You do not need vendor programs to be successful. As a matter of fact some of the best companies I have worked with were not on a single insurance vendor program. Vendor programs will bring you work but then you are stuck playing by their rules and getting small $ claims and not understanding the discipline to get work on your own. You will likely have limited time and staffing to get the word out so you will need a solid plan.
Here is what I would do:
- Decide what kind of work you would like to perform: water, mold, recon, asbestos, cleaning, etc.
- Make sure that the work you are marketing for that you have the competency to be very good - if not then get the needed training and resources to be the best.
- Create a marketing plan and focuses your efforts in the areas where you excel.
- Optimize your website so that you are getting the leads you want and need
- Spend all your discretionary time knocking on doors and making your pitch. - Ask for one job, an opportunity to prove that you can provide solutions to problems they have.
- Make sure you are saying something different than the other companies in your market - everyone is on call 24/365 and has the same equipment. Sell the benefits of your service rather than just the features of your offering.
- Set up a route and see the relevant people every 45 days or less so they remember your company. You have limited time so you need to be discriminating and some should not get a return visit.
- If you are doing reconstruction projects then you may want to call on fire departments to see if they have a board up program that you can participate in. If you go this route there are several considerations. If available you should check into 1-800 Board up. If you do not want to pay the cost or cannot participate in the program them you may consider hiring an off-duty fireman to run a route to the surrounding stations to represent your business. Fire stations are like a fraternity so if you are not a firefighter it is difficult to get in.
- Your route should consist of agents, adjusters, property management companies and plumbers
- When you get an opportunity for a job - now you need to excel. Make sure your paperwork is relevant, accurate and timely. All paperwork should be clear and not leave any unanswered questions since many if not most estimates and bills will be audited by another party other than the one that is approving your work. You need to make sure you are providing value in all the work you do. Be able to defend your billing statement or estimate.
- Affinity marketing is a great resource as well. Make sure that everyone you do business with or associate with in a professional capacity knows what you do. Ask them if they can make any introductions to property owners, business owners, insurance agents, etc. Use these introductions to make warm calls rather than cold calling prospects.
All the above ideas will help you build momentum and organically grow your company. You may find that vendor or TPA work is not necessary. Many of the above ideas will help you business grow regardless of how long you have been in the industry. Additionally people will do business with people they like - so be likable.