Articles by Catherine Oak

Oak is the founder of the consulting firm, Oak & Associates, based in Northern California and Central Oregon. Oak & Associates. Phone: 707-935-6565. Email: catoak@gmail.com.

How to Find New Producers

Most of our agency clients tell us they have a hard time finding producers. They want to know where to look and how to bring them in. It is not an easy task to find someone with experience from another …

Compensating Personal Lines Producers & Account Managers

Personal lines production seems to be a larger focus now for property/casualty agencies today. A question that our clients often ask us is regarding how to compensate personal lines staff for production. The short answer is it depends on the …

10 Rules for Family Businesses

Family businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy. There are 5.5 million family businesses in the United States. According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, about 90% of American businesses are family-owned or controlled. Ranging in size from …

Due Diligence Pitfalls and Solutions

Mergers and acquisitions continue to occur at a very fast pace, despite COVID-19, election results, unemployment, natural disasters, etc. After price and terms are negotiated, and a letter of intent is executed, then it is time for buyers and their …

Extreme Systemization and Stratification of Agency Operations

A few years ago, Catherine had a total knee replacement by an excellent orthopedic surgeon in Fremont, Calif. Dr. John Dearborn was recommended by two of our insurance clients that have had incredible success. This surgeon implemented “systematic processing” of …

Sales Management & Producer Goals During COVID-19

Every insurance agency client we have today is seeing producers struggling with new production because of COVID-19 restrictions. They are used to cold calling and getting in front of prospects and that has been difficult, if not non-existent. In addition, …

Internal Perpetuation Versus Sale of the Agency

Death and taxes are as inevitable as life itself. Yet most fail to plan for the inevitable. An ounce of early preparation is worth a pound of last-minute maneuvering. Thinking through the eventual exit ahead of time allows you to …

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 …

The Closing Window of Opportunity, or Is It?

As merger and acquisition consultants, we wonder how long unusually high EBITDA multiples will be paid by buyers. Most of our insurance agency clients have not seen dramatic losses of commissions and fees during COVID-19, mostly because of not having …

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 …