Minding Your Business

Gifting Agency Stock & Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts

Paul Simon wrote that there are “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” For business owners, there are a few less options, however, there are many more permutations of those options. For family businesses, the key is to understand everyone’s needs …

Agency Performance Enhancement with the Power of Habit

Imagine the effect on owners, managers, producers and staff if they knew how to improve anything they did by having a good understanding of how specifically the brain enforces great new habits. Managers can assist employees in learning from each …

How to Attract and Retain Great Employees

Today, successful high-performing businesses are developing creative programs to guide employees to focus on improving business performance and rewarding them for their contributions. The long-term winners will be companies that provide a flexible and challenging work environment, along with employee …

8 Industry Trends to Exploit for 2016

It is time to put on the thinking cap and roll up the sleeves to determine what needs to be done to put the firm in a great position for growth and profit in 2016. Those that like to be …

How to Perpetuate the Family Agency

In the past year, we have completed or are still in the middle of at least six business valuation and perpetuation cases involving family members or key employees (one party as buyer and one as seller). These cases and the …

Is Taking a Vacation a Good Way to Increase Agency Value?

Summer is over and the kids are back in school. Many of us spent a week or two away from our business. It is not easy for business owners to walk away from running their business for any length of …

Dressing Up for the Wedding: Book of Business, Part 2

You can’t take it with you. Every business owner will eventually “sell” his or her business. It can either be on terms the owner defines, or it can be based on whatever happens at the end. So, if an owner …

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 …

Minding Your Business Archives by Month