3 Jun 2020
10 Ways to Crisis-proof Your Business
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 1 second
Did your business suffer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, you’re not alone. Take heart in the fact that you adapted to survive and that you’re wiser and stronger for it. Now, as we return to work more fully, you can use those lessons learned to crisis-proof your business against an uncertain future.
No one knows what lies ahead or what the next big challenge will be. Even so, there are actions you can take right now to better fortify your business for whatever lies ahead—including these 10 timeless crisis-proofing strategies, especially for agents.
- Broaden Your Client Base
Many agents develop a niche clientele over time, such as targeting small businesses or young families. While niches allow you to leverage your expertise with a given market, this approach can also put you at higher risk in the event of a crisis. A broader client base can help you maintain greater stability when business gets shaky. If you tend to “put all your eggs in one basket,” now’s the time to work at expanding your client base.
- Explore New Lead Generation Tactics
In order to find new prospects, you need to reach out to new circles—and that means diversifying your lead generation methods. For example, if you’ve avoided networking groups in the past, now is the time to explore a few. Perhaps you’ll find one that’s a good fit. If you’ve been largely silent on social media, consider becoming more active. Never say never; try something new.
- Nurture Your Client Relationships
One of your greatest assets is your client base, so make providing great service your forever priority. Happy clients will not only want to do more business with you, but will become your lead source for quality referrals. Every client has the potential to become an ambassador for your business—when you give them reason to.
- Know Your Cash Flow
According to a study by U.S. Bank, 82% of small businesses fail due to cash flow problems. While it’s particularly difficult for commission-based sales professionals to accurately predict cash flow, you can predict your expenses, so start there and then add your projected revenues to the equation.
Focusing on the numbers you need—and want—to hit every month can not only help keep your finances running smoothly, but will inspire you to work harder and keep raising the bar.
- Broaden Your Product Portfolio
Do you sell the entire PALIG product portfolio—i.e., not just our core life and health insurance products, but less high-profile products like accident and critical illness insurance? Leveraging our complete portfolio will not only give you more products to offer existing clients but may give you a way to connect with new prospects.
- Grow Your Knowledge
One key to increasing sales is to continuously advance your sales training. In the financial services sector, there is no substitute for expertise. Challenge yourself to take a deep dive on product training, master the tech tools available to you, and pick up sales techniques from peers and top-performers. In good times and bad, no one can ever take knowledge away from you.
- Keep Your Technology Updated
When the COVID-19 shutdowns descended, our dependence on technology grew even greater. If you were caught with an outdated laptop or needed a suddenly impossible-to-find webcam, you undoubtedly found yourself working at a disadvantage. The moral: always keep your business hardware and software well-maintained, and stay up-to-date on business technology. In the event of a crisis, it may become invaluable overnight.
- Make a Plan B (or Several)
As COVID-19 taught us, things can change in an instant. Big companies engage in contingency planning, and you can, too. Think through a few disaster scenarios—a local natural disaster, a global financial crisis, plummeting sales—and develop plans for dealing with them. Put them in writing, so if the unthinkable occurs, you can start taking action on auto pilot even as your brain is processing what happened.
- Nurture Your Business Relationships
All of us are smarter than one of us. Cultivating strong business relationships with your MGA, fellow agents and the administrative staff not only offers the camaraderie most of us need to do our best work, but can yield great collective problem-solving knowledge. Develop and appreciate your professional relationships. In the event of another crisis, you’ll be able to help each other.
- Take Lessons Learned to Heart
Consider: what were your greatest business challenges arising from the pandemic, and how did you solve them? What did you learn about your own strengths and weaknesses? You’ve been through a catastrophe, and you made it through.
Now, you can use that hard-earned wisdom to crisis-proof your business, chart your future course, and be ready for whatever may come next.