Have you had your fill of platitudes and magic bullet solutions to your agency’s problems?
Do you wish there was a source of accurate and credible information on what the top agencies are really doing that makes them successful?
Certainly it would help many agencies improve upon revenues and profits if they could tap into the accumulated wisdom of the top agencies in the country, many of which are in their same revenue bracket. The ability to compare your results with theirs is invaluable; it helps you establish realistic, attainable benchmarks for each operation in your agency. The time is now to enjoy making more money, have more success and generally have a better time in this business.
These resources already exist as part of IIABA’s Best Practices program. The annual study the team conducts originated in 1993 and has served as a tool to help agency owners and managers understand how their business operations perform and measure up to the top-performing firms of similar size across the country.
Once every three years, IIABA asks insurance companies, state associations and other industry organizations for nominations of the best and most professional agencies in each of several revenue categories. The nominated agencies are then invited to participate. They must be willing to share key business practices and philosophies, as well as to complete an in-depth survey detailing their financial and operational yearend results. Those results are then scored and ranked objectively for inclusion on the basis of operational excellence. In 2010, more than 1,200 agencies were nominated, but only 224 were selected. Their year-end results and business practices were then complied and became the 2011 Best Practices benchmarks.
The study provides critical performance benchmarks in six agency revenue categories ranging from less than $1.25 million to more than $25 million. Agencies can measure, evaluate and compare results for agency operations including:
- Income and expense distribution
- Revenue and profitability growth
- Production and service staff compensation/productivity
- Technology expenses
- P-C and L-H company representation
Have you ever wondered what appropriate pay for a CSR at an agency of like size and in the same geographic area should be? Or how much business the average person can handle before they need help?
Training new producers and setting up their compensation packages is often a tricky procedure to navigate as well. How much business should we expect them to write, and how long should it take them to validate? Knowing how many companies to represent and how to plan more effectively with them is also important. What about setting up financials to insure a minimum 10% annual profit every year? There are so many questions when it comes to running an independent insurance agency—and you’ll find all of your answers with IIABA’s Best Practices. You just need to look.
As I have mentioned before, as I travel around the country, I’m often asked why I belong to our association, and what products are available to the average-sized agent. The Best Practices program is always one of the first things I mention. These tools will help you. They’ll make you better today, as well as position you well for whatever the future will bring. What a benefit!
Access the electronic executive update of this study at www.independentagent.com and at http://bp.reaganconsulting.com.
From the Best Practices gateway homepage, users can:
- View an HTML version of the current and past Best Practices Study executive updates.
- Download a Best Practices comparison spreadsheet with year-end results.
- Access other Best Practices studies, tools and products.
- Download order forms.
If you have questions about the study, just call the IIABA education department at 800-221-7917 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The team is always happy to help you, and this truly is good stuff!
—Michael Donohoe, Big “I” Chairman