Imagine you’ve reached the end of the day and you’re settling in to choose a new series on Netflix. Next thing you know, you wake up to the, “Are you still there message?” because you fell asleep in the middle of the 13th trailer you watched before you ever made a decision. That’s kind of like how it is nowadays selecting the best agency network because the reality is, there are just TOO many.
This article is meant to help identify the metrics that should matter most to you when it comes to selecting a network. It should make the choice easy once you’ve identified what a true partnership looks like for your agency.
The first, most critical step, is distinctly defining your agency’s long-term values and goals. It is most critical to define this first because there is not one network today that fits all agency profiles so before you can determine which is best for you, you need to know exactly what your needs are. Consider the following questions when you are defining your agency’s long-term values and goals, and which agency network supports those:
- What is your long-term growth objective (organic growth, via acquisition, etc.)?
▪ How does your growth impact the relationship with the network (i.e. do you pay more fees as you grow, does the exit strategy change with growth, are you allowed to acquire/perpetuate, etc.)?
- Who will have equity stake in your agency?
▪ If you prefer to retain 100% equity, it’s crucial to educate yourself on what that looks like partnering with a network. This can potentially have a long-term impact on your growth if you’re not free to do what you want with your business.
- What technology/vendors do you or will you partner with in your agency?
▪Are you required to partner with some because of the network’s relationships, and are those the best partners for your agency’s long-term goals?
- Will you outsource training (producer, carrier, etc.) or provide that in-house?
▪If you prefer to outsource, demo the training that some networks provide to decide whether that will be enough for your business. A lot of networks “provide” training however sometimes it’s like when you ask Alexa a question only to end up googling it yourself because Alexa’s depth is, well, shallow.
- Does your agency write personal, commercial, life & health, all-of-the-above?
▪Knowing your agency’s target client is fundamental to your agency’s ability to prosper. Establishing the target client allows you to identify which carriers are going to suit your agency – make sure the agency network provides full access to those essential carriers.
- Will profit-sharing/contingency be a key component of your agency’s strategy, or like winning the lottery?
▪Understanding how much revenue/contingency is shared with a network’s members makes a significant impact on an agency’s revenue but without understanding how it works, how you can earn more, and why you’re not earning it now, the majority of independent agents simply don’t pay attention and are severely missing out on large revenue opportunities.
If you take one thing from this article, please take the last point. Profit-sharing/contingency SHOULD be a consistent entry on your yearly financials. If it is not, I can guarantee you are losing money.
Call PIIB today to find out how our affiliates are able to budget for contingency, and how PIIB continues to deliver the most lucrative contingency payouts in the industry.
Did you know?
PIIB has been in the Top 20 since 2014.