The Indie Agents Guide to The Coronavirus Relief Options

New Options Available For Your Insurance Agency  

Most insurance agents and agencies could consider themselves small businesses. Thanks to the recent CARES act, signed into law by the President on Friday, March 27th, there are four new funding options available to small businesses. These are temporary but necessary programs established to support businesses affected by Coronavirus. We’ve gathered a bit of helpful information for your agency to consider. 

So, What’s the Government Doing Exactly?

Here it is in a nutshell. They are offering:
1. A Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – expanding one of their traditional loan programs and forgiving businesses for retaining employees
2. Economic Injury Disaster Loans – providing up to $10,000 advance loan if your business is facing temporary difficulties
3. SBA Express Bridge Loans – allowing businesses to get a quick $25,000 if they have a current SBA Express Lender relationship
4. Debt Relief – affording financial reprieve to small businesses

Here it is, in less of a nutshell.

Where to Start

When our friends at Broker Buddha reached out to let us know they developed a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) resource, we were excited to share it with you! Not only because it’s backed by a fellow InsurTech leader, but because this is one of the primary loans independent agencies should apply for. It benefits small businesses who have focused on keeping their employees on payroll – we love that. 
When it comes to the PPP, the 31 pages of guidelines are just the start. Our best find for an overview is on Marketplace, where they dive into some major details like who can apply, where to apply, and some basic terms of the loan. They also emphasize that you should apply ASAP since there is a funding cap.
The application can be submitted “to any SBA lender or any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating,” according to Janet Nguyen with Marketplace. But those institutions haven’t made it easy.

I’ve Got Friends in “Loan” Places

Thankfully, Broker Buddha did make it easy. They designed an entire PPP Loan Smart Form application to make the process “easier and far less time-consuming for businesses to complete.” 
Their resource makes it simple to apply for this loan, and includes instructions throughout the process – something the original PDF application did not provide. They also offer this service free to all agencies, even those not using the Broker Buddha platform.
We highly recommend your agency apply for a PPP Loan if you have prioritized keeping your team employed. Using the free access Smart Form to apply will simply make that experience better!

It's Time To Build Your Brand Persona!

Building a Brand Persona – Why Not Now?

It’s become a slow season for most businesses. This was unexpected, and probably not preferred, but there is a silver lining. During this period, you have the opportunity to sit and re-align on your company’s core values, and finally develop a persona that reflects them.

Don’t think a Brand Persona is Worth The Time? Think Again!

Smaller companies tend to skip this step in brand development, or at least never quite narrow it down. It benefits your customers to envision your company as a person or personality that is not only memorable, but exemplifies your company mission. And we all know that whatever benefits your customers, benefits your business.

A Brand Persona embodies what your company does and how you make your clients feel. Take Gordy Z for example. He’s our big green monster disrupting the way the insurance industry collects payments. He doesn’t like checks, and he likes to make himself known in big ways. For our users, he makes it clear that paper checks aren’t going to last and that we’re able to help them get noticed in big ways.

Where to Start When Designing your Brand Persona

Developing Gordy Z required many creative ideas, iterations, and input. As a young company in an industry not well-known (yet!) for allure or glamour, we wanted something that would stand out while still representing our mission and values. One concept included an astronaut, because we viewed digital payments as a new frontier to be explored. Another was the loyal “man’s best friend” since we want our clients to know they can rely on ePayPolicy.

Neither was a perfect fit. So we went back to our purpose, our original goal when we launched the company – to destroy the outdated payment methods for the insurance industry. There wasn’t anything like ePayPolicy and we were determined to be a monster of innovation. Out of this, Gordy Z was born. He now wreaks havoc on traditional ways agents collect payments.

Once we found the winning idea, we consulted with a designer to develop his look. Expanding on his personality alongside our team ensured he has the real heart of our company. Gordy is approachable, fast to react, and excited! Most importantly, he’s disrupting the norm and not dealing with paper checks when he knows there is a better solution out there.

Additional Benefits of Having a Brand Persona 

 Social Media Buzz Using your persona on social makes your company easy to identify, and ideally keeps them entertained as you create new and creative content.
 – Promotional Products – When we see a brand we like, we want everything we can get our hands on. Stickers, t-shirts, socks, you name it!
– Client Connection Let’s be honest, we love a unique, engaging brand. With your persona, clients can be “in” on the fun and feel like they are part of the team.

It takes a little work but establishing a brand persona is the perfect way to bring your team together, have some fun, and create a little excitement in and around your company. Check out this article to dive further into developing your own Brand Persona