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.

To Improve Profitability and Sales, ‘Fire’ Your Small Commercial Accounts

We all know about the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 rule. It also applies when analyzing the profitability and the work required for an agency’s book of business. Roughly 20% of the accounts generate 80% of the revenue, and 20% of …

Motivating Employees During the COVID Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has led to various versions of lockdowns and quarantine orders, which are now being revised during the summer due to a resurgence of cases. Many businesses still have workers who are now required to work remotely. With …

What’s New Today in Producer Compensation?

What makes a good and motivating producer compensation model does not need to be rocket science. The key is to pay what the agency can afford to pay and for what the firm is providing the producers. Lastly, the plan …

Coronavirus Effect on Agency Value

Life has changed for everyone since the lockdown of US citizens and businesses a few weeks ago by our local and federal governments. No one can really believe that in such a short time, beginning mid-March, that our lives could …

Account Manager and CSR Roles and Performance

Account managers are the backbone of an agency. Account managers (AM) are also called customer service representatives (CSR) and are critical to the agency’s reputation. Many are the key to retention, and clients look to them to get their needs …

Things to Consider When Using Agency Partnership Groups

Regardless of agency size, sometimes it is difficult to get access to all the markets that might be needed for the agency’s clients. Most standard markets will have some sort of volume requirement and some might limit the number of …

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 …