It's been over a year since I last posted to my editorial page and for that I profusely apologize. Those who know me know I meant no foul. A lot has been going on in my personal and professional life, all for the positive. First and foremost (an most important of all) I am a new father to a baby girl, my little Italian princess, Sophia! She is the best birthday present from God. Yes, she was born on my birthday -- a special yet rare bond we will always have! I also passed my NJ State Insurance producer's exam for property & casualty insurance late last year (after my last post).
After many months of deep pondering, trying to noodle up business ideas to create for myself, now that I have a baby girl to provide for and mortgage-like amount of student loans (more about this later), I though up a brilliant way to add an additional revenue stream to my part time detailing business. You got it, insurance sales! Think about it, who knows your customer's car better than you (besides the mechanic -- and I bet he isn't offering insurance)? If the customer is satisfied with your services, you have a prime insurance prospect right there. Everyone with a car needs to have auto insurance. Everyone with a boat needs to have boat insurance.
Now I just touched on the idea of adding another revenue stream to your detailing business. There is a process in getting licensed, additional liability insurance to carry for yourself (E&O Insurance) and an agency you need to find to work with.
I slowly came back to detailing part time last year due to the fact that I miss the work and miss running a small business. I love cars and I love boats. I love insurance and dealing with clients in need. I love working with people's personal finances, especially when you do something to truly help them out. I always put the client's need first -- never did I look at a commission first. Most of all, I love working for myself.
A great many ideas are running through my mind to create a "best of both worlds" for Precision Auto & Marine. From high end auto detailing and yach management to marine insurance and a prelicensing prep driving school.
To get back to the insurance licensing, I may be a bit vague but you'll get the jist. You'll need to take a prelicensing course (either online or in person). I did Kaplan's prelicensing course for $179.00 for my property & casualty license. I took a month and a half to study (and I way over studied) then I took the state exam at proctored testing center, which I passed the first time in less than an hour. They give you three hours here in NJ. The test also costs $47 for each section -- two sections (property/state law & casualty/state law).
When you get licensed, you'll need to find an agency who will hire you as a broker (very easy to find). I joined my cousin's agency as a broker and we worked out a commission schedule. For example, I get approximately 40% of what the agency makes from the sale of the policy. So if the policy costs $2,500 and the agency gets paid $500, I will get 40% of that $500, which is $200. And that $200 is perpetual, year after year, until the client cancels the policy. With good customer service, the client will not cancel the policy for a cheaper one, especially if they are a steady detail client of yours. It may not seem like a lot of money but imagine if you wrote 100 policies a year -- year after year. And this is just an additional revenue source for your detailing business.
I welcome comments and questions regarding this idea.