A Step-by-step Guide
At some point in your career you will start to question what you want to do with your business when you no longer want to remain active in it. The choices can be difficult planning your exit from your business. It's your life’s work and likely represents decades of blood sweat and tears. All the more reason you should be carefully creating a succession plan before you need one.
There are big risks for not having a succession plan. Let’s look at some of those.
Loss of mission critical knowledge that may never be recovered
Potential disruptions to workplace processes, workflows, and protocols
Naming a successor who lacks personal drive, commitment, knowledge
Confidence in the organization's stability and reliability going ahead
Significant loss of time spent getting a new successor up to speed
Disruptions in operations can lead to financial losses or missed opportunities
Succession planning is the process of identifying very important positions in the organization and creating a talent pipeline, by preparing employees to fill vacancies in their organization as others retire or move on.
A successor is an employee with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to fill a vacant position until a permanent replacement can be identified.
Succession planning helps ensure business continuity and performance. Even when there is no identifiable successor , succession planning can help identify the skills and training needed in a future candidate.
What are my options as an independent agent?
For the most part, there are 3 options you have as an independent agent.
1. Let your current book of business run off
2. Let a family member or partner take over
3. Sell your book of business
Let your current book of business run off
This is probably the least ideal option available to you. By not servicing your business you are not taking care of your customers.
Sure, at first it might seem like the easiest option. You stop servicing your clients, continue to get paid, and you may not even notice a drop off right away.
I assure you this will be short lived. As soon as your clients need help and you’re not there for them, they will look for help elsewhere, and other agents will be more than happy to explain how you intended to just lay back and make money off of them, without lifting a finger.
Your book of business will slowly, or even quickly begin to fade away. All those years of hard work slipping away. What a waste, right?
Let a family member or partner take over
If you have someone in a position to take over your business this is a great option. Of course, it takes time to get someone up to speed with your business model and all the things that go into running your business.
If you have someone working directly with you, then this makes things easier. If not, well, that’s the point of the succession plan. To plan out how to get that individual up to speed, so they will be able to step in when you are ready to step out.
You will need to decide how the financing will be handled. There are endless ways to structure this, but at the end of the day, you will be getting paid as your business continues to thrive.
With this option you have the piece of mind that the business you put so much effort into will continue to help, not just your clients, but the new owners of the company for years to come.
Sell your book of business - You will likely have the option to sell your book of business to another agency or upline partnership. Agencies are always looking for a good book of business to expand their own.
Keep in mind, having a CRM in place will be a big deal when it comes time to sell. Most companies are going to want to import all the info from your business into their own CRM. This makes servicing the business far more feasible than if all of the information was on paper.
When you partner with Precision Senior Marketing, you join a family of independent companies that make up the industry’s most powerful distribution network — all while maintaining the autonomy to run your business that you’ve worked so hard to build. What you get is a strong partner and an industry-leading platform that help you stay competitive, attract and retain talent, grow your revenue, expand your business ambitions and secure your legacy.
At Precision Senior Marketing, we actively partner with, invest in, and nurture the businesses we have the pleasure of serving. We firmly believe in the enduring relevance of independent insurance agents and agencies. We invite you to join us in shaping the future of this dynamic industry.
Recognizing the imminent transformation of the independent insurance agency landscape in the coming decade, we are committed to spearheading the next generation of this industry. That's precisely why we extend our specialized agency acquisition services to independent agencies and agents. We are dedicated to empowering these agencies to thrive and excel in an evolving market. If you would be interested in a consultation, please contact us today to learn more.