|Join WEG: Office Start-up Facts|
Office Start-up Planning
For those producers who are employees or in a company sponsored or shared office location, the start-up process of a private office can be quite challenging. Like most challenges, the end results generally far out-weigh the work!
Western Equity Group personnel have over 40 years of experience in helping individuals design and start their personal office. Our experience can save you time and money in your new venture. Summarized below are a few of the more important aspects relating to starting up a new office.
Once you have made the decision to start your own office allow yourself some time for planning and development. It truly is an exciting and fun process, however, without proper planning it can become an exercise in frustration. See our Start-up Worksheet for help with this process.
Obviously, each state prohibits any sales activity prior to registration. Changing Broker/Dealer's requires that you re-register in each state under your new Broker/Dealer (WEG) Be sure to advise us of all states you will need to be registered in to continue servicing your clients. Usually we can make your registration effective within 24 to 48 hours. Also be aware that your Variable Life and Annuity carriers will require new appointment paperwork as well. In some cases WEG may need to sign a selling agreement with any carrier not on our current product list; this may cause some delays. A key element in this process is to provide us a list of your product sponsors upon your registration with Western Equity Group, Inc.
Your choice as well as expense for an office depends entirely on what you want. From upscale business locations, to shared executive arrangements, to modest home-based locations-you control the end results. Over the years we have seen the entire spectrum of office locations, types and expenses. You may find it interesting that we (WEG) have not found any significant correlation between Gross Production and office facilities. However, in almost every case, a two or three person office will run more efficiently than a single person office.
A paid assistant can be a huge asset to your business, especially in the early stages. Although it is somewhat costly to employ an assistant, many of your clients will identify with your practice as a result of their interaction with your staff. Clients love to be "cared for" and a good assistant may be the best and most cost-effective investment you will ever make. If you decide to forgo an assistant, make sure that you purchase a user friendly voice-mail system, which includes an option to contact you in an emergency (during business hours) with either voice or text messaging.
Good, quality office equipment is relatively inexpensive when weighed against the benefits of use. With the exception of Computers, office equipment comes in basically two varieties - Home or Business design. We have found the following:
Please download or print out a copy of the WEG Start-up Worksheet to help you with your new venture. This worksheet gives you a basic overview of the various areas and expenses of starting a new office.
Creating an Identity
You are welcome to use our corporate name, your current DBA name, or create a new DBA name. If you elect to use a fictional DBA name, try to avoid using a term that is "Trendy" or confusing. Make sure you do a name search prior to implementing your new name. This is especially important in larger metropolitan areas; don't assume, because the name you have chosen is not listed in the Yellow Pages, that it is not currently in use. We suggest utilizing a couple of different online search engines, such as Google or Yahoo. You may want to call your local Chamber of Commerce to check on name availability. In most cases, our representatives elect to use the WEG corporate name; the exception being when the rep is engaged in other business interests such as tax preparation or insurance services.
Client Account Transfers
We have lots of experience in this area! We are constantly absorbing new brokers into the the WEG Family, therefore, this initial phase of paperwork, although requiring multiple forms for client signatures, does not have to be paralyzing. We will coordinate with you on our end to get your clients aboard with a minimum of disruption. Initially, depending on the size of your client base, you may want to hire a temporary assistant. Whatever your needs, rest assured that WEG will be there to help you every step of the way.