There is a process to ensure a successful transition when purchasing an insurance agency. Building a business transition plan after purchasing an insurance agency is vital to ensuring the success of the acquisition. Knowing what to pull from to create an effective business transition plan isn’t always clear-cut.
This article will cover what exactly a business transition plan is, as well as how to build one, and tips for implementing it.
What is a Business Transition Plan?
A business transition plan is a blueprint for a successful transition of responsibilities and operations of a company. This is applicable to plenty of smaller, less complex situations such as changing day managers. For the sake of this article, we’re going to tackle the nitty gritty bits of a business transition plan for new owners taking the reins of an insurance company.
A business transition plan for purchasing an insurance agency includes a wide variety of factors that must be gain attention to, but the concept is relatively straightforward. This is a plan that brings together everything from goals and priorities to strategies and policies, into one place. A complete business transition plan will make your life easier by a wide margin.
A business transition plan can look different depending on the business being bought. After all, each company is unique and features different ins and outs. The important part is making sure everything has a monitoring process — this is necessary to ensure the jobs and financial security of you and your new employees.
How to Build a Business Transition Plan
Once again, let’s reiterate that not every business transition plan is the same. That being said, certain things should be under attention to when purchasing an insurance agency. Here are some vital pieces.
Note: The creation of an effective business transition plan is most successful when done with a combination of a team of new and previous owners or managers. In this way, the plan takes into consideration all of the most important aspects for both parties. This is key to a healthy insurance agency emerging on the other side.
Definition of Your Direction and Purpose
This is a great starting point and will help guide you as you define the rest of your business transition plan. What are your intentions with this agency? Are you looking to cut expenses and slim down? Are you looking for immediate growth? Maybe you simply want to take charge and stabilize operations to be able to depend on your new business.
Defining your direction and purpose as the new owner will inspire the way you approach the rest of your business transition plan. It will also help you stay on track to attaining your goal.
Establish the Leadership Involvement
The owners, managers, and supervisors that will be part of the leadership should have specific roles and responsibilities.
It is possible that there will be retention of current employees. Their part in all this should be to flesh it out. Some transitions include the previous owner sticking around to offer guidance and support. Compensation and scope of responsibilities are key points of discussion here.
Incumbent Knowledge Transfer Requirements
There is certain to be implicit and explicit knowledge of operations that need retention within the company. Many skills and strategies could be lost as the owner and other management leave, so it’s important to measure and label these.
Knowledge of the company and industry is key, so lay out the skills and strategies you’ll need to be successful. The company’s book of business is of the utmost importance as well. Ensure that these can and will be effectively transferred to you and your team as the transition takes place.
Create a Roadmap and Obtain Permissions
Nothing gets done without a to-do list. A huge part of your business transition plan should be a roadmap that lays the groundwork for what needs to get done, and when. This will make your transition quicker and more hands-off.
Once this has been run by the incumbent owner and his team, gather the necessary signatures and create solid plans to put this transition into action. Having the full support and commitment of everyone involved will keep things on the rails and headed for success.
How to Implement Your Business Transition Plan
As important as the business transition plan is, the implementation is where the magic happens. This can go smoothly or roughly, depending on how thorough of a business transition plan you have. As we mentioned previously, it’s important to know that the incumbent and any others involved are prepared to take part.
Do your best to stick to your plan as closely as possible to not cause any extra complications. Of course, you should be prepared to think on your feet and make critical decisions that stray from the plan if needed. That is something you’ll need to get used to as you run a business, one way or another!
Here are some quick tips for implementing your business transition plan:
- Stay in close contact with all involved throughout the process.
- Keep records of all your dealings, changes, and steps.
- Adhere to your deadlines, and make sure your team does the same.
- Make sure the incumbent has a plan for detaching from the business.
- Notify third parties when/where necessary.
- Check off every box you have created.
Energia Consulting Partners is Here to Help You Build Your Business Transition Plan
Your business transition plan is the foundation for all your future success as you go about purchasing an insurance agency. If you have never been through the insurance agency acquisition process before, building out and executing a business transition plan likely seems daunting – especially in the midst of navigating the purchasing process itself.
The good news? You don’t have to go it alone. When you work with a consulting firm like Energia that has experience, you’re getting a partner with decades of experience who can seamlessly navigate you through the ups and downs of the insurance agency acquisition process.
Energia Consulting Partners is an experienced, independent consulting practice that specializes in all aspects of the sale of an insurance agency with an emphasis on the Allstate & Farmers Insurance Company distribution model.
We combine more than 150 years of experience in the industry and over $600+ million in sales and purchases, our consultants have the knowledge and expertise necessary to handle the acquisition process for you – leaving you to do what you do best.