Workers Comp Consultant – Are You Ready To Start Your Engine?
Over the years (since 1996), one of the most popular questions that I have fielded is what do I do if I want to be a Workers Comp Consultant? This question came from interns, agents, claims adjusters, premium auditors, and reporters that were interviewing me such as Bloomberg News.
I have made many mistakes since 1996 when I drew up a business plan on the proverbial kitchen table even though I was still working for a governmental agency. Let me see if I can help you avoid a few of them.
Workers Comp Consultant – Generalist or “Specificist”?
One only has to look at the medical industry to see an industry that is loaded with specialists without as many generalists as in the past. Being a generalist is a daunting task. Let us look at the 10 ways to start your workers comp consultancy.
- Do I want to specialize in an area or do I want to be a generalist? – Welcome to the tightrope you must walk – if you specialize too much, you will be out of business soon. If you become too much of a generalist, then you will never be able to do the elevator speech that is very important at the start of your career.
- Are you in the P&C industry? If not, then being a workers comp consultant may be more involved, but you can still do it. If so, then you have to think about what part of the Workers Comp industry I want to specialize in when starting my practice.
- Designations are not required, but they will help tremendously. The Institutes would be a great place to start. The AIC, ARM, and other designations would help greatly depending on your path choice.
- A business plan would help. I drew up one in 1996 that took two months to complete. As one advisor/mentor told me, that plan will change many times – be very flexible.
- Speak, write, and write some more. Making presentations and writing articles will cause you to research more than you will have ever done previously. Posting and speaking on your ideas will give you a tremendous background. You can use any of my articles for reference as long as you link to the article.
- Mentors, mentors, mentors. I had driven three hours to keep meeting with an SBA advisor named Tom. I also talked with many retirees from the insurance industry and attended federal government contractor meetings. I received no contracts. I did absorb many ideas from the meetings including what not to do.
- Graphic artistry from dressing for a meeting to how your website looks does make a difference. As the old saying goes, First impressions count. Your website, business card, and other graphics are worth the money. Yes, people still pass business cards out. Do not go on the cheap in this area. You can tell in 10 seconds if someone just threw a website up using a template.
- Be professional from the time your head leaves the pillow. Along with #7 above, you have six seconds to make an impression. The attention spans are down to just a few seconds from 20 minutes due to smartphones. A workers comp consultant’s speech can be dry. See Guy Kawasaki’s blog on how to fix that.
- Google rankings do matter. Google the Golden Triangle for more info. A Facebook consultant informed me about psychographics in 2007. That 30-minute presentation and conversing with her post-meeting opened my eyes to how the Internet really worked 15 years ago when there were few workers comp consultants.
- Go to in-person conferences and meetings. The most important part for me is the one-on-one conversations even if for a few minutes at the social events. Talking to someone standing or sitting in front of you is 10 times more effective than any video conference. (Post-pandemic). I was able to talk to one of the Fed VPs – Roger Ferguson last week at the NCCI conference (in person).
- Bonus – there is nothing wrong with going back to work for an employer. You did not fail. 90% of businesses fail within the first year.
- Double Bonus – the key is sticking to your ideas to see them blossom. This may take longer than you want to wait for success. See #11 if that happens.
Even if you are not looking to become a workers comp consultant, just take those three words out and substitute them in any other type of consultancy.
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