Starting an independent agency can be exciting and terrifying all at once. While the rewards can be fruitful in the end, knowing how to start the process is vital. This series of posts from IIANC Member Daniel Rohrbaugh is meant to bring you insight into the agency ownership experience. Over the next few months, he will bring you tips and stories from his time as an agency owner. This month he takes you through “A Day In The Life of an Agency Owner”.
6 a.m. – The timer for the coffee maker goes off…it’s Go Time! My wife and I wake up to feed our six-month-old daughter. By the time the bottle is done, the coffee is ready. With a heavy pour of half & half and two ice cubes, I am starting to wake up.
6:15-7:15 a.m. – My quiet time. I go to the living room and open my laptop, turn on a classic TV show (Seinfeld, Family Matters, Andy Griffith) and start to look at the day’s numbers. I want to know what all of the checking accounts look like, business and personal, recent transactions on the business credit card, our book-of-business active premium, and policy count. Then I check the number of emails and tasks that I have, and how many appointments I have for the day. This routine doesn’t take long but gives me a tremendous amount of information.
After I do my quick scan, I start to purge email. I knock out the quick and easy stuff first. Delete, delay, delegate!
Around this time, I am on my second cup of coffee, and I flip the TV to the news.
7:15 a.m. – Time to wake up our son and help him get ready for school. Mom has breakfast waiting for him, so I slip away to shower and get dressed for the day. By the time I am dressed, my son is standing at the door and ready to leave for school.
7:45 a.m. – Kiss the wife goodbye and go out the door. I take my son to school, which is conveniently located two blocks from my office.
8:00 a.m. – Arrive at the office where it’s nice a quiet. I get my legal pad and start my list for the day. Usually, I write down the names of people that I need to call or work on their accounts. I try to be very focused and get through as much work as I can. During this time, I tend to write down things to discuss with my staff or need their help with.
9:00 a.m. – Staff starts to arrive. On Monday morning, we have a staff meeting for about an hour. We discuss goals, production, training, ideas, and life in general. Tuesday mornings, I meet with my Business Coach from TAB (The Alternative Board), or we have our monthly meeting with other TAB board members. On the other days of the week, staff settle into their workstations and start their own list of important items for the day. We share any pertinent information or meetings for the day.
10-12:30 p.m. – This is the best time for me to make phone calls and focus on production. Recently, I have been working on life insurance for existing clients. Sending emails and making phone calls to set appointments and present proposals.
12:30-2:30 p.m. – Lunchtime for the office. I usually guard the phones and eat lunch at my desk. I might run a quick errand, but I prefer to hang around the office for lunch. I find that I lose momentum when I take long breaks.
3:00 p.m. – Pick up son from school and bring him back to my office. He sits in my office with me and has a snack, does homework, and watches a little TV. I continue to work for the next couple of hours.
5:30-6:00 p.m. – We start to shut down and head home. I am hungry, tired, and ready to see the rest of my family.
6:00-7:00 p.m. – The first thing I do when I get home is to prepare my stuff for the next day. I wash my dishes from today, make my breakfast for the next morning (usually yogurt with granola and fruit), make coffee and set the timer, and sit out clothes for the next day. I’ve done this routine for over 13 years, and it works for me because it is less thinking the following morning.
We sit down as a family and have dinner with the news on in the background. After dinner, we like to play a quick board game or cards.
7:15 p.m. – Time to start making moves towards bath, book, and bed. Usually, I will feed our daughter her bottle while Mom gets our son ready for bed and reads him a book.
8:00 p.m. – Most nights, I open my laptop, make a milkshake, eat candy, and continue working while my wife controls the TV.
10:00 p.m. – Bedtime.
Daniel is originally from Lexington, NC, and moved to Raleigh when he attended North Carolina State University. Daniel worked for a State Farm Insurance Agency for 9 years before starting Raleigh Insurance Group. He and his wife, Laura, have been married for ten years and they have a son and a daughter.