Continuous Improvement - A Strategic Imperative
There are two reasons to make change: To take advantage of strengths and opportunities. In other words, continuous improvement. Or, to mitigate against weakness and threats. This is also continuous improvement. Either way, you can make positive change happen and you can make it stick, if you take a strategic approach. More...
Organizational Excellence - A Strategic Imperative
There are two ways to gain an advantage in the market-place: have the lowest price or be noticable different from the rest. Since for most independent agents price is a non-starter, or should be, differentiation must provide the competitive edge. One of the most common ways to distinguish your agency from the competition is based on the service you provide to your customers. In order to provide outstanding customer service, service that stands out, your operation must be outstanding. More...
Competitive Advantage - A Strategic Imperative
When we ask the question, “What is your competitive advantage?” or, “Why do customers do business with your agency instead of the one down the street – or on the Internet?” most agency owners fumble the answer. They have to think about it. When they do, it often comes back as vague references to “Good service,” or “Great relationships.” Some can talk about their mission and the things they do to add value for the customer, at least well enough so we know they really get the concept of value-added and how they think they are different. Only a very few can speak about their competitive advantage in terms the customer can relate to.. More...
Accountability – A Strategic Imperative
If you’re the top dog, to whom are you accountable? No one? That would seem to be the case if you read the news. Many of the problems we are experiencing in this country can be traced to what appears to be a growing lack of accountability at all levels of government and business.
Lack of accountability has resulted in an economy in chaos and a dysfunctional government so far in debt that no one can see a way back to prosperity. Sometimes it feels as if “It’s not my fault” may soon replace “In God we trust,” as our national motto.
Let’s make sure it doesn’t happen. More...
What’s keeping you up at night? When you’re up to your neck in alligators, it’s hard to remember that the objective is to drain the swamp. But alligators breed. And there are other dangers in the swamp. If you forget about the real objective, you’ll just keep whacking at those gators until you drop. Or get eaten. It is imperative that you drain that swamp.
It’s a New Year. Want to sleep better? Are you ready to drain the swamp? Are you ready to leave behind all that didn’t work in 2011, build on what did work and add what you need to thrive?
If you want your business to thrive, you have a duty to manage your business
STRATEGY: PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS.
When are insurance agencies like football teams? There is no question that sport has become big business and, by and large, it’s a business not at all like that of an independent insurance agency. But sometimes sports analogies can provide some insight into best business practices.
A football team is built to win games. It requires a defined number of players on the field and each position has a specific purpose. All the positions are required for every game. But things happen, as they say. Players sometimes play hurt. Vacant positions are filled by trainees or substitutes crossing over to play in positions where they are not strong. More...
STRATEGY: FOCUS YOUR PLANNING.
Another article on planning!? Why should you read this one? Because you may be over-complicating things.
We are well into the fourth quarter of this year. Has 2011 been a B.I.G. (Business Is Great) year? Or not so great? Do you even know? It’s easy to get caught up in the negative media hype. What indicators are you watching? Retention? Revenue? Expenses? The Dow? The unemployment figures? If these are the numbers that frame your thinking, you might want to change your perspective. More...