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How do I start an agency?

I want to start my own agency.  Can you give me some advice?
Starting an agency from scratch is possible, but can be very challenging.  Owning an agency gives you the ability to be you own boss, have the satisfaction of helping people protect their valuables and investments, as well as provides you with good income potential for many years to come.

Here are some things that you will need to consider when starting an agency from scratch:
Investment Capital
You will need startup capital to cover things such as office space, equipment and furniture, E&O insurance and marketing.  And, don’t forget that you have to pay yourself!
Insurance License
In all states, you need to be licensed in order to sell insurance.  You will be required to take a certain number of hours of training as well as sit for a licensure exam. In most states, you will need a licenses for each type of insurance that you wish sell.   Contact your state insurance department for information about licensing and required pre-licensing and continuing education.
Access to Insurance Companies
After you are licensed, you will need to have access to insurance companies to have insurance products to sell.  In order to get an appointment to sell insurance with many companies, you will need a marketing plan, some background in sales, and a solid business plan.  Research your anticipated client base and know what companies will best serve them. 
Great Management Skills
You need to excel at sales, marketing and administrative management in order to operate a successful insurance agency at the start up level.  You will have to wear many hats and will need a variety of skills to ensure success.
Extensive Technical Knowledge
You have to fully understand the many different types of policies, forms and coverages in order provide your customers with the information they need to make informed insurance buying decisions.  You will need to understand how to manage risks for your clients and be vigilant about seeking more knowledge and training.  
Join an Insurance Association
An association can help you with all of the above considerations, as well as provide extensive networking and education for you and your employees.  Associations advocate on your behalf to create a better sales and service environment for the insurance community.  
​127 South Peyton Street
Alexandria VA 22314
​phone: 800.221.7917
fax: 703.683.7556

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