As an independent insurance agent, you bear the burden of expenses when setting up your agency. Just taking an insurance agent course can be hundreds to thousands of dollars depending. But what are the biggest expenses you can expect after getting your license?
1. Agency Set Up
You will need to find an office that fits your wants as an agent such as do you want a large space so clients can meet with you? Do you want to have extra room to rent out to other agents? Once you pick your perfect spot you will need to put down lease deposit/payment, utility deposit, office furniture, copier/fax/scanner, and telephone system. On top of that you will need office supplies, business sign, Internet service and likely property insurance.
Basic Agency Setup Checklist:
- Lease deposit
- Office furniture
- Phone system
- Email system
- Office supplies
- Copier / fax/ scanner
- Office sign
Having a custom website built that is SEO/SEM optimized and mobile-friendly for your agency can costs in the thousands to the tens of thousands for a high-end finish. However, having a website is becoming increasingly crucial to ensuring visibility for your agency. As a Medicare agent your clients may not be web savvy, but their relatives who help make decisions most likely are. Your website could and should be a major lead source and referral base. NCC invested heavily into our website to create an easy to use and cutting-edge site for our agents. Did we have to? No, but having a site our clients enjoy using make it worth the investment. It’s paid off for our business in the long run because agents now contract with us just to use our site.
Another consideration once your agency continues to grow is investing in new agency technology like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. A CRM manages your agency interactions and can organize, and automate your sales cycle. It makes it easier to follow-up with clients and keep in touch with those who seek to retain as clients. This, too, is available at no cost to those agents who contract exclusively with NCC.
Gas, car insurance and car maintenance are not cheap. Are you, however, taking advantage of one of the largest potential tax deductions for independent insurance agents? Why? The car is often your mobile office, especially Medicare insurance agents who often drive to their clients for check-ins, and answering important questions. The money spent on your vehicle increase with the continued usage and wear. The IRS understands and allows many insurance agents to benefit from deductions to offset cost of working. Be smart and always investigate ways to offset your expenses.
To be a successful independent insurance agent you have to know how to market yourself and gain an edge on your competition. Creating social media profiles via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are free but to advertise on those platforms cost money. For a bigger splash a standard roadside billboard can cost upwards of $15,000! One of the best ways to market your agency and brand is a newsletter to keep your clients and prospective clients up-to-date with your business. It costs a lot less than a billboard, but can help bridge personal connections quicker. One way NCC helps our agents market themselves is letting them use our blog content on their sites to keep their sites fresh in Google.
Outside of the digital world, become a member of the community by donating time and money to a cause you are passionate about. For example, Mobile Meals is a national non-profit where you can donate your time and truly benefit the senior community. Developing a footprint in the community presents the perfect platform to introduce yourself to more people and get your agency known. It helps the community, world and you…it’s a win-win. Having a great website, social media presence, and community involvement is a recipe for a great marketing strategy.
Last but certainly not least, agents spend much of their income on purchasing leads. When you are developing your agency you may depend on lead purchasing to bring in business. However, as you create a book of business you can slowly move away from purchasing leads. Be smart and get leads from social media, website, SEO and asking friends and family to refer you. Your marketing efforts should be over time reducing lead purchasing costs.
There are some insurance agents who will always want purchased leads to work off of and that’s OK too. But if you want to purchase leads, consider working with a senior insurance FMO who will work with you. NCC offers a lead program to our agents so we can help offset their costs and invest in their agency. Not all FMOs are created equal so always ask about their lead policy.
If you have any questions on the business side we’re ready to help and answer any questions for you. NCC is always happy to see agents use business savvy for long-term success.
National Contracting Center is a leading senior insurance marketing firm (FMO) specializing in Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements, and Final Expense products for independent agents. NCC partners with you to provide support, training, and concierge service for all your insurance needs.
About National Contracting Center
NCC is a leading senior insurance marketing firm (FMO) specializing in Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements, and Final Expense products for independent agents. NCC partners with you to provide support, training, and concierge service for all your insurance needs.
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