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.

Effective Sales Management & Producer Performance

Who is responsible for sales management in most firms? Often the task falls to the owner or the top producer in the firm. This is not necessarily a good idea, because sales management can take away time from the manager’s …

The Evolution of Insurance Agencies

To paraphrase Mark Twain — reports of the demise of insurance agencies have been greatly exaggerated. The local agency has been the backbone of the industry and the target of outside forces that have been trying to eliminate or usurp …

Financial Management 101

What makes the difference between an average agency owner and a great one? The key is learning the skills of financial management. There are many times that consultants are called in to assisst owners with financial problems. Some owners have …

Business Planning Made Easy

If agency owners haven’t created the annual business plan, it is not too late. It is best to take a good look at the past and reflect on how the agency has been operating over the past year. Operations may …

Why Strategic Business Planning Works

A strategic business plan is very important to make sure that the business is successful. So why is it that only 15% of small businesses actually have a plan? It may seem like a daunting task to write out the …

Perpetuation Tools of Gifting of Stock & GRATs

For family businesses, the key is to understand everyone’s needs and expectations and then design a plan well in advance of the transfer of ownership. Two great ways to “leave your business” are gifting and the GRAT. Gifting Amount In …

Industry Trends to Exploit for 2022

It is imperative for agency owners to watch and learn about major trends when they start. Following are the eight key trends that insurance agencies should be tracking for 2022. 1. Insurtech Technology Insurance and technology are like oil and …

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 …