I read with interest the article Ida Axling (@BrokingIda) wrote on Insurance Age about succession planning. As a group, people working in insurance are usually cautious to a fault, which makes the lack of planning for their businesses survival a bit of a surprise - you would think.
Don't get me wrong, I think Ida is spot on here, and it lines up with what we say all too often when talking to brokers about anything to do with planning ahead.
While successful brokers will already know which schemes they will operate, how they will acquire customers and what tools they need to do so, so many businesses are still operating on the 'build it and they will come' philosophy.
This month saw the final addition of the Yellow Pages published. The once 'paper google', several inches thick, is in its final form a mere pamphlet.
While it used to be the place to be to get in front of potential customers, times have moved on. Brokers need to move with it.
In an industry where there is almost no loyalty, and, despite the FCA saying otherwise, is price driven, there is room for a few brokers to stand out and get noticed.
Brokers and insurance companies need to be out on the street when the Army is sandbagging a river in flood, out checking people have overnight accommodation when theres a fire. Don't wait for someone to ring your claims line, and don't worry about if they have a live policy - just go and help. Not once, or if its on a weekday, or if its nice out - all the time.
Show you care about the community, and you will reap rewards in the long term.
The long term does, of course, include your succession planning. Don't be part of the 87% that haven't bothered. If you are asking your customers to protect themselves and you don't, what sort of a message does that send? Talk to your legal help to get things sorted.
If you are a family business, that planning is even more important. There are specialists out there such as thefamilybusinesslawyer.co.uk that can help here.
Do your planning, know what you need, know how to help and know how you will exit your business when you feel the time is right.