Abram Interstate Insurance Services, Inc., CMGA

Helping Independent Insurance Agents Since 1996

3 Steps For Making Time Off a Reality | Business Tips for Insurance Agents

Published on June 30, 2016

Own your own business, they said. Become an Insurance Agent, they said.

There are a lot of perks to being an insurance agent, especially when you’re an independent insurance agent with your own agency.  You work as hard (or as relaxed) as you want. You get to set your own hours. The problem is, the more successful you become, usually the busier you become and the harder you work. Eventually some of you may have found yourselves at a point where you’re hiring employees to help divert some of the work flow — but then they rely on you for direction and management.

You may have started with the grand idea of working 3 days every week and taking a month long vacation whenever you liked. It usually takes a lot of hard work and time spent to get there. But that’s not to say you should be working round the clock, even though that’s easy to slip into, especially when things are going well.

For one, research shows you’re more productive when you take breaks and take time off. Fabienne Fredickson of Forbes.com writes that, “First, vacation is good for your health and research has shown it lowers the risk of heart disease for both men and women. Second, people who take vacations for at least one week, say they experience an 82% increase in job performance after time off.”

Time away from your insurance agency is good for your brain, your body, and your business. Also, working non-stop trying to get to the top is a fast road toward burnout.

So how do you actually make time off happen? It takes some planning.

Here are 3 tips from Forbes.com for making your time off into a reality.

1. Plan out your schedule for a full 12 months.

When you’re self-employed, you can make whatever schedule you’d like. You’re in charge. Figure out how many hours you want to work every week or month, and then plan around it. For me, the goal is to take a full month off every year, in addition to several other weeks, one at a time. Depending on your own needs and desires, you may want to aim for two weeks per year or perhaps one week every single month. Anything is possible if you plan ahead.

Designate days in your calendar that are set aside for clients, for business development and marketing, and then for vacation. Commit to following this plan and following through especially on your relaxation time.

2. Educate your clients and your team.

Be sure that your clients are well educated on what your availability is and stick to this schedule. For the most part, people like rules and respect firm boundaries. Once clients know how and when to access you, they will adhere to that. I let all of my clients know up front that I am not available to them during the months of August and December. It’s in all of my new-client material and because they know this up-front it is never an issue.

It’s also very important to educate your team. The ins and outs of my schedule and how to manage my calendar have actually become part of our company culture. The team knows my availability and it’s become a non-negotiable aspect of how we do business. Getting buy-in from your team is absolutely crucial for success.

3. Put systems in place.

Systematizing your business is one of the smartest things you can do to free yourself up. When your team knows exactly what to do, when to do it and precisely how you would want it to be done, your business can run like a well-oiled machine. And more importantly, having reliable, documented systems in place allows your business to run this way without you being there all the time.

Set yourself up for success. Then, give yourself this precious gift of time and watch your business—and your life—flourish.

To make your business easier when you get back or before you go, we have Online Quoting for our Wholesale Commercial Lines Insurance and Personal Lines Insurance products, and you can Chat with us online now if you have any questions we can help you with on your insurance risks.

Abram Interstate Insurance Services, Inc. is a California wholesale insurance broker (CMGA) that has licensing and expertise to place business in both admitted and non-admitted markets for personal lines insurance and commercial lines insurance in California and surrounding areas.

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