I got certified to do underwriting in the state I live in. I was going to start my own insurance agency, then I heard that a very well established firm was being sold now that the owner was retiring. The name was well established in the region, and so I decided to buy an insurance agency rather than start one. The agency had a reputation based on its name, and it was well respected. I am glad the agency name was not the name of the owner, because I did want to put my name on the sign. Fortunately, it was named after a local landmark, but people were very familiar with the agency. The word of mouth marketing was practically priceless.
The retiring owner wanted to make sure his legacy was going to be sold to someone who would treat his customers with the same level of respect he has shown them throughout the years. I took my time answering all the questions of the firm that was helping him with the sale so that I could buy an insurance agency and get to work. Taking the time to work out all the details had me in full business on that first Monday we opened. The same employees were there, and the previous owner signed on to work for me part time during the transition. Neither one of us took the approach that we knew it all. We both learned from one another.
I kept all the things that the customers liked, even the annual calendar giveaway. I added online conveniences for paying premiums, and that attracted a lot of younger customers. It was great to be starting out with a full fledged business from the first day. It sure makes it easier to repay my small business loan. It is much better than just getting started on my own.