Longfields are an up and coming Insurance Brokerage and have a wide and rapidly growing book of clients covering Farming & Agriculture, Commercial and HNW Personal. We speak to Director Clare Lochore about the secrets behind their success, the power of combining energy with experience and the value of good service.
Since Longfields was established they have hit the ground running. The team behind it boasts some serious experience and a wide following ready to sing their praises, which has been a large factor in their success.
“For us, service is everything,” Clare reveals, “we have a lot of friends who have become clients and a lot of clients who have become friends. If you’re sitting across the table from them over dinner you need to truly believe that the service you’ve provided is unparalleled.” Combining the energy of a start-up with the experience and reputations of the team has gone down brilliantly with customers, and word of mouth has spread quickly.
Getting the right team in place
Along with Luke Broadley, fellow director and the driving force behind the idea, the pair were able to hand pick a team of staff they had worked with historically that boasted a lot of experience across Farming, Agricultural and Commercial Insurance. As well as a deep understanding of insurance, Luke and Clare looked for natural leaders in their staff.
There was a collective belief amongst the team that by going it alone, a lot of bureaucracy could be streamlined allowing them to provide a better level of service to their customers. It was a big decision, but they haven’t looked back.
Joining Broker Network
Longfields were part of the Network right from the off. “We worked so closely with Broker Network when we took off that I can’t imagine how it would have been without them,” Clare reflects:
“So much of the company infrastructure came from Broker Network. The TOBA documents, the FCA compliance procedure recommendations and the HR support we received were invaluable. Knowing that this was all covered and to an exceptional standard meant we could focus our own time on insurance and actually driving the business!”
A helping hand
“Everyone we have spoken to at Broker Network has been ludicrously helpful,” Clare states, “even when the person you’re speaking to can’t help you directly, they take ownership of the enquiry and make sure they find someone who can rather than leaving you hanging. It’s not often you find that.”
Whilst the team at Longfields have used an array of services, Placement Support was one of the first teams to be singled out for praise. “They’re just brilliant. We’ve gone to Cathy with a few tricky cases now and she’s always been so helpful – she managed to successfully find us a quote for part of a portfolio covering a solar farm the other week!”
As well as the help sourcing cover, the speed of service has also been key. “We had one instance where we received a difficult request with a very tight deadline, and Cathy still managed to send us into the meeting armed with a quote. The client was so impressed by the speed we were able to react that it opened up new opportunities and we ended up working closely with them on a number of other areas that hadn’t initially been on the table.”
Advice for anyone else thinking of going it alone
When we asked what advice she would give to someone else considering starting up an insurance brokerage, Clare’s response was a simple one: speak to someone who’s already done something similar and been through it:
“When we started off, we already had the experience of running a business and we knew we had the expertise in insurance, but any new business can have its twists and turns in its early days. A few unexpected obstacles are inevitable, but as long as you have a solid business plan and have completed your full due diligence then it should have a minimum impact on your business. You need to be prepared to muck in whenever the need arises, and having someone on hand who has been through the same thing and can help warn you about some of the potential pitfalls is invaluable.”
For anyone considering starting a new brokerage, please contact us for further information on Broker Network’s Start-Up Proposition Package.