Grand Rapids, MI Compass Branch Owner
“The culture and the people at Compass are fantastic. There’s no ceiling for growth, and you have a great deal of ownership with your clients and business. The outcome is in your hands.”
Compass Points to Branch Opportunity for Growth
Paul Middel’s experience in deciding to own a Compass Branch in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is perhaps a little different than most. “My extended family in Colorado has an agency. After talking with them, I felt insurance could be a great career for me. I became a partner agent with Compass and then moved to become a branch owner because of the growth potential.”
Middel funded his start-up with his own personal funds combined with a small business loan. With a Bachelor’s in Business Management, Middel’s only previous management experience was as a restaurant house manager while going to college. He notes, however, that “Owning a branch is not nearly as hard as I thought it might be,” he says. “There’s no ceiling for growth, and you have a great deal of ownership with your clients and business. The outcome is in your hands.”
In addition, Middel favors the Compass culture. “The people at Compass are fantastic. The service team is great, and upper management is more than willing to answer any of your questions, no matter how big or small they are. They are very excited to help you succeed.”
He particularly likes that Compass deals with multiple carriers. “While I mainly focus on Michigan, I love the ability to cross-line in other states. I am more than happy with the company mix. There is generally a place for any client,” he says.
Comfortable Living with Lots of Flexibility for My Family
A father of three, Middel adds, “ I enjoy the flexibility of running my own business, being able to make a comfortable living and still have plenty time to spend with my wife and children, travel, and play golf.”
Marketing is a combination of event sponsorship, online SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to promote the branch, and occasionally buying leads. Middel aims to expand his business 20% in 2023; he currently has one employee and hopes to bring on one or two more this year. Over the next five years, his objective is to continue to grow between 15% to 20% annually and have a total of four to five agents working for the branch.
While Middel says bringing on an employee is fairly simple, as pre-recorded self-led training help facilitate onboarding. However, he says that “Getting qualified candidates is probably the hardest thing for me right now.”
Overall, Middel says, “My goals are to grow a team of agents, live a balanced family/work life, and grow a healthy book of happy clients.”
It sounds like his Compass is pointing in the right direction.
The service team is great, and upper management is more than willing to answer questions no matter how big or small they are. They are very excited to help you succeed.