Posted by: jmwilsonmga | April 9, 2013

Key To Success

The key to success is “Diversity”.

Here we are in 2013 and no crystal ball is needed to see that we are in tough times with an ever-changing environment.  The need to expand or diversify your business’ offerings is imperative.

Insurance agents, what are you selling and who are you selling to? I know if you are a Benefits shop, you certainly have concerns with the latest news in the media. Maybe it’s time to partner with a Property & Casualty shop to diversify you book?

Producers, look at your production.  Are you a niche market “focus agent” and, if so, what direction is your revenue going and why? If you are chasing contractors only, I am sure you will need to look at other types of business to stay successful with this market.

The fork in the road is one mile ahead…uturn

What direction is your company going to go? Should you continue on the road to the fork at all and just take a chance on which direction to go?

Or is it best that you make a legal U-turn before you get there and re-evaluate where you are, where you have been and how you got there?

Back in early 2005, I spoke in front of two associations and consulted with the members on risk management, contractual language, and what it takes to be successful. Whether you are selling insurance, driving a big rig, or building homes….the absolute key to success or even staying in the game is diversifying your operation. Now, I didn’t have a “crystal ball” so I had no idea that in late 2005-2006 the housing market would crash. But it did, and those that failed to take my advice were out of business that year. For example, take a large contractor that had been in business over twenty years as “The Basement Contractor”. All of the larger home builders in town used this company to dig their basements and foundations within their developments. The “second generation” had taken over the company and kept operations as they had been for years (Why not right? It had worked for this long). One way they could have diversified  may have been to do the unilateral open cuts for sewers or mains since the equipment was available and their bonding capacity was adequate. As you all can imagine, when the housing market crashed, many builders went out of business so there was much less need for their operation. They closed a year later.

Here is a good story about diversity. I received a call from a client of mine who needed help. For years he had been bidding on any and every job he could get and losing them to the next new business in town that just started up. He was paying his employees’ payroll out of his personal bank account just to keep them on staff and the funds were drying up. We met at his office and agreed that now is the time to re-evaluate his operation. Why was he so successful for so many years and why is he failing now? Was it him or was it an economic scale that he can’t control? We developed a business plan that changed the direction of his company and still to this date has worked very well for him. Instead of bidding on every local job as he had for years, he hired a marketing person that retired from a large paint manufacturer who had many connections for him. This person knew what it meant to earn his living on commission selling paint. The company is now the preferred painter for many Fortune 500 companies and he travels the country to work for large companies that are calling him to work on their facilities.  A local newspaper published an article about his company’s change, which was great exposure.

Stay ahead of the game and talk to your peers, consult with your competitors, and hire a good risk manager to make sure you are prepared when you get to the fork in the road.

Chuck-Craycraft-Nov-2010 About the Author : Chuck Craycraft, Ohio Branch Manager

Chuck Craycraft joined J.M. Wilson in 2010. He is responsible for overseeing and managing the day-to-day operations of the Ohio Branch Office, maintains current clients, fosters new relationships, and visits agencies helping them find resolutions to their needs. He loves everything about his position and feels he is working with the greatest group of people in the industry. Outside of the office, Chuck enjoys playing golf, coaching youth sports, and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only. There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered. The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information. This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson. It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information. Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors. Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use. Legal

Copyright 2013 J.M. Wilson Corporation

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