Brightway Insurance

Brightway Insurance Q&A with Chip Hyers

1. How was your franchise/opportunity originally conceived and started?

After running an Independent Insurance Agency in Jacksonville, Florida, for five years, brothers and Brightway co-founders, David and Michael Miller, looked at the insurance market and asked, "What should be?" and invented the "You sell. We service." business model that has helped to grow Brightway into what it is today. 
  
2. What was your original vision for your company? How has that changed over time?
 
The Miller brothers had high hopes of growing the business into a $10 million business (measured in written premium) within 10 years. The company topped that goal within a year and today has reached over $800 million in written premium.  One aspect that has never changed for Brightway is our financial alignment with our business partners. Many companies know what they do. Many do not know why they do it. Together, the why we do business to help people achieve their personal potential along with the how, guided by our Operating Mandate and Core Values, make us the award-winning independent agency franchise we are today and ensures alignment with our Agency Owners. 
 
3. What do you believe is the single most important factor when choosing a franchise?

Do your research to determine which franchises would be the best fit for you personally. Once you have narrowed your search down to a select few, research their Franchise Disclosure Documents and pay close attention to Item 19.
 
4. Why should someone choose your franchise over other similar franchises?
 
What sets Brightway a part from most other franchise opportunities is your ability to collect residual income when policies renew. 
 
5. What makes your industry attractive?
Insurance is an essential, recession-proof business, so our franchisees continue to serve the insurance needs of people in their communities and continue to grow despite economic condition. 
 
6. What types of qualities do you look for in potential franchisees?
 
"For Brightway, it's not about the market or candidates background. Rather, its about the person. Characteristics we look for in a franchisee are: You enjoy selling, You are great a building strong, long-lasting client relationships, You are an honest, patient and focused business professional who places importance on building and maintaining an excellent reputation in the community and You're goal-oriented"
 
7. What do your franchise fees and royalties cover?
 
Our System is unlike traditional franchises, where all fees are paid by the franchisee to the franchisor. All commission income from the Contracted Companies is paid directly to us, and we then pay a portion of these commissions to our AAOs as compensation. Full details are contained in our Franchise Disclosure Document which a Brightway Franchise Development Consultant will review with you. 
 
8. How do territories work for your franchisees?
 
You will not receive an exclusive territory. 
 
9. Why has your franchise model been successful?
 
The reason we've been successful is simple. We provide our franchisees with a system that is proven; a suite of resources and tools to help them become successful and grow their business. 
 
10. Where do you see your franchise in 5 years and 10 years?
 
We see ourselves continuing to expand our footprint across the U.S. over the next several years.  Additionally, as more consumers come to rely on technology to meet their everyday needs, it makes sense that we adapt to provide not only what customers already expect, but more importantly that we work aggressively to lean forward and get ahead of them so we can exceed their expectations.
 
11. What is your favorite advice for new franchisees to help them succeed?

Trust in the system we have built.  From the start, we help you build a business plan with a focus on profitability. Using the experiences of hundreds who have come before you, we provide insights into managing your business that net the greatest results.
 
12. What would you tell potential franchisees that may be nervous about the financial burdens of starting a franchise?
 
While the up-front costs associated with starting any business can be scary, you need to focus on the long-term benefits. You're building a legacy. The beauty of opening a Brightway franchise is the residual income you earn when policies renew so your earnings potential is unlimited. 
 
13. Can you explain your financial assistance (if applicable)?
 
We are approved on the SBA Registry which means many local lending institutions are available for your financing needs.
  
14. On average, how long does it take to start a new franchise from the franchisees point of view?
 
It can vary depending on the model you choose. Our virtual training program is 6-weeks. On average, it takes about 3-months to open your location.
 
15. What was your background and experience before founding this franchise?
 
Brightway co-founders David and Michael Miller ran an independent insurance agency for five years before founding Brightway Insurance in 2008.  From 1993 to 2003, David was a senior agent and a manager for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company of Boston.    Michael started his career in a high-volume sales call center environment, driving sales and technology innovations that resulted in continuously improved results. He brought that experience forward and built his own mortgage brokerage company before he joined his brother at Brightway.
 
16. Do you have any franchisee testimonials or success stories that you would like to share?

“Brightway gives me access to the best carriers in the nation and with their after-the-sale service model, I get to focus on growing my agency while they handle the servicing needs of my customers. Brightway also offers world-class agent support to help me handle my day-to-day operations. I get the benefit of running my own agency and being my own boss with the security of always having people I can turn to when I need help," said Matthew Schor, Owner of Brightway, The Schor Family Agency in Long Beach, NY.
 

 “We didn’t know anything about insurance sales, but Brightway provides the resources, training, and support to be successful. It is scary for sure to step out in faith into the unknown, but it is also comforting to know that you’re not stepping out alone. If you put in the work, are humble enough to seek guidance and are consistent and execute on the plan, you can’t help but be successful in the Brightway system” says Jason Grubbs, owner of Brightway, The Torres-Grubbs Agency in New Port Richey, FL   

"Having celebrated my 12th year as a Brightway Agency Owner in October 2020, I am happy that I made the decision to be a part of this wonderful franchise that has allowed me to build my legacy,” says Charlene Rodriguez, Owner of Brightway, The Charlene Rodriguez Agency in Lakeland, FL.  

"Brightway embraces their WIN-WIN-WIN philosophy and it works like a charm. Our office enjoys closing business through A+ rated carriers everyday without having to allocate human capital to service our products as Brightway does the servicing on behalf of our office better than a captive office can on their own. We sell, sell, sell and have a blast doing it! It’s truly amazing to be a part of Brightway!" - Brandon Kolk, owner of Brightway, The Kolk Agency in Colorado Springs, CO. 

 
17. Provide an overview/ description of your industry.  Include reasons why it's a great industry to start a business in today.
 
Insurance is an essential, recession-proof business so our franchisees continue to serve the insurance needs of people in their communities and continue to grow. One of the benefits of owning a Brightway franchise rather than a traditional franchise is the residual income you earn on renewing policies. Most of our customers renew their policies so our franchisees continue to earn residual income for each policy term.  
 
18. How has your industry changed in the last 10 years?  20 years?
 
While we have had to adapt the way we do business, insurance remains an essential product everyone needs. As more consumers come to rely on technology to meet their everyday needs, it makes sense that we adapt to provide not only what customers already expect, but more importantly that we work aggressively to lean forward and get ahead of them so we can exceed their expectations.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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