100+ Post Club
I have a opportunity to take over a nice book of business at a AllState agency. I been kicking the opportunity around. I'm pretty happy doing what I'm doing being independant. I don't think I want to give my freedom away to the corporate borg. Any thoughts on this. I really don't know what strings would be attached to an AllState contract.
I don't know the Allstate business model and what you're selling now. I know I'd jump on a State Farm opportunity in a minute, even though they have one of the most restrictive captive contracts in the industry. State Farm has incredible training and support, as you don't go out on your own for two years. Compare that to my five days of training I got in my current position. On the other hand, Nationwide would carry many of the products as those two companies and somewhere I've heard Nationwide is actually pretty bad at providing training and support for a company of that size.

Name recognition actually does mean something and so does support. Take a legitimate fair look at it, but as John said ultimately go with your gut. I didn't go with my gut in my current position and every week I think about leaving, as John and I have actually discussed before. I went with my heart instead. My heart told me how bad I hated my old job and how the company treated me, that I just needed to get out of there. My gut told me the guy I would be working with would really ride my ass and tell me to pull some shady, unethical things. It's been worse than I could have imagined.
Honeestly it's not so much about the company. A State Farm agent said it best, "The company sets parameters that agents have to abide by but other than those set in stone, an agent runs his agency his way."

This is what I mean, they can say they have all the training in the world, but it's how the agent applies that training that counts. They sit your ass in front of a computer screen for 4 hours a day, although it is training you, you start getting bored after the first 2 hours.

Honestly, P&C rocks if you know how to cross sell and if you specialize. Just do your thing already. Happy being independent, stay.
The question is do you want to open your own sub shop or buy a Subway franchise?

You can debate the pros and cons of both until you're blue in the face. With Subway you get instant recoginition. They will research the best location, fully supply the outfit and you'll have a very strict set of guidlines to follow. Success is almost guaranteed but if you're off by .00001% on any portion of your business - spoilage, profit, etc...then you're getting a call from "corporate" telling you to straighen your ass out. Yes, you "own" the franchise but they expect a certain profit off their cut.

Open your own shop and obviously you can do whatever you want whenever you want. However, chances of success are much smaller and you have zero support.

Personally I'm the "get my own subshop" guy. If someone from corporate called me up and said "Mr. Petrowski, you last quarterly reports shows you're off on spoilage by .05% and off on expenses by 2%" my reaction is "go kiss my ass."

And by the way, if you really dug in hard to ran your own agency you'd destory what any State Farm agents makes.
I have to agree with you John. I'm a "my shop" kind of guy too, with the freedoms I enjoy and the reduction of stress and BS that I don't have to deal with on daily bacis, I better off doing what I doing. I've talked to many successfull captive agents that would get their left nut to be in my shoes.