“I didn’t succeed by changing my business plan. I succeeded because of my business plan.”
One of our broker partners, Nigel Bartlett, recently featured in an Insurance Age article talking about passing the £1m milestone.
He shares what it took to get to the magic £1m GWP – and a Mont Blanc pen!
Founder and broker: Nigel Bartlett, Bartlett James Risk Solutions
Based in Cannock, Staffordshire, Bartlett James Risk Solution has been trading since 2018. The firm is an appointed representative of Momentum Broker Solutions.
Is it true that the first £1m of gross written premium is the hardest?
I’d say the first £500,000 is the hardest because most of us start from zero. It’s getting to that figure and building a solid referral network initially; that’s the hardest part.
What were the one or two biggest factors that helped you get to £1m?
Focus on sales and client referral. I can’t stress enough the importance of picking the right clients. You can either get to £1m and have 60 or 70 clients, or you can get to £1m and have 250 clients.
I think I stuck to closely to my business plan. I wanted to focus on small client numbers with a good mix between larger and smaller. The key for me was achieving workable balance.
You need to find people who appreciate the value you create and the service you provide. Another major factor for me was broking support. Having Momentum Broker Solutions as my partner has given me excellent market access and broking support which freed me up to concentrate on winning new clients.
How closely did you stick to your original business plan to get to the milestone?
I think I stuck to closely to my business plan. I wanted to focus on small client numbers with a good mix between larger and smaller. The key for me was achieving workable balance. I was mindful that if I had too many smaller clients then my workload would significantly increase and stall growth.
Ultimately, it’s important to select the right people to work with.
My typical client is from commercial/business sector. My portfolio consists of construction, manufacturing, engineering and transportation in the main.
Did you celebrate passing £1m and, if so, how?
I did. I got a really nice Mont Blanc pen from Momentum, which was awarded to me during their conference in 2022.
Did your business materially change once you passed £1m?
I didn’t succeed by changing my business plan. I succeeded because of my business plan. So, no, there’s been no material change since passing that landmark.
What was the difference in time it took to get from £1m to £2m, compared to £0 to £1m?
I’m not quite at £2m yet, but it’s fast approaching, and I think I’ll achieve this in the next six months.
What would be your best bit of advice to any founder out there who is at the £500,000 to £750,000 mark today and looking to take the next step?
Just keep doing what you did to start with. It’s as simple as that really. It’s worked for me, and it can work for you too.