ACG - Agency Consulting Group

The PIPELINE

A national monthly newsletter for agency principals dedicated to agency management topic

Five Steps To Profit In 2009

WE KNOW TIMES ARE TOUGH! Employees are working hard, yet premiums are still soft, competition is bitter and you are experiencing lower premiums - and commissions - to retain the business. And you may still lose some clients to competitors!

Your revenues may actually be decreasing, even though you are keeping most of your business. And the employees still expect raises corresponding to the work efforts.

How can business respond to shrinking revenue and expanding costs?

GET AGGRESSIVE, NOT DEFENSIVE

1. Review all systems and procedures. Standardizing systems and procedures can save most of the clerical errors made in an agency and as much as 15% of staff time.

2. Analyze the use of telephone systems, travel & entertainment expenses and the advertising budget. Many of these expenses are spent out of habit, not out of need. A good telephone system analysis can trim your telecommunications costs substantially.

3. Analyze the spending habits on “leaky” costs like printing, stationery and office supplies and equipment. Most agencies spend money as these expenses are needed without regard to least-cost options that are available. With least-cost options the agency could save thousands even tens of thousands of dollars each year.

4. Verify and validate the computer system security, back-ups and disaster recovery models. Most agents have inadequate security; we’ve even seen passwords written on notes on the sides of computers. The agents are prone to being hacked from outside the agency and don’t check the back-ups until the worst happens. When a server goes down without having a valid back-up, the agency is looking at thousands of dollars of effort to recover. If the agency isn’t prepared for a fire, flood or other natural disaster, it could be put out of business. Just because it hasn’t happened doesn’t mean you are secure!

5. Get serious about finding, training, keeping and managing high quality producers. We all talk about needing producers, but few take proactive steps to recruit them, test them, and manage the progress once hired. Recruitment can be done at little cost, and spending a few dollars on testing can save thousands in mistakes made by many agencies. Once hired, it is amazing how many agents use the “Go Ye Out and Sell” philosophy of producer management. Proper management of producers will help focus their efforts on a successful track that will benefit the agency and themselves.

ACG has all of the tools to assist you in planning the future for growth and profit, personnel acquisition, compensation and management, systems and procedures review and reformation for savings and security and cost-savings measures for advertising, equipment and telecommunications.

CALL AGENCY CONSULTING GROUP, INC. AT (800) 779-2430. WE’RE DEDICATED TO HELPING YOU WORK THROUGH DIFFICULT TIMES AND CONVERTING TOUGH TIMES TO PROFITABLE RESULTS.

If the economy is handing you lemons this year, MAKE LEMONADE – THEN SELL IT AT A PROFIT!!!

Agency Consulting Group, Inc.’s active clients in 2008 grew by an average of 12.4% and generated 15.8% Pre-Tax Profits. Did yours?