In today’s fast-paced landscape, starting an insurance brokerage and building it beyond a going concern is essential to remaining competitive long-term. To take the next step and grow your insurance brokerage while maintaining your usual high standard, however, takes careful planning and a wealth of support.
On this page, you’ll find exactly that: a step-by-step guide to growing your brokerage, packed with expert tips and useful resources to streamline your growth journey.
Use a tool like DUAL’s WebRater to obtain a near-instant quotation and binding.
Keeping your target in mind is key to your success — especially when the going gets tough. An essential first step is to identify why you want to grow, and what you’re growing towards.
Set some goals and KPIs to measure your success. Remember, keep these goals SMART:
Break your overall growth target down into smaller steps and start with essential, practical goals — like accumulating 3 months’ working capital to tide you over unforeseen challenges. Further segment these cumulative goals into short term (1 year), mid-term (3 years) and long term (5+years) categories — helping to keep them attainable.
Related: If you’re still wondering whether being an independent broker is all it’s cracked up to be, you may want to check out this blog post.
Related: Accomplished brokers weigh in on what you need to run a successful insurance brokerage on our resource page, The Broker’s Baseline.
Don’t be everything to everyone! Key to your success is defining your ideal customer or audience — this stops you from diluting your core messaging and service portfolio. Take some time to identify who you’d like to work with and what their key challenges are that your service offering can solve. For example, you could choose to focus exclusively on the fintech, retail or professional services sector.
Once you’ve profiled who you’d like to communicate with, consider what you’ll be sharing. In other words, define your value proposition — the key promise you make your clients — and make this prominent across your website and in all communications. Complete this stage by outlining your “Reasons To Believe” (RTB) — the 3-to-5 reasons why your audience should believe your claim.
Once you’ve defined your audience, value proposition and RTBs, consider your range of products and services. To grow your insurance brokerage, pare down your products and services to ones that clearly address your audience’s primary needs.
While you can still offer peripheral solutions, your core product offers need to be foregrounded for website visitors, on your sales documentation and so on.
This is easier if you’re just starting your insurance brokerage. If your business is already a going concern, with an established products and service portfolio, you may have to restructure your portfolio to align with your new goals. Be prepared to phase out certain offerings, extend others and/or build new ones before you take the next step.
To reap the financial rewards of a larger brokerage, you’ll need a clear, strategic financial model to get you there. Smart money management governs how successful you’ll be as a growing brokerage and sets up a sustainable model for your future, larger-scale business.
If your finances have been ad-hoc until now, it’s time to create some order. Our favourite tips for effective financial management include:
Your sales and marketing strategy determines how well you connect and communicate with your target audience. Establish and/or streamline your sales and marketing strategy to align with your growth goals — what worked when you were a one-person start-up may not be the right approach to propel you to where you aim to be in 5 years’ time.
Here are three areas to consider:
Remember, these processes are iterative. For example, the tools your sales team needs to achieve your short- or mid-term goals, may not be sufficient to power you over your long-term finish line. Revise and update your strategy every 6–12 months, using data to identify what’s working and where you need to course-correct.
Related: Get tangible ways to use broker tools and processes to remain ahead of the curve, in our blog post: 5 Tips To Remain Competitive With Your Brokerage.
Attract the right talent
A growing business is a changing one; the skill-sets you need as you start your insurance brokerage or while it’s a going concern are radically different from those you’d need to grow. Assess who you’ve got on hand and identify any skills gaps that need to be filled to achieve your goal.
Alongside strategic new hires, you can reassign/restructure roles and transition existing employees into mandates that more closely align with your needed skills sets. A third avenue is to consider outsourcing non-core functions — this can be a cost-saver and free up your internal team to focus on specialist work.
Dive into the details of which roles you’d need (and when), in our blog post: 5 Tips for Smart Staff Hires That Grow Your Insurance Brokerage.
Retain the talent that helps you grow
Low staff turnover makes for a stronger business. You’ll gain the support of dedicated company experts, deliver a better customer experience, avoid the costs of on boarding new hires, and benefit from the increased productivity of a well-oiled, experienced team.
As you embark on your growth journey, consider how you’ll retain your top team players. Change can be a stressful time for everyone; what you offer can make or break their decision to take on the challenge with you. The following can boost talent retention:
Wherever possible, automate! Using tools that speed up manual processes go faster will save you time and money — resources which can be reallocated towards achieving your growth goals.
Which tools do your sales and marketing teams, and insurance brokers, need? Which are essential, and which may be “nice-to-haves”?
There are a host of industry-agnostic platforms available, but you may want to start with specialist tools and technology that focus on equipping your business core — your insurance brokers. Our favourites are: the DUAL WebRater and our specialist, broker document library.
The WebRater is an online trading platform that lets you get a quote and bind a policy in under 2 minutes, while the document library hosts quick-access templates of proposal and claims forms, fact sheets, NCDs and more.
As you grow, you’ll need to know what tech to invest in at each stage and when to prioritise it. Check out these 3 Essential Tips On Tech Tools For Brokers and get expert insights that help you craft the perfect tech solution.
Make sure you have plans in place to drive customer delight and retention. The only timeless marketing tactic is word of mouth: a world-class customer experience defines whether you attract and retain enough clients to grow sustainably.
There’s no need to over-engineer the customer experience (CX) either. You could start with simple things such as: offering long-standing clients better rates, being able to sign documents without needing to print them, and sending personalised birthday messages.
Brainstorm a list of tactics at your disposal and consider the impact of each against the effort it requires and/or the costs involved. This will help you prioritise achievable ways to deliver the best CX, at the right stage of your client’s journey with you.
Further, identify where your CX is weakest and how to improve it. If you’re struggling to attract clients, read this blog post for practical Tips on Broker Tools & Processes To Land Clients For Your Brokerage. Is your client onboarding a mess? Resources like this blog post, can help: 5 Client Onboarding Tips For Your Brokerage. Or, if you’ve attracted and on boarded them successfully, but you’re finding retention a challenge, you may want to check out the advice in our blog post: 5 Ways to Mitigate Your Risk of Losing Key Clients.
Finally, remember to draw on the tools you have to pre-empt and smooth potential roadblocks. The WebRater, for instance, helps pre-empt upcoming renewal discussions by sending brokers reminder notifications when they’re due. This way, you’ll never be caught unawares, and be well-prepared for a successful renewal after a well-timed reaching out to your client.
Insurance is simply too competitive a sector to tolerate stagnation. If you’re not growing, you risk being muscled out as your competitors grow. In this industry, growing is surviving and needs to be a part of your insurance brokerage business plan. Thankfully, resources like this page, the WebRater and the entire DUAL team are available to support you at every stage of your growth journey.
Download your free PDF copy of this page to share, or keep on hand as a reference. Why not begin your growth curve today? Click the button below and request a quote using our WebRater — and see how it can help you grow your insurance brokerage.