Whether you are running an agency or pursuing another business venture, running a small business can be time consuming and, if not done properly, expensive! Especially during the start-up phase, spending your time and money efficiently is key to longevity in the insurance industry. Here are some tips and tricks to help save you big time.
Just because you are an independent insurance agent does not mean you cannot build a team around you. There are certainly going to be tasks from time to time that are better suited for an expert. Hiring a freelance contractor to help build your website, run your marketing, or take care of your accounting can leave you more time to actually focus on what you do best. ASNOA agents have the benefit of some of these services already included in their network membership.
You can pay a fixed rate for these services as well so that you know exactly what you are getting. That way, you do not have contractors racking up hours on a project that should have been completed in an hour or two. Contractors are often hungry for more work, especially if they know a client is going to be reliable and consistent. You can negotiate with them by offering a year-long contract, opportunities for growth, and access to your services.
Give a young and ambitious student, freelancer, or entrepreneur a chance. If they don’t have much experience, they may be willing to help out for free or for well below the average market price. If you aren’t ready to pay a student, you may even consider offering an unpaid internship so that they can still get the experience.
Go fully remote
The world has officially embraced the remote work lifestyle, which means you can, too. Doing so can remove hefty rent expenses from your budget for good.
How many clients do you actually meet in person anyway? Can those meetings be done online, at a café, or out for lunch or dinner? If you still have an office that you are not utilizing as much, it could be time to consider going fully remote and working entirely from home.
If you aren’t ready to close your office quite yet, consider negotiating with your landlord on rent. Your landlord might not have a prospective tenant and may be willing to work with you on a more flexible lease.
Keep your meetings short and sweet
Meetings can be one of the most time-consuming and expensive aspects of your business. Letting meetings run loose can cost you money since you are unable to focus on the other projects on your plate. Instead of scheduling using standard 30-minute or 60-minute blocks, try scheduling short 5-10 minute meetings. Always come prepared to meetings with an agenda, and be ready to end the meeting on time to stay focused on those other tasks.
Regularly review your expenses
Keep a close eye on what you are spending. Are there any subscriptions or services that you are paying for but not fully utilizing? Cut them right away. Those subscriptions or services will always be there if you need them, but don’t pay for them otherwise.
Buy in bulk
Are there any office supplies that you use a LOT of? Paper products or ink cartridges are a good example. Instead of buying one or two at a time, consider buying in bulk. Depending on how much you use, buying in bulk could easily save you a couple of hundred dollars.
Switch up your marketing
Marketing can be expensive, and you should always track these expenses to ensure that you are spending your dollars in all the right ways. If something is not working or you think it could be working better, do not be afraid to switch it up. You may even consider some old-school marketing strategies such as business cards, cold calling, or writing handwritten letters. The personal touch could make a big difference and save you money.
Hiring a marketing professional to help you is another way to save. You will have to pay for their expertise on top of your advertising budget, but that expertise could save you hundreds of dollars and land you some high-paying clients.
Encourage your clients to leave reviews
Reviews and word of mouth marketing are a staple of any successful business. If you have clients that are happy with your services, encourage them to leave a review and spread the word. Make it beneficial for them to do so by entering them into a random drawing for gift cards or other incentives.
No matter what stage your business is at, there are ways to save time and money, such as hiring interns, reducing time in meetings, going remote, or switching up your marketing, so that you can focus on the most profitable aspects of your business. ASNOA offers our independent agents additional services to help reduce time spent on behind the scenes business practices such as accounting, ongoing training, licensing, brokerage, and in-house wealth management. You can read more about our services here.