As an agency owner, I will admit that I am pretty good at flying by the seat of my pants. But it hasn’t always served me well. Truth be told — we’re always better off when we take the time to create a plan.

For more information about Drew McLellan or Agency Management Institute – visit or check out the podcast – Build A Better Agency available at all the usual podcast host locations.

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Hey everybody, Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute. You know, a lot of times you give me a hard time about where I'm traveling to, the great destinations I get to go to, the amazing hotels and some of the scenery I get to see, so I wanted you to see this little one-bedroom single bed kind of dormitory room that I've been staying in the last couple days. I'm here in Punta Arenas, Chile and I'm here because my daughter and I are getting ready to go to Antarctica. And so this is the destination where everyone who's going on the excursion together gathers and gets ready for the trip. And then we all go to Antarctica together tomorrow. You know, so today was the briefing. So it's basically when they walk you through everything that's going to happen, how you get on and off the boat, all the ways you can die and the ways to avoid that, all of those sort of things. And we were sitting next to an American mom and daughter, and it was really clear very quickly that they had done no planning for this trip. Now the McLellans have been thinking about this for six months. We've been buying what I've been deeming "clothes so we don't die," a complete attire of weather resistant clothing that will survive the Antarctic cold and wind. So we came pretty prepared. In contrast, this mom and daughter booked the trip a month ago. And all of a sudden during the briefing, they're starting to ask questions that make it clear that they're not too confident that the clothes they brought are going to keep them warm, that they have no way of skinning down their luggage to the weight requirement that we're allowed to take on this trip, and a plethora of other things. Even little things like adapters for the power on the boat. And it made me realize how important planning is. So one of the one of the comments that the daughter made is, "Well you know, we travel internationally all the time, so we didn't really think that this was going to be that big of a deal." And I think sometimes we walk into a new year with our agencies with sort of that same attitude of, "You know what, I've been doing this for a long time. It's not going to be a big deal. "But the reality is, with a little bit of planning and a little bit of forethought, you can kick off the new year in a much better way, in a much more organized way with your head and your team kind of in alignment. And all it takes is a little bit of planning and a little bit of prep work. And so we've actually developed two documents that I would suggest you try and do maybe over the holidays as we go into 2020 or maybe those first two weeks of January when everyone's still sort of in holiday hibernation. So if you go to you're going to find two planning documents and a link to a podcast where I explain how to use those planning documents. So I want you to go into the new year ready, prepared, and with a plan in place for how you're going to make 2020 the most amazing year of your agency's history. And I think it's tough to do that when we wing it. So take a little bit of time, go grab those documents if you want to, listen to the podcast and spend some time over the next two or three or four weeks thinking through how you want 2020 to end, and what you need to do now in the first quarter, in the second quarter, in the third quarter to make sure that happens. Do not get caught without a warm enough coat,, or without a hat, or without any other pre-planning analogies I can make as you go into the next year because I want you to be ready. Okay? I'll talk to you soon.

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