Three growth strategies to implement in 2019
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This time of year is often slower for the benefits industry, which gives brokers and agency owners the opportunity to set goals and make plans for achieving them. If your 2019 goals are centered around agency growth, consider implementing these strategies in the coming year.
Recruit millennials to your agency
The demographics of the benefits industry are not reflective of the changing workforce. The average broker is closer to retirement than the beginning of his or her career, and as a result, many agencies need to “build the bench” to ensure future success and growth.
The low unemployment rate may already be affecting your book of business, and strategizing recruitment and hiring efforts now can allow you to have enough time to ramp up before next year’s open enrollment.
How can agencies better recruit millennials? One way is to focus on the problems that brokers think about and help employers solve — specifically, the increasing cost of health care. Arguably, there is not a more important domestic problem facing our country than health care, and brokers are on the frontlines when it comes to the cost. Understanding the nature of the problem from a broker’s standpoint is important for anyone wanting to pursue a career in health care.
Another way to evolve and grow your agency is to adopt HR and benefits technology. By offering an HR software solution, brokers are able to build comprehensive HR consulting into the existing benefits service model.
This is something small employers are increasingly looking for from their advisors, which is also related to the rise of millennials in the workforce. As this generation rises into decision-making positions, they are looking for streamlined, tech-based solutions for the administrative hassles of HR, including hiring, onboarding, benefits enrollment and more.
Adopting HR technology allows you to expand your scope of service, gives you a competitive differentiator to win new business and creates “stickiness” with your current clients.
Get creative on cost containment
From pharma to funding, there are more options than ever before for brokers to positively impact employers’ benefits spend and make a difference in the offerings they are able to provide to employees.
The health care supply chain continues to evolve. For example, consider the changing relationship between pharmacy benefit managers and insurers, or the pace of consolidation between hospitals and provider groups. These changes mean market-specific cost containment strategies aren’t just interesting or innovative – they’re necessary.
Even if you think clients aren’t going to bite on self-funding this year, refine your messaging and marketing around these options. Position yourself as an expert in every option available to employers — even the ones that don’t seem like a good fit this year for your groups — because it will build confidence that you are evaluating their best option annually and in light of a changing industry.
In a strong economy and competitive labor market, employers are looking for strategic business and benefits advice. This represents growth opportunity for brokers, and the above tactics may help brokers achieve those goals in 2019.