Checklist prior to going Independent

Nov 29, 2018

  1. CaptainPlanet
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    CaptainPlanet New Member

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    Currently a captive agent (MAPD & Supps) although looking to go independent next year. What are some things I need to look at prior to making the move. I've read other threads on here regarding FMO's and I know I must make sure they grant a release if things go sour. Also, never assign commissions. What are some other things I need to know? Would I need to get an LLC and register as an Agency/GA if I'm going the independent route? I appreciate any input on this topic.
     
  2. sshafran
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    sshafran Guru

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    Marketing plan. Above all else.... a plan to get new clients. period.
     
    sshafran, Nov 29, 2018
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  3. russelltw
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    russelltw Guru

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    Ditto sshafran.... You better have a PROVEN way to get prospects. Preferably several ways to get prospects. If you cannot make sales, the rest (contracts, llc or s-corp, fancy business cards, websites, etc) doesn't matter.

    Your system better rely on you and not some online lead vendor. Those things can dry up overnight.

    Not saying this is you, but I have seen captive agents struggle/fail because they never had to prospect when they were captive. They thought leads would come in just like at the captive agency.
     
  4. Markthebroker
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    Markthebroker Guru

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    Ah man, that last part is a great point. I started out at a State Farm office. We had pretty crappy leads we had to call off of. Some hot shot sales guy was transfering over from another office. He was supposed to be a big deal, big closer. Wrote all kinds of business.

    He came over to our office and started calling on our crap leads. Now, all of the sudden without incoming business, he was nothing. If I remember right, I don't think he sold a single policy. He quit after a few weeks.
     
  5. Newby
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    Newby Guru

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    #1 Is compare commission levels (in writing, never verbal) from multiple agencies before signing anything.
     
    Newby, Nov 29, 2018
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  6. CaptainPlanet
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    CaptainPlanet New Member

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    Thanks for the input! I was planning on generating leads via educational seminars, social media and referrals.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  7. Hopes
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    Hopes Super Genius

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    I think it's important to have a financial plan to support yourself/family for a while. Commissions don't come overnight. In my opinion, it's much like building a pyramid. Some connections I'm developing this year will not come to fruition until next year and so on.

    Consider the commission you may make. How many sales will it take to achieve the minimum necessary to support yourself? How will you get those sales? How long will it take? Whatever you plan, expect it to take much longer - unless you are the incredibly rare exception due to inside information/help.

    What works for one person does not work for another.

    I wish you all the best. Just be prepared. If you think you will be paying the bills in six months you may be mistaken.

    If you have a realistic financial support system/plan, pull out all the stops and go for it with all you have. I've had to market myself more than what I sell which means I've have to break out of my comfort zone.
     
    Hopes, Nov 29, 2018
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  8. russelltw
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    russelltw Guru

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    I hope you have experience in these methods to generate leads. Building your system from scratch after you left could be costly.

    I spent time building my own "prospecting" machine before I left my captive company. The last year, I generated 96% of the business on my own (not from their leads or book of business). At that time, I knew I was ready. I had about 8 months expenses saved up.

    The company I work for had about 800 agents in our state. Had a friend who worked in a Raleigh office (I was in a rural area of the state) and I remember asking him how many nights he had to work each week calling people to generate leads. He looked at me like I had 3 eyes. He said he never had to work late, people just came in the door asking for quotes. He said he would play golf 2-3 times per week.

    He would have starved if he had to work in my rural office....Business didn't walk in the door and throw itself in my lap like it did for him.
     
  9. GoPokes
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    GoPokes Guru

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    Dont contract as an agency. Just contract as an individual. The agency thing is huge pain and ends up costing you double for a lot of things. It could be a worthy investment down the road after you are making good income.
     
    GoPokes, Nov 30, 2018
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  10. StephanieCJ
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    StephanieCJ Super Genius

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    A nice savings account and a realistic budget to get you through the start up period. Other than that, pretty much what everyone else said in terms of a way to generate leads.
     
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