“How I Started” is a series of interviews with local entrepreneurs by RCED. Businesses don’t “just happen” and we aim to shed light on our local entrepreneur stories and how they got started. This will be a resource for others starting a business and local students competing in the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. Submit your story here https://goo.gl/forms/CoxglfngEcw69m6z2 or nominate an entrepreneur by emailing email@example.com.
Jelinek Insurance Agency, Inc.
What is your product/service?
What are important attributes of your product/service?
Independent Insurance Agency, we work for the customer and not for the Insurance Company. We can shop many great companies to find the perfect policy at the lowest price.
Where are you located and why?
Munden, KS because I purchased this longtime community business.
How many employees?
Who/where is your target market?
Farmers are the majority of our book of business but we can help anyone with their insurance needs.
Who is your competition?
Any other insurance agencies in the region.
What education, experience, or talents are needed in your company?
Business Administration, Office experience, customer service experience, and must be very talented communicating with customers and comparing numbers and values.
What are some successes when starting a business?
I love being my own boss and knowing that it is completely up to me if I want to make more money. I don’t have to hope that my boss will give me a raise but I can have faith that if I work hard it will pay off.
What are some challenges when starting a business?
I don’t have a 40 hour work week. I’m basically on call 24-7 and always work more hours now than when I was an employee for an agency.
Did you utilize any resources that helped start your business?
I took an entrepreneurship class from Central Community College in Hastings. One great resource for me has been other agents. They have not only shared knowledge but I have been able to purchase a couple books of business as well. The ROZ student loan program has also allowed me to pay off my student loans this year.
Did you use a business plan when starting?
Do you have any business role models?
Loretta Wilson, Robert Dible, Terry Jelinek, Darell Janasek.
Any advice for others?
If you have a goal, make a plan and go for it. Some days have been very stressful but with hard work, you can be successful.