Articles by Catherine Oak and Bill Schoeffler

Oak is the founder of the consulting firm, Oak & Associates, based in Northern California and Central Oregon. Oak & Associates. Phone: 707-936-6565. Email: catoak@gmail.com.

Industry Trends to Exploit for 2020

The insurance industry is so intertwined into the economy and society, that just about any noticeable change in either will have some impact for the insurance industry. That is why it is imperative for agency owners to watch and learn …

How to Lower Agency Value

As the M&A frenzy continues, buyers keep pushing the envelope when it comes to agency value. The private equity firms were initially paying top dollar to their first acquisition of a large, well-run firm platform acquisition. But now, many of …

Financial Management 101

Typically, financial management is learned on the job rather than through formal training. Agency owners frequently start off as producers, so selling is their strength, not dealing with credits and debits. It is not unusual for some business owners to …

Agency Management 101

When it comes to business management, there are “best practices, “bad practices” and then there is “what works for the business at the time.” Every business has its unique characteristics due to size, location, products and services, clients, and especially …

What Is Your Agency’s Sales Strategy?

Sales are the lifeblood of any business. So, one would think that each company will have a well-thought-out sales strategy. The reality is that most insurance agencies have, at best, a general outline of a sales strategy. More often than …

Why Agencies Should Ramp Up Value-Added Services

Let’s face it, insurance is a commodity. The insurance consumer will not see any significant value difference between insurance companies and insurance agencies. Products, price and service are roughly the same. Consumers have new options to access insurance through, as …

Pay for Performance

Why Agencies Should Rethink Compensation The single largest expense in an insurance agency is compensation. Salaries, commissions, payroll taxes and benefits usually total between 50 percent to 75 percent of revenue, with most firms having an expense ratio around 65 …

How to Conduct an E&O Self Audit

Mistakes happen. After all, we are human. That is why insurance agencies have agency errors and omissions (E&O) coverage. Even with the support of E&O coverage, an E&O claim can take its toll on the people involved and the agency. …

Industry Trends to Exploit for 2019

It is time to take out our crystal ball and plan for 2019 and how our insurance industry will be impacted by the trends around us. Those that consider these changes, and plan ahead, will usually be in a better …

Preparing to Sell the Agency

There seems to be an insatiable frenzy of agency acquisitions for many years now, with private equity firms and publicly traded brokers taking the lion’s share. These well-funded buyers are paying a premium well over what a local peer independent …