The Basics of Growing an Independent Insurance Agency

By Tony Caldwell


Change your mindset.

The shift in mindset from being captive to becoming an independent insurance agent is a big one, but so is the shift between agent and agency owner. Read our free ebook and start thinking bigger than ever before - we will help you grow as a business owner until you make those dreams a reality.

Identify opportunities & build your foundation.

The easiest way to sell is to fulfill a need that no one else is covering. Study your market and seek out opportunities to establish yourself as an expert or a sole provider. Perhaps it’s selling auto insurance vs life insurance, focusing on a niche market, maybe your opportunity lies in personalized service - find the intersection between market needs and your defining values and skills, and start building from there.

Grow your business.

Going from being an independent agent to leading a growing agency will be exciting and daunting - you will need to hire a team, get office space, manage in a completely different way. We have helped many agencies grow, and we can help you every step of the way with training, services, tools, a solid marketing strategy, and more.

See what your income could be with an OAA membership.

1. Goal Setting

There cannot be growth without clear goals. Remember to make them SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

2. Increasing Agency Profits

It takes money to make money. Follow these strategies to enhance your sales process, grow your book of business, and increase your profits so you have more capital to reinvest into growing your agency.

3. Retention Strategies

Everyone knows it is much more expensive to get a new client than to keep an existing one. We have tips and advice that can help you keep your customers loyal.

4. Account Rounding

Make sure you are covering all of your customer’s insurance needs, understanding their needs, and offering what they don’t even know they need: life, auto, umbrella policies.

5. Hiring

The right team will help your agency grow faster. Hire carefully and intelligently, and invest in your team’s education and training. Build a great company culture and succeed as a team!

6. Training, Development & Coaching & Management

Never underestimate the value of training for making your agency grow. As you and your team acquire knowledge, you become more effective and efficient, and your sales and production will increase effortlessly. Investing in training is always a good idea.

7. Sales & Marketing

Once you have secured your customers, added to your team, and grown through training, it’s time to grow your business towards the outside with a good marketing plan. Leverage powerful marketing technologies and reach customers far and wide.

8. Exiting Your Agency

Some agency owners grow their agency planning to sell it for profit. If this is the case, we have some good advice for creating an exiting strategy from your successful insurance agency.

Download the free "How to Grow an Independent Insurance Agency" guide from OAA.

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Questions? We have answers.

Growing pains can be less painful if you have someone to guide and advise you as you take your business to the next level, and then the next, and the next. We have been there too, and we have the experience to help you. If you don’t see your questions here, drop us a line!

How can I make more money from E&S policies?

You need to focus on new business first.

It’s an important insurance agency business management tool. As independent agents, we’re very service-oriented instead of sales-oriented. Yes, you need to keep current customers happy, and that’s a priority, but your top priority should be looking for new business.

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What should my profit margin be?

Historically, small agency margins have been in the 10% range, including bonus income. Agency owners who want to maximize their agency’s value, prepare for acquisitions, or create other opportunities for growth typically operate their business to double that number or more.

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I need help prioritizing tasks and goals.

Set quarterly and annual goals with a 3-year time horizon. Too much can happen past 3 years to meaningfully plan beyond that. Make the goals simple. How much production do you want, either in premium or commission, at the end of each period of time?

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Should I open a second location?

It’s only natural for a growth-oriented insurance agency owner to consider additional outlets in a different town, or part of town, to increase their agency size and profitability.

Here are some thoughts to consider.

Should I use social media to promote my agency?

Yes. Take advantage of the networking part of social media platforms and start building a community by providing quality content and actively interacting.

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What should I do to make sure my agency lasts 5 years or more?

Technology has the power to threaten the small agent's survival, but you can still prosper by keeping these ideas in mind, plus a secret weapon - delightful service.

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How do I stand out from the crowd?

If there is no difference between insurance agencies, then the value proposition is price and the agency is commoditized. Here are the staples any customer expects, plus ways to ensure they set you apart from your competitors.

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Are you ready for explosive growth?

We have been helping agencies grow for years. Contact us to find out how we can help you succeed.

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How we’ve helped entrepreneurs start and grow independent insurance agencies.







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If you want to start off your own agency, make it grow explosively, or sell an established agency, we have the experience, knowledge and skills to help you.

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