How do you juggle all of the demands of an independent insurance agency? Time management can be particularly difficult in agencies where there are few insurance employees and everyone plays multiple roles. What can you do in your insurance office to make sure that you're managing each demand carefully and with consideration of all of the other priorities that are vying for your time?
Keep Your Eye on Your Priorities
It's easy to get bogged down in details when you're running a small business. Those details are important: they can mean finding a new client or keeping an existing one, for example. However, don't let the details run your work life entirely. Know why you're doing what you do every day.
For instance, if your goal is to increase the size of your insurance business by reaching out to new markets this year, have strategies that you develop to achieve this goal, and work the details to achieve that overall goal. Instead of letting the daily details drive your work, let your work goals drive the daily details.
Take time on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to review the ways in which your work contributes to the bigger picture of your agency's success.
Be Proactive and Reactive
Let's be honest: there is a lot of reactivity in most peoples' workdays. Clients call, paperwork needs to get done, and the insurance business is an emergent kind of business. However, you still need to find time to work on those priorities above. Set aside intentional times in your schedule when you focus on priority projects rather than emergent work details. If you have very few employees in your office, schedule these times so that each person has time to work on priorities and someone is still available to work on emergent issues.
Know Who Does What
In a small agency where everyone has multiple roles, it's easy to either double up on efforts by accident or let certain things slide through the cracks. Are you committed to doing more Facebook marketing but have no one to do it on a regular basis? Are you checking and cross-checking client information, but not everyone needs to take on that job? Have clear job descriptions and enough team meetings to clarify any issues that come up that might need to be addressed, such as to-do list items that constantly fall off the side of someone's desk.
If there are certain tasks that come up regularly and could be automated, do it. Word and Brown suggest that some tasks specifically lend themselves well to automation: for instance, "email marketing is easy to automate, and it can pay for itself by helping you increase your sales to current customers and generate referrals that can help fill your future pipeline."
Hold Meetings With Purpose
If you're meeting, ask yourself the question – could this issue be solved with a quick email? Some meetings don't need to exist, and they are a waste of time. Others are key to solving work problems that need in-person and thorough discussion. Consider what kind of communication would best solve your problem, and if you hold meetings, make sure that they are purposeful, with an agenda and a time limit.
Make Your Space Work
If you have a visually cluttered office space, this detracts from your productivity. You should develop a process for reviewing incoming paper files and a way of filing these once you've dealt with them. Take time on a regular basis to invest in your office by decluttering it: according to CIO, "when you're left with only necessary items and have removed excess clutter, you can more easily organize what's left." That means that you'll be able to find items that you need, keep your clients' information secure, and get tasks done more efficiently.
At American Agents Alliance, we specialize in solutions for your small insurance agency. Whether you're connecting with others, learning from continuing education, or seeking out discounts on products such as E&O insurance for your business, we have you covered. Contact us today to learn more.