Each day the list of sale insurance agencies of high quality gets updated. With so much to choose from and more added daily, the task of finding the agency that perfectly compliments to you is really a time consuming and complicated one. Whether you want to buy an insurance agency for the first time or you are on the hunt for a merger and acquisition of opportunities, you will certainly find a bunch of prospective agencies which will furnish your needs. And after this comes the true challenge of knowing which one is the best for you. Before you buy an insurance agency, here are 7 starting points on how to buy a business that must be taken into account in course of scrutinizing and evaluating each one of the prospective ventures.
Location: The first thing to look for is the location. If you are to buy an insurance company which is offering life insurance, then you better look for one that is within proximity to the residential area or near a hospital. Location has always been a key player to the success of a business and when you have the best one, you will certainly be able to reach more clients. The possibility also of having to relocate must be taken into consideration as this poses a threat of losing current customers and affect retention rates. For those who are renting make sure to check the expiration of contract and negotiate to ensure that no increase will occur on the coming years.
Financing: A good start-up question is on where to get the finance in buying the insurance agency. You must consider the possibilities of seller financing, self-financing using your assets, and lending options. For seller financing, you must thoroughly examine the terms to avoid future disputes. Assurance is clearly needed when you are using your assets to buy an insurance agency so that you must make sure that you are investing in a business that is progressing and not regressing. Having to borrow the money for the purchase, it is better if you will be able to find a company that specializes in lending to the insurance industry. Finance is the most important part when setting-up a business and to ensure success having an expert help you along the way is always beneficial.
Cash Flow Analysis: The main reason why you must be concerned in cash flow as you buy an insurance agency is that it shows you a clear picture of the company's performance. Understanding how much the agency did earn after deducting the reoccurring expenses will certainly bring you a correct business valuation. As the buyer, you need to review the records on new policies, renewals, responsibilities and other revenue generating areas of the agency. On the other, a list of the reoccurring expenses including rent, salary costs and advertising amongst others is necessary to give you the idea of how much money goes out from the agency. Explore for possible alteration of expenses and consider the effects of the change in ownership on the agency's income stream. A rule of the thumb is to perform a minimum of 1 year cash flow for young agency and a multiple year cash flow for an established one to ensure thorough analysis. If you are not good on accounting, particularly with regards to the insurance industry, tapping the assistance of a business broker would be a wiser choice.
Advertising: As you buy an insurance agency, you must also take a peek on the advertising contracts it is enrolled as you will certainly shoulder the expenses for the remaining period. Knowing that current agency has yellow page or billboard advertising that is on a fixed term contract, you should factor in those costs as you will acquire the rest of those expenses. You must also be aware of the phone numbers, websites or emails that are shown on the advertisements of the insurance company as they are vital assets to consider with the procurement. Ask for assurance that those phone numbers and other contact methods are offered to be reserved with the agency. Factor in also the cost on updating information on websites and toll free number platforms as they usually come at great cost. Analyze the power of the existing marketing strategies and take them into account before buying an insurance agency.
Company Access: Before doing the actual buyout, check for the list of insurance companies that you are about to sell plans for and make sure to have appointments with them. This will guarantee that you no longer need to check the underwriting requirements and you will up the current certification given by the insurance company. Unable to set appointments with all the present companies will cause you to potentially lose customers as you will need to rewrite them to different insurance carrier. Setting your foot one step forward, you must make sure that you are able to get appointments for insurance companies that the agency does not currently offer. Doing so well let you factor out those companies and be able to compliment them to your services.
Management System: What management system is being imposed by the agency and how is the organization of customer records being implemented? Is it possible to have the current management system stay intact with the acquisition of the agency? What is the assurance of having no compatibility issue when doing data migration as you may utilize and prefer a different management system? An array of software applications is available to help you in migrating data and in maintaining compatibility between management systems. As a buyer, making sure that you thoroughly understand this part is a must as most client related issues are due to poor data management.
Seller Assistance: Last point to consider is on the possibility of having the seller train the new owner and to have a smooth transition plan for an adequate period of time. Reputable and established agency owners commonly answer the ability on holding training and transition of ownership. Corporate Ventures are good vendors as when they sell a business, they usually work with transitioning the ownership. If you are buying your first insurance agency, then make sure that your seller is willing to help you to transition the business as smooth as possible keeping the current customers and employees. A six month transition time is generally enough to make sure that you are ready to stand on your own. The help of the seller will surely make the transition a positive event to both your employees and clients so make sure that you are able to bring this up during the negotiations.
Following this guide will also be good for those who want to know how to sell an insurance agency or how to sell an accounting firm. In fact, it practically is applicable on any form of business regardless if you are the seller or the buyer. With these things in mind, you will surely have a good starting point of considerations when you buy a business. Make sure that you take them all as one and search for the offer which possesses them all. Learn to negotiate and get expert advice to make sure that you are investing for the right one.