The task of starting an independent agency can seem turbulent and intimidating to those who first consider it. However, once one looks at the benefits of increased revenue and access to markets, it’s easy to come to conclusion that it is the best choice for your agency. So far, we’ve walked through the first two steps to starting your own agency – How to Register Your Agency Name and How to Get Carrier Representation. As those of you joining us from our previous articles in the series know, this week we are discussing the challenges and tribulations of vetting technologies as you start your own independent agency. Fortunately – this is yet another thing VIAA is able to help its agents do!
Finding the Right Technology
To be frank, having the right technology can make or break your agency. From management to automation to HR – the world of insurance technology can feel overwhelming! And, unfortunately, choosing the wrong technologies can have devastating consequences for your agency.
At VIAA, we have years of experience vetting and training different tech platforms in the insurance industry. We make it our business to keep up to date with new programs and software’s for our industry. This saves you time, money, and headaches as we are well acquainted with the pros and cons of the various technology used.
Steps We Use to Vet New Technology
- Identify the Need
- This is the earliest stage where you do an initial evaluation of the need for the product. Typical steps include an initial demo with one or two team members; some online research to “learn what you don’t know” and get neutral feedback.
- Initial Vetting
- Create a compare & contrast sheet to identify “musts”, “niceties”, and “drawbacks”. Vet as many as needed. General rule: all popular systems, the hottest one or two “up and coming” systems, and a couple industry-specific options.
- Narrow Your Focus
- Choose your top two or three potential fits and attend second demos with each. Identify timelines for implementation, payment, etc.
- Final Review
- Go to the vendor of choice to secure any outstanding questions and secure a final review of the contract.
Support and Training
Beyond that, our staff is familiar with the programs we recommend. When you first join VIAA, we will be right there with you to provide training, support, and recommendations to make sure you not only get the right technology – you know how to use it. Beyond that, when you run into technological hiccups, you will have an additional team that can help work through any issues you may run into.
Vetting technology for your new agency can be scary, however with the support of VIAA, it doesn’t have to be! If you’re ready to start your own agency, you can reach out to me at 314-333-4932 or 618-960-5839. Additionally, you can shoot me an email at email@example.com. I’d love to discuss the independent agency system and how it can benefit you.
If you’re still on the fence, just wait until next week when we discuss the challenges of implementing your own processes and procedures, as well as how VIAA can help with this as well!
Valley Insurance Agency Alliance (VIAA), a cohesive family of more than 130 independent insurance agencies in Missouri and Illinois. Founded in 2006, VIAA generates more than $250 million in written premium and is the regional founding member for the Strategic Insurance Agency Alliance (SIAA), a more than $9 billion national alliance. Valley Insurance Agency Alliance is located at 6825 Clayton Ave. in St. Louis, MO. For more information about the alliance, call (314) 333-4910 or visit http://www.viaa4u.com.