Eric Banks is the founder of Itus Direct, an insurance agency located in Boca Raton, Florida that serves the entire state of Florida. Itus Direct focuses on providing services in Medicare, home, and life insurance. Our goal is to bring back the old ways of transacting insurance business, face-to-face, while giving our clients the option to shop online and buy through our platform with a few clicks of the mouse.
Having been in the insurance business for over 15 years, there have been vast changes to the industry. More and more insurance agencies are strictly doing business online and over the phone. We found in this modern day many individuals are not comfortable making a major purchase – like insurance – online and would rather handle business in person. By deciding to target that demographic, Itus Direct can become the leader in providing insurance services to those who would rather buy insurance in person, while retaining a clientele comfortable purchasing online.
How did you get started in this business?
I got started in the insurance business over 15 years ago. At the time, I had no intention of building a career in this line of work, however, I quickly developed a passion for the work I was doing and knew that one day I would start my own agency.
How do you make money?
I make money via the revenue that is generated through my company, Itus Direct. My company has proven to be quite lucrative, specifically because of my approach when conducting business with my clientele. I do not simply “sell insurance”. I am constantly educating myself on changes in the industry, thus ensuring my ability to educate my clients as well. Over the years I have found that the more educated a consumer is with the product they are purchasing the more confident they will be in buying, returning, and referring your business.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
Itus Direct became profitable almost immediately after its initial launch. In the insurance industry, there is always a demand for the service we provide at Itus Direct. Because I’ve been in the industry for so many years, I’ve developed relationships with insurance carriers and consumers alike, this made it possible for me to generate revenue very quickly.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Considering my wealth of experience in the insurance industry, I was very confident in knowing that my business would prove to be quite successful – Failure was never an option or concern.
How did you get your first customer?
I got my first customer for Itus Direct after being referred by a previous client. I visited the home of my potential clients in Palm Beach, Florida and quickly built a great rapport. After educating them on the plan options available and making recommendations based on their needs, they agreed to move forward allowing me the privilege of becoming my first client is at Itus Direct.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
By consistently promoting Itus Direct online via search engines such as Google.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
The toughest decision I have had to make since the startup of my business was when I was faced with the harsh realities of the Coronavirus pandemic. Due to the economic impact of the pandemic, I had no other choice but to lay off several employees.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
There are two main things that I practice and implement not only in business, but also transcends across every aspect of my life. Principles I adhere to. First, my understanding and appreciation for a fundamental truth that integrity of a business affects all customer groups and every area of business operation. Which is why it is important to incorporate ethics and integrity into the core fabric of any business. Ethical standards in business are built off a customer focus and commitment to providing value to its customers.
Second, Self-discipline; an attribute that I pride myself on and have inhabited since early childhood. As an adult and entrepreneur, I now understand that self-discipline is the foundation of personal success. No goals, achievement, success can be realized without being self-disciplined. It is the most important attribute that is needed to achieve any type of personal excellence.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
My most satisfying moment in business was when I sold my first policy from my website – itusdirect.com.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I look forward to expanding Itus Direct and opening different locations across the great state of Florida. I’m most excited about the opportunity to add to the American economy while providing job opportunities to the residence of Florida.
What business books have inspired you?
The 20 Mile March by Jim Collins and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Oftentimes people try to rush and get everything done, get exhausted and half their work never gets completed. In the book they explain how and why dedicating the same amount of time each day consistently produces more results over the long run.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Modern man is conditioned to expect instant gratification, but any success or triumph realized quickly, with only marginal effort, is necessarily shallow. Meaningful achievement takes time, hard work, persistence, patience, proper intent, and self-awareness. The path to success is punctuated by failure, consolidation, and renewed effort – Success is a long road paved with obstacles; it’s best to start early and stay the course.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
I would love to become a mentor one day. Offering any aid or advice to others who are pursuing a similar path that I have undertaken is something I look forward to. However, at this time I have a very demanding business schedule and would not be able to devote the necessary time and attention in order to be a great mentor.