M1063 is happy to announce that we skillfully selected Frank Nerychel State Farm Insurance Agency of Downtown Greenville as the Small Business of the Month. We have Frank sitting with us today for an interview for the purpose of officially nominating him and his business.
Frank, how does it feel being the Small Business of the Month?
We have so many great small businesses in our community, we support small business and we know everybody else does too. For us to be a small business here in Greenville it’s a thing of pride and that is why we belong to the Chamber, support community events like the Danish Festival, local school programs, and sports programs. My daughter attends Greenville Schools and it’s just so important to us! So thank you so much for choosing us for the local Small Business of the month. There are a lot of great businesses out there that I know would qualify for this too and I appreciate it. It’s an honor.
Can you provide me with a description of your business?
I am a State Farm Insurance Agent in Downtown Greenville and we provide insurance and financial services to our customers. State Farm is the nation’s largest property and casualty insurer, the number one rated life insurance, and the largest life insurance provider in the United States. We have a great bank and we provide other products that I could go into depth about but it would take too long to list out all the products and services that State Farm offers. I guess to make it short we protect what’s important to our customers.
How long have you been in business in just this business or other businesses?
I’ve been with State Farm now since 2011. I’ve been an active State Farm Agent since 2012. I took over the office here in Greenville in late 2012 – early 2013. It was a great office before me with Bryan McKnight who was also a great pillar in this community for years. He laid the footsteps in the ground work for my great agency and the agents before him did that as well. We have a great history here in Greenville with having really successful State Farm agencies supporting the local community.
Before that I was in the auto industry where I managed and worked in the collision industry so I have a strong background in both management and auto as well.
How did you transition from auto to insurance?
Well the body shop that I managed was a State Farm select service shop and every once in a while State Farm would reach out to their employees on the corporate side and ask, “Is there anyone that you know that would make a great State Farm agent?” During that time I had been looking into it just for a career change. I wanted to spend more time at home and have better, steadier hours for my daughter who is now six. It was time for a career change more directed in my family’s needs and where I could help people.
Your clothes probably stay a lot cleaner too I imagine.
My clothes stay a lot cleaner. Absolutely.
What is your biggest passion?
My biggest passion is helping people. Everybody has needs in their life whether it’s protecting what’s most important to them now or trying to realize their dreams or future goals. My great-grandmother, Elaine Hammis, used to tell me – “Do a good deed every day” and that is what I live my life by. I truly like helping people and so does everyone in my office and of course so does State Farm. It’s a really rewarding job. It can be the worst day and the best day at the same time when someone has a loss or someone has an accident. Just knowing that you did the right thing for that customer and that they’re protected is pretty awesome.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
You know I always loved cars and that’s how I got into the auto industry. My dad loves cars and my grandpa did too so it’s kind of engrained in my roots. There wasn’t a single Frank, I’m Frank the fourth by the way, that wasn’t involved in some kind of auto related industry at some point.
To be honest I always wanted to be a teacher. My mom was a teacher at Lakeview Schools for almost 30 years. I saw the way that she positively affected people’s lives, the kids, and the families there. That was always, I thought, the greatest calling. I think what I do now is a great mixture. I get to talk to people, sell great products that help people, and have this great automotive base too. I can see all kinds of cool cars and beautiful homes and I get to teach people about their insurance. That way, when they get those bills just like I used to, they’ll know what they’re for.
So do you have an old project car stashed away in the garage somewhere?
We have a couple. My dad has probably, in my eyes, the coolest old car. It’s a 1935 Ford 3 Window Coupe. You see a lot of 5 windows but you don’t see many 3 windows. We have a 55 Ford F100 and we drive that in the summertime. It’s a pretty fun truck. You’ll probably see it in the Danish Festival this year.
What do you predict this year for your company?
Growth in customer base. We’re trying to make sure to grow our agency at a manageable pace and make sure that the customers we have are being met with on a consistent basis because life changes every day. There is no better calling than me helping people so if I help people I want to help their friends and their family. I want to know at the end of the day that when I and my team members (Lori, Megan, and Rose) go home that we positively affected someone’s life that day and it’s a pretty awesome feeling. We like feeling that and we want to feel it more.
What was your biggest challenge?
Following our office mission. Our philosophy at our office or our mission statement is: We want to protect what you have and help maximize what you can invest in for your future. State Farms mission statement is very simple – We want to help more people, more ways, forever. That’s all there is to it. That is the toughest part.
When you’re able to do that you reach a greater customer base with a greater selection of products and your able to meet your customers needs in every way, shape, or form.
Why do your customers select you over your competitors?
It comes back down to State Farms value statement again – Serving more customers, more ways, forever. You can go to any other insurance agency and you have a limited amount of products and I feel like that the brand strength for State Farm is exceptional.
I also think it’s our office atmosphere. It’s very inviting. You walk in the office and you have three gals up front and myself in the back that are able to help you with any need that you have whether it be life, home, auto, business insurance, bank products. All that stuff. To be able to go to one place and have that one-stop-shop feeling is pretty important. We treat everybody as we would want to be treated. With the utmost respect and attention.
What’s the biggest win in your businesses history?
Being in Greenville. I told myself when I decided I wanted to be an insurance agent that I wanted to be some place where I knew people and it was a local community that I knew and I could positively affect my friends and family. I grew up in Lakeview so I’m not an out-of-towner. My family has a lot of history here in Greenville and it’s just so awesome to be local.
When you apply to become a State Farm agent they give you many different opportunities. There is not always the opportunity to be in the town that you want to be in and I really lucked out because Greenville had this great State Farm agent, Bryan McKnight, in town for almost 30 years and he was deciding to retire at the same that I was looking.
What is your favorite quote?
Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. The reason is – is you can’t do anything unless you try. Success starts with a commitment. I would say state farm is committed.
How has technology such as computers and the internet impacted the way you conduct your business?
Computers and the internet are a huge thing for us. You can call in, click in, walk in and we are in this day and age where everything continues to move forward to the online presence. We will have this local agent force where you have me on your side if you want to talk to a real person but if you want to go online and pay your bill, make a claim online, or if you want to use an app to show your proof of insurance – you can do that.
State Farm is always moving forward and as the largest we are the trend setter. We will continue to set those trends.
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
This isn’t a business or company but our agency really admires the armed forces and the military. The willingness to put your own life on the line to protect our freedom and our country here is something that we really appreciate and it’s something that I tell everybody that comes in. My grandfather was in the army and I have lots of friends/customers that are in the military and it’s something that I appreciate every day to be able to live in this great country and be free because of what they do.
Well thank you so much for having me in here today. We’re super proud to be the Small Business of the Month. Stop in and see me anytime. I’m Frank Nerychel the State Farm agent in downtown Greenville. I have three lovely ladies that work for me up there – Lori, Megan, and Rose. We’re all out there ready to help for anything that you need.
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