Muehlhausen of CEO Focus called “Stop Selling Like It is 1985.” It has some great points about the changes that have occurred in the sales process due to the Internet. The example …

Offering Value Added Services

Insurance producers sell roughly the same product as their competitor. The competitive edge often touted by producers is that their firm “has the best service” or “this policy has broader coverage” or some other generalization. Price is handled by adjusting …

Creating Performance-Based Compensation

For many businesses and employees, the standard business model is for the employer to pay the employee a fixed salary based on a basic understanding that the employee will perform certain tasks. Compensation might be altered based on some variables …

How to Attain What Agencies Want in 6 Easy Steps

There’s a very simple formula for getting whatever you want for your agency. This is so simple it seems trivial and few people follow it. But if these steps are followed, agency owners can create anything they want in the …

Profile of a Great Account Manager

What ingredients make up a good account manager? What do you look for in terms of skills, knowledge, education and experience? Which responsibilities should management give them? The answers to these questions – which will vary by agency – determine …

Industry Trends to Exploit for 2015

It’s time to get out the crystal ball to think about what trends might help or hurt the agency in the coming year. By being proactive and strategic, agencies could stay ahead of the competition. And if today’s trends can …

Perpetuation Planning – Part Two

Last month’s “Minding Your Business” column explored a few reasons an agency might perpetuate the firm, the four common techniques to transfer ownership, pros and cons, and some options for internal perpetuation. This month’s column will discuss the remaining most …

Perpetuation Planning – Part One

Long before owners want to retire, perpetuation planning should begin. The four major techniques to transfer ownership of a business are: Internal sale to key employees, including family members. Sale of the business to an outside firm. Merging with another …

Finding and Selling to Ideal Clients

When an agency is started, most new owners will be happy to sell their products or services to anyone that is willing to buy. After all, one needs to have paying clients to stay in business! However, this approach is …

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