A SWOT analysis provides an overall look at your company and helps you see exactly where you can improve your agency, introduce a new service or change your processes.
The past couple of months have been challenging for everyone, and while it may be tempting for businesses to just go back to business-as-usual as they reopen, now is the perfect opportunity to rebuild a stronger operation. With the right strategy in place, you can eliminate the blocks and challenges to your growth. A SWOT analysis can help with this.
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It can provide an overall look at your company, help you see exactly where you can rebuild your agency, and decide if you need to introduce a new service or change your processes.
By listing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, you can quickly spot areas to focus your energy on. A breakdown of the four SWOT elements can help you determine how you can grow your insurance agency.
Strengths. List the factors that set you apart from the competition. What do you do best? Think about why your customers come to you and stay. For example, many people choose an independent insurance agent for personalized service and the human element they offer.
Other strengths you might have include a solid community reputation or unique expertise.
Weaknesses. Next, list the ways that your insurance agency could improve. What drives customers away from you and towards your competition? It can be painful to take an honest look at the ways your company is falling short. Without a comprehensive understanding of your weaknesses, though, you won't be able to find critical areas of growth.
A common reason customers decide to choose larger corporations is the convenience, especially regarding technology, that lets them conveniently handle their policies and shop for insurance. If you rely on phone calls and paper transactions, you are at a significant disadvantage.
Other potential disadvantages might be overwhelmed staff, inefficient processes that lead to high overhead costs, or poor marketing and outreach techniques
Opportunities. Identify where your company can grow, such as by offering a new service, market or area. Opportunities are how you can continue to outpace your competition and grow your business.
The greatest opportunity lies in the customer base that you already have. Concentrate on ways that you can continue to build relationships with your current customers. Your existing customers will help you sell more, retain your customers longer, and grow through referrals. Consider the opportunity that lies in proactively recommending policies based on customer profiles.
Networking is often a critical opportunity for agents. Building a reputation within the community can be a way to create a presence, while building relationships with other businesses can also provide valuable referrals.
Some more opportunities you might want to consider include innovative technology, new demographics, or emerging client needs
Threats. Threats can come from within your company, through the changing market, or even within the industry and changing regulations.
For many agencies, convenience is a threat. Your customers can quickly and easily shop for the best policy for them. It's no longer a painstaking process to figure out what your competitors are selling. Other threats might include local competitors, increases in insurance rates or rising unemployment
Developing a SWOT Strategy
Once you have created a list for each category, display them side-by-side to get an overall picture of your company. You will probably see patterns in each list to help you identify your most pressing issues. Identify ways you can use your strengths to take full advantage of opportunities, mitigate foreseeable threats and overcome your weaknesses.
Having a list alone is not enough to help your company. Use your SWOT analysis to create an actionable plan as you begin to open your business again.
Business growth is the result of taking intentional decisions, and a SWOT analysis can provide you with critical insights to make the best decisions for your agency.
Ido Deutsch is head of growth at Agentero. Agentero helps independent agents to boost their revenue, save time, and deliver a superior customer experience.