SBDC helps employees succeed as partner
Posted July 21, 2010
With help from coaching from the Idaho Small Business Development Center, a former employee who became a partner in an insurance business is watching the company continue its success story.
The Insurance Shoppe a local, family owned independent insurance agency was started in 1976 when Robert and Nora Sharp moved into the area and purchased an existing agency. In 2001, Nora Sharp hired college student Aimee Delavan to work part-time for the agency while attending college to be an accountant. Delavan was unfamiliar regarding insurance at the time, but as soon as she started to learn, she loved it. She quickly realized that this was the career for her. Delavan completed her associate’s degree with an emphasis in business management in 2003 and became the managing partner of The Insurance Shoppe in April 2007.
Delavan became aware of the Idaho SBDC through a seminar offered through the Chamber of Commerce and has been working with coach Mike Wells. She feels it has been very helpful to have a coach to bounce ideas off.
“Sometimes you are so close to having a great idea and you are just missing one little piece of the puzzle and a fresh pair of eyes from the outside with a great deal of experience in the business world can help to complete the circle,” Delavan said. “I think business owners have a tendency to work too much as technicians in their businesses and don’t spend enough time working on the business. The SBDC coaches really stress taking an hour or so each week to work on your business.”
The agency has grown to a full-service insurance agency serving Idaho, Washington and California. Customers typically come to them because a friend or family member has referred them due to the customer service they received.
“That is truly the best compliment we could receive,” Delavan said. “We are very proactive always looking for coverage gaps and missing discounts. In these economic times people can’t afford for their insurance costs to increase.”
Since The Insurance Shoppe is an independent insurance agency, it has access to multiple insurance companies which benefits the customer. It has been its mission to try and help better the bottom line of any business that is in need of a review of their current policies. The Insurance Shoppe also offers coverage’s for both individuals and businesses. Their commercial department has been busy reviewing local businesses insurance plans for proper coverage and fair pricing. They feel that it is the rebound of the small businesses that will help turn the economy back in the right direction.
The Insurance Shoppe is located at 755 N. Regal St. in Post Falls. Its Web site is www.inshoppe.com and phone number 773-7531.
Idaho SBDC at the North Idaho College exists to help businesses thrive and grow by providing no-cost business coaching, high-impact business training and free resources to business leaders. For more information call 666-8009 or go to www.IdahoSBDC.org.