Franchisor Brightway’s New “bridge” Strategy

Feb 12, 2016

  1. Brian Anderson
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    Brian Anderson Executive Editor

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    The following is from a Brightway press release announcing a new “incubator” location near Atlanta, intended to help agents become agency owners.

    On Wednesday, Feb. 10, Brightway Insurance, the country's seventh-largest privately owned Personal Lines insurance agency, held a ceremonial ribbon cutting event as it opened a location in Kennesaw, Ga. that will house a brand-new program for insurance professionals who want to make the transition from agent to owner. The program is called the BrightwayBridge.

    Agents participating in this pioneering venture will work out of the company-owned location and focus on selling new policies and building their businesses while incurring a fraction of the costs that they would if they were to open their own offices.

    After establishing their own customer base, the newly minted Brightway Agency Owners seamlessly transition to their own office spaces to continue building their businesses and their dreams. In what's believed to be a first-of-its-kind initiative, the BrightwayBridge will not only create jobs, it will fuel local entrepreneurship.

    "From the start, Brightway has been about creating win-win-win business outcomes," said Brightway Founder and Owner David Miller. "For many, opening a Brightway agency from scratch is attainable – they have the experience, the drive and the capital to succeed. For others, they have the experience and the drive, but they may lack the capital. We want them to succeed and we want them to experience the American dream, too. So, we're making the BrightwayBridge available to move them from insurance agent to agency owner."


    Their web page link about the new program below makes an interesting claim:
    Brightway agents sell an average of $598,020/year in new business in their fourth year of business vs. Independent Agents who sell an average of $264,504/year.

    I'm not a Brightway advocate or critic - no dog in this fight - just thought it was interesting. Any thoughts on this strategy and if it might be a viable option for those without much capital to start? Downsides and other considerations? Franchise fees, renewal commission levels, regional, territories, etc?

    Brightway Insurance
     
  2. ModernInsurance
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    ModernInsurance Super Genius

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    Have a call set tomorrow afternoon with a rep from Brightway. Looking forward to seeing what their business model and contract looks like!
     
  3. Derrick
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    Derrick Super Genius

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    How many agents that go to Brightway are already seasoned agents, though? I'd imagine the seasoned agents that go to Brightway tend to be in a little higher tier than your average independent agent, considering Brightway can be a little bit more picky about their employment selection than your average, relatively small, independent shop.
     
    Derrick, Feb 15, 2016
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  4. insurance1822
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    insurance1822 Guru

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    Sooo is Brightway an aggregator persay?
     
  5. Brian Anderson
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    Brian Anderson Executive Editor

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    Sharing an update for this thread – Brightway this week issued a press release announcing they won a tech innovation award for “Best Business Generating Website” thanks to a “rebuild” of their website they say has netted nearly triple the amount of leads generated this year compared to last year.

    Brightway launched the new websites for its agencies in late December 2015. They say because of the “great technical build and the customized copy,” the sites' organic Search Engine Optimization results are much stronger than they were in the previous sites. They also credit the "Start a Quote" function on each agency's website.

    Some other stats from the press release:
    • The seventh largest privately held P&C agency, and recently said it reached $425 million in annualized written premium
    • Jacksonville-based company began franchising operations in 2008 and now has 770 people in 12 states serving customers in all 50 states.

    Brightway Insurance takes home Tech Innovation Award for Best Business Generating Website
     
  6. johnkearnsagency
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    johnkearnsagency Expert

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