October 6, 2022

Business is good for independent agencies, but there’s room for improvement

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Three women speak to each other in an office as they work. When it comes to the overall current state of business, 88% of agency owners surveyed described it as “good” or “excellent,” but that doesn’t mean they haven’t encountered challenges. (Credit: Zoran Pucarevic/Shutterstock.com)

The ability to form close personal relationships with clients and to provide a higher level of customer engagement are the top reasons independent agencies believe they are able to outpace larger competitors, according to an independent agency owners survey from Keystone Agency Partners (KAP) and The Harris Poll. The survey displays the importance of these aspects to customers, as the majority of owners polled (52%) said their independent agency always/often wins business against national brokerages, and only 8% said they always/often lose the business.

The survey also asked independent agency owners what they feel are the most important developments agencies can make to keep up with large carriers. Here is what they claim is the most beneficial:

  • More effective marketing solutions (40%)
  • Strategic partnerships (37%)
  • Access to new/different markets (36%)
  • Access to the best talent (29%)
  • Access to the latest technology (24%)

Eighty percent of owners said their agency was already engaged with outside providers – including accounting, IT, sales training, management system consulting and PR/marketing – to help move these aspirations forward.

When it comes to the overall current state of business, 88% of agency owners surveyed described it as “good” or “excellent,” but that doesn’t mean they haven’t encountered challenges. The top five things agency owners said they struggle with are attracting talented employees (40%), price competition (26%), their marketing/advertising budget (23%), retaining talented employees (22%) and cybersecurity, data privacy and digital risk mitigation (21%).

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