If you haven’t established a road map for agency growth for 2023, it’s time to put pen to paper and make a plan. There are the usual things to consider, along with some additional items that will play a role in your strategic planning. Let’s review some of them.
Know Your Vision
Document your vision for the upcoming year and determine how you will bring your vision to life. Perform a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis to evaluate your business both internally and externally. Look at what your agency does well and where you can improve to meet your goals.
Prioritize Your Goals
Break your goals down so that they are achievable. Consider your resources (financial, staffing, technology, MGA and carrier partners) and prioritize each initiative accordingly.
Go In-Office, Remote, or Hybrid
Many agencies have already shifted from remote work back to the in-office model, while others are still determining what will work best for their company and employees. Do you need all your employees in the office to achieve your goals? Can some employees continue to work at home, or is it best to continue the hybrid model you currently have in place?
Outsource or Not
If part of your strategic planning involves ramping up to expand your footprint in a specific niche market or geographic area, ensure you have the staff to meet your objectives. Do you need more producers and account representatives to realize your goals? Consider outsourcing your back-office operations to free up your current staff to focus on sales and marketing and growing the business. Several outsourcing companies specialize in back-office insurance services, which may be a more economical route for your agency. You will eliminate the need to recruit, hire, onboard, and train additional staff. It’s something you may want to consider for 2023.
Upgrade Technology and Systems
In addition to having the staffing resources to achieve your 2023 goals, your tech must be up to speed. If your legacy system is slowing you down, consider investing in a new platform to help you with your insurance processes and speed to market. Changing systems takes time, so begin now. You also want to ensure your applications are current and cyber secure.
Create a Marketing Plan
Do you have a marketing plan for 2023 to achieve your sales targets? Again, let’s say you’re planning to expand your agency’s footprint in a niche market. You may want to gain market share in the restaurant, construction, real estate, or transportation sectors. You have the insurance products and carrier to place the business; now, you must convey your messaging to your target audience. Your marketing plan should detail how you will generate leads for your salespeople to get in front of prospective clients who fit your demographics. This includes:
- Purchasing the right prospect list
- Training staff on the niche market if it is a brand-new segment
- Updating your website with your products offering
- Establishing an ongoing marketing campaign that includes lead/nurture emails, outbound calling, advertising in trade magazines, networking at trade conferences, holding insurance webinars, and other strategies
- Ensuring you can respond quickly with quotes and policy binding
To stay on track and measure results, identify which key performance indicators (KPIs) you will analyze. Share these KPIs with the staff responsible for new sales, cross-sales, and account selling so everyone understands their goals and expectations.
Plan for Uncertainty
As professionals in the insurance industry, we know the importance of having a plan B, especially in today’s economy. Make sure you can pivot if need be. For example, talent supply is tight, so have a backup – that may mean using a temporary staffing company or outsourcing tasks as previously discussed. Be sure your agency is agile enough to keep working efficiently wherever your staff may be. With a challenging insurance market, particularly in specific niche segments and coverage lines, ensure your team is well trained to respond to customer inquiries.
Here’s to a great 2023!