In today’s post we discuss the recent survey that revealed the top U.S. States for business and explain how your insurance agency can gain a competitive edge no matter where it is located.
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On Wednesday, June 24, 2015 CNBC revealed the highly anticipated list of America’s Top States for Business. The annual study measures all 50 states on over 60 different metrics in 10 categories of competitiveness. This year marked the ninth edition of the study and there were a few surprises on the list. While it was no surprise to see Hawaii at the bottom – due to its poor infrastructure, high cost of living and high taxes – some states that had previously performed well moved several places down the list this year. However, the biggest shock was that Minnesota was named the best state for conducting business even though it has high taxes and is sympathetic to labor unions. It climbed five places since last year to bag the top spot.
The CNBC study is well researched and developed with input from a broad and diverse selection of business and policy experts, official government sources, the CNBC Global CFO Council as well as the states themselves. Each state receives points based on their rankings in each metric. Those metrics are then divided into 10 broad categories and are weighted based on how frequently each is used as a selling point in state economic development marketing materials. Both businesses and academics pay close attention to the results of this study every year and all the states do their best to rank highly on the list.
Most people expected Texas, Colorado or Georgia to take the No. 1 spot this year but Minnesota beat them thanks to its low unemployment rate (3.8 percent) and its impressive labor force participation rate (70.8 percent). It also ranked highly for quality of life, due to its low crime rate, clean air and water, and access to efficient health care. CNBC explained why they had chosen Minnesota as the top state despite its obvious disadvantages for business: “Never since we began rating the states in 2007 has a high-tax, high-wage, union-friendly state made it to the top of our rankings but Minnesota does so well in so many other areas – like education and quality of life – that its cost disadvantages fade away.”
While there are certainly many benefits for insurance agencies that happen to be located in one of the top states for business, this does not guarantee that they will be successful. Insurance agents rely on their producers to identify and attract long-term customers. They are eager to please insurance carriers by having a growing book of business. The best way to achieve this is to set yourself apart from your competitors with quality service and innovative ideas. It is a very competitive industry in which only the most dedicated and visionary insurance agents will succeed. If you feel that your agency is losing its competitiveness then you need to consider introducing some changes. By contacting our valuation service, you can get new ideas, which will greatly increase your agency’s customer base and its value.