Starting a one-match fire:
Thanks to my mom, I’m an Eagle Scout. I guess you might say SHE is an Eagle Scout. And I have two brothers who are also Eagle Scouts, so she accomplished the feat three times!
Not everything I learned in the Scouting program has stuck with me over the years, but one skill I remember is how to build a one-match fire. You probably haven’t thought of it this way, but building a successful agency is a lot like a building a one-match fire. In this case, the match is like your startup money.
Just as a Scout hopes the small flame from a match will grow into a roaring bonfire, you need to use any money you have on hand to build your agency into something that can provide income to you for many years. The last thing you want to see happen is your match to blow out or your kindling to smolder into ashes before your fire gets going.
Or, in the case of your agency, you don’t want to see your business go under before your marketing and quoting efforts kick in and give you results.
If you have some capital saved, and you want to use that money on marketing to grow your agency, Firefly might be a great help to you. Our model minimizes your startup and monthly costs, which let’s you use your resources to market yourself and have your best shot at building a “one-match agency.” This is important because if your fire goes out, you can reach for another match and additional fuel. But if your agency doesn’t get off the ground fast enough, you many not get another chance.
Does Firefly charge fees?
To be clear, we do not have:
- A monthly fee (which is charging money for carrier access, or “just because”) nor
- An initiation fee, franchise fee, training cost, or other buy-in or startup cost
With aggregators, clusters, or franchises, you almost always pay a large buy-in or franchise fee. (We’ve seen amounts from $5,000 to $40,000!) But fees like this can blow out your match right away! If you spend that much money getting set up, you have that much less money to use for marketing or sustaining your agency long enough to truly ignite.
We make our money through our commission split with you. This is why we encourage you to use your resources to grow, rather than giving it to us. The more policies you write and the more you grow, the more we both grow.
What costs will you incur with ANY model?
We’ve found that there are three things every agent must have to be successful, and we require our agents to have them. Without them your office cannot function. Each one will be discussed in detail in other articles. Those three things are:
- Errors and Omissions insurance
- A comparative rater (we use EZLynx) and
- A management system (also EZLynx)
With Firefly, your total cost for all three items is $395 per month. These are the only mandatory costs you will incur while working with us, and this is less than you would pay if you were to get each of these things a la carte, on your own.
Other organizations often charge you a monthly fee that does NOT include these tools. You need them even if you work with an aggregator, which makes your monthly costs much higher than they need to be. (In our opinion!)
Because we make no money on fees, we’re looking for agents who are poised to grow.
We don’t make money on fees. We only make money if you write business and grow your agency. But we invest many hours of time and expertise to train every new agent on all of our carriers. Without collecting a startup fee, it’s very costly for us to train an agent and have them fail. That’s why we’ll ask you about the “Three P’s” when we talk. We’ll write a blog entry about this, soon. In short, the Three P’s are attributes that we know lead to agent success.
Of course, you will incur other costs as you manage your agency, which will depend on how you choose to operate. You can learn more about some of these in our fun blog article “What expenses will I incur when I start my agency?”
Here at Firefly, we know that keeping your start-up costs low gives you the best chance to succeed. Call us if you’re interested in starting your own one-match agency!