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What’s the Secret to this Start-Up’s Success?

Jun 29, 2021 | Industry News

Direct Insurance Services is a start-up Independent Agency that hit the ground running in 2020. What was the secret to their success in 2020 and with COVID? Keep reading to find out more about Mike Spence and his agency Direct Insurance Services.

Direct Insurance Services has absolutely killed it in their first year as a start-up Independent Agency. What’s your secret? What did you have in place to be sure you hit the ground running?
No secret 🙂  I’d say we came out the gate with a solid business plan, a few people (2 producers) and we had sales momentum coming into our start.  We are a personal lines agency, so both producers had decent pipelines and referral partners before opening Direct Insurance Services.  Credit to both producers as they executed well with starting in 2020 with COVID on top of it.

Have you always been in insurance?
Yes and no.  Started in insurance in 2003 with American Family under a top agent.  Have always been in sales/insurance since.  Took a break from insurance to be in the auto finance space when I moved to Denver in 2013.  Contributed to a few auto finance startups that helped open my eyes to transferring those business successes to insurance.  Got back into insurance in 2017.

What is your favorite thing to do when not working?
Anything outside!  Riding motorcycles, mountain biking, snowboarding, camping, anything on the water and just having a good time!  Love Colorado and love to travel!

What advice would you give someone looking to start their own Independent Agency?
Know how you are going to generate a consistent stream of sales from day 1, plan to run it like a business ASAP (vs. being a producer as an agency owner) and don’t get bogged down being in the weeds (I can be super guilty of this so, this is more of recommendation LOL)

What pushed you in the direction of a network and why PIIB?
Was a part of an independent agency before we launched our startup.  Agency sold and I have read a lot of aggregator contracts and nothing was jumping out… until I heard about PIIB.  PIIB contract is the best in the business from my perspective.  It runs in parallel with how we want to run our agency, so it was a perfect fit.  110% love it so far. Rachel McClurg has been our best advocate and help, while allowing us to let us do what we want!

I’m hoping we caught you at a good time for this interview as annual profit sharing was recently paid out! How did it compare to your expectations on what you thought profit sharing would be?
Yes, most definitely!  Prior to PIIB, I have heard of profit sharing and contingency bonuses.  Even with our plan, I was not expecting a check in the 1st year.  So the fact we got one, plus the amount paid was a plus!

These last two questions are of the utmost importance…

Is it Colo-RAD-o or Color- AWW-do? 😉
Colo-RAD-o, cmon! 🙂

We finish the interview and you step outside the office and find a lottery ticket that gets you $10M, what do you do?
Who wants to sell their agency 🙂

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