Business Leaders of Valencia County
LOS LUNAS — Life is risk and Farmers Insurance agent Rodney Baca sees it as his job to help his clients manage their every day risks.
Going into his 25th year as an agent, Baca says he enlightens customers to their risk exposure.
“What we do here is a little bit different than other companies,” Baca said during an interview at his Los Lunas office. “We manage their everyday risk.”
Growing up working for his father at the family’s car dealership taught him what hard work looked like and what good customer service should be.
“I try and use those same work ethics in my own business,” he said. “Having your own business isn’t the easiest thing to do. You’re worried about everything, not just the job that you’re supposed to do. You’re making sure everybody’s job is done correctly. It’s constant.”
Baca actually became a licensed insurance agent while working at the dealership and a sale was lost one Sunday afternoon because the potential buyer didn’t have insurance.
“We couldn’t deliver the vehicle so my father said, ‘Rod, you better go get an insurance license,” Baca recalls with a laugh. “I got it to helps us sell more cars, but I really started to see how it could benefit people by educating them on what their real risks were.”
Baca said every business owner — regardless of industry — has their own set of worries and risks and should be insured.
“They know their business well, so what do they fear? What could go wrong in your business? What’s the thing you fear the most and let me insure that for you.”
He also advises having a good accountant if keeping the books and taking care of taxes aren’t in your skill set.
“There’s payroll, estimated taxes, all kinds of things that have to get done on a regular basis,” Baca said.
The key to longevity in a business comes down to delivering a good product, he said, that fits your customers’ needs. Determining those needs can be done through frequent research and regular training on what you offer as a business.
“Research the product you’re selling and know it extremely well,” Baca said. “I have an online university that my staff trains on daily. Before they start their day, they do 30 minutes of training to keep products fresh in their minds.”
Being respectful of his staff’s time and lives is also key, he said.
“Understanding the reason they work here is because they have a family they care about, I try to be liberal with their time with their family and what they enjoy doing.”
Baca also said it’s critical to work along with your staff and not expect them to do any less or more than you’re willing to do yourself.
Rodney Baca, Farmers Insurance agent, is located at 1202 Main St. NE, Ste. B, Los Lunas, and can be reached at 505-866-1199. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.