Insurance is one of the most important things that Entrepreneurs miss when they start their businesses. Often they don’t realize that it’s necessary. This month, Fempreneur Chelsea Fox will be joining me in the Fempreneur Forum to discuss how insurance plays a role in all businesses and what to consider. Join us.
What got you interested in becoming an Entrepreneur?
My interest to be an entrepreneur has been with me all my life. My parents are self-employed where I watched their ups and downs of business. At a young age customer service was my job at the family business, taking calls and saying hello to people as the came through the door. At the age of 10 I had my first lemonade stand, by 13 I was babysitting full time, and by 17 I had started personal training at my parents gym. I’ve always had an ability to find money-making opportunities. I knew I wanted to be in business for myself for more than just the money, though. I wanted it because to me it means a life of freedom not working for the man.
What first caught your eye in the Insurance biz?
Honestly, my intention when I began in 2014 was to be the customer service rep for the Allstate office next door to my gym. I was still holding on to hope while struggling to grow personal training business I had at the time so I thought a second job would help me through the slow times. Well, the office didn’t need a service rep, they needed a sales rep. I took the licensing and passed on the first try so I saw that as a good sign. After about a year at Allstate I was tired of only having one product to offer to potential clients and seeing many of them leave my office for an independent office because they had more options for them. I began to research the differences between agencies and how they operated. I was introduced to Michigan Insurance and Financial Services in late 2015 / early 2016. What I liked most was I had the opportunity to be an agency owner. It satisfied my want for more companies to sell insurance policies which meant helping more clients and, lastly, the ultimate goal for me to be in charge of my schedule and day to day operations.
What do you love about what you do?
What I love most is taking the burden of finding a new insurance policy off of my client’s to-do list. I work with many business owners who just don’t have time for one more paperwork issue or to send documentation to someone. I love being the personal insurance assistant for them. I correspond with the company, I take photos, I send in paperwork, I notify clients of payment changes, and soooo much more. I also really love the process of meeting new people that will introduce me to others needing my help.
Tell me a story from your work.
A success story for me is that I used to be terrified of cold stops in businesses. I felt like I was interrupting owner’s days and the rejection took the wind out of my sails every time. However, after continued effort to overcome the fear, cold stops became easier and easier. How so? Well, first off, I started paying attention to what types of businesses that other agents were constantly going after. Then I went to my companies, all 20 of them, to learn what other types of business, other than the most popular ones, they offered coverage for. I also began looking at what businesses were primarily owned by men or women. Naturally, I connected with contacting more women owned businesses since, why not, that’s my tribe. Also I was able to speak their language, better – it all began to flow. I launched my new approach in November 2017 and it took off like crazy. I was booking coffee dates with interested prospective businesses I had no doubt I could insure. It was like a light switch had turned on and I was gaining confidence. Now, cold stops are a regular part of my weekly agenda because you just never know who you are going to meet and if they may need your services. Plus, I really do enjoy learning about other peoples business. It’s fun to hear an owner’s story of how they brought their business to life and what they are most passionate about. I regularly host Facebook Live Business Spotlight episodes to promote the people I meet. Check them out here https://www.facebook.com/ Shesellsinsurance/ Email me at [email protected] to set one up.
What do you suggest for any Fempreneur who is starting to scale their business?
I highly suggest knowing what you are covered for and what you aren’t. As Fempreneur’s, we blossom with new ideas like spring flowers. We understand that having a hair salon, with a tanning bed, with nails, with massage, and with tattooed make up services all goes together as a full service salon, but your insurance policy may not agree with you. Always consult an agent before advertising your services. Insurance companies check your websites, they look at Facebook and photos, to get a sense of what you offer. When you are scaling your business you may need to hire more employees. I highly recommend background checks and references to prevent hiring an employee with sticky fingers or one that doesn’t understand personal boundaries. It isn’t a fun day spent in court trying to sort out a sexual harassment case or convict a prior employee of theft.