As the industry adjusts to changes, make sure your agency is ready to grow during these times.
2020 has brought its share of challenges. Insurance agents have had to pivot their business plans in ways we haven’t seen before. Many agents have transitioned from working in an office to working from home to continue to service their clients. Agents have had to manage changes to their book from declining income and unemployment of their policyholders, and premium deferrals made by many insurance companies.
With all the economic and workplace changes, the agencies that adapt quickly are the ones surviving and continuing to grow.
Adapting to unplanned changes can create costs that your agency might not be prepared for. As some agencies continue to work from home and others slowly move back into the workplace, it is important to have a strategy in place to help both employees and customers transition into a new normal.
Some things to consider:
- Does my office space provide a safe working environment for my employees?
- Do I have the technology resources to have employees continue to work from home and how do I monitor their productivity?
- Am I effectively communicating reopening plans to my customers?
- How am I going to pay for the changes that are necessary to keep my agency moving forward?
As you start to reopen your doors, ensure you have a plan in place to help both your employees and clients feel safe and welcome. You may need to increase your spending to maintain a higher level of sanitation throughout your office space. If your employees feel safe at work, they can take better care of their clients.
You might have to temporarily or permanently create a new office layout to allow for social distancing between employees or when meeting with a client.
Many agents have found that their employees have been able to maintain productivity while working from home. Some are moving to keep much of their workforce at home to reduce fixed overhead costs. In a recent survey, many agents concluded that although productivity remained high, there is a need to upgrade their phone and computer systems to ensure efficient employee access to customer records and communication.
Effectively communicating during these times is key to not only keeping clients but gaining new ones. Now more than ever, people are looking to see how businesses reacted to the changing environment and how they are supporting local businesses. Make sure you are communicating through your various marketing channels how your agency has adapted to the changes, supported both employees and clients during the pandemic, and how your plans for reopening are going.
Unfortunately, the changes you have endured or need to make may cost you precious working capital. Those expenses can add up quickly but are necessary to create a new normal in your office. Accessing a working capital loan or line of credit to help cover these costs, whether short term or long term, can alleviate the additional stress on your agency.
To learn more about how Providence Bank Agency Finance can help your agency access the working capital you need, review these helpful resources. Or, simply fill out a contact form today and someone will contact you.