Insurance is a difficult thing for a lot of businesses to navigate, especially freelancers and solopreneurs. But Pogo wants to make the concept simpler. The company is taking a unique approach to helping the smallest businesses understand their insurance options. Read more about the business below in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Provides insurance for self-employed individuals.
Co-founder Hannah Sullivan told Small Business Trends, “We provide business insurance to self-employed people like freelancers and entrepreneurs. We also offer advice, tips, and tricks regarding how to successfully work for yourself.”
Making business insurance easy to understand.
Sullivan says, “Pogo has three founders. Myself, Jade, and Steve. Steve’s my dad and Jade’s my wife. Jade and I met in grad school for branding and innovation and used to work at an ad agency together. My dad owns several insurance agencies and has been in the industry for over 30 years. Because Jade and I don’t come from an insurance background, but rather a design and communications background, we have worked very hard to break down “insurance speak” into easy to understand bits for everyday humans.”
How the Business Got Started
Because of insurance confusion.
Sullivan says, “Jade and I were working at Wieden+Kennedy in New York as a creative team. We always knew we wanted to do our own thing, and when my dad offered us a chance to work on his new back-end insurance program, we moved back to Richmond. After several months of “what the hell is going on” we figured out that we could probably make business insurance way easier. From there, Pogo was born. And since a lot of our peers are in creative industries, doing work on the side, and are also not insurance experts, we thought the idea could actually help people.”
Finding a way to help entrepreneurs.
Sullivan explains, “Insurance is very confusing. And when you run your own show, you have a million things to figure out- meaning many hours digging around on the internet. That’s why we want to help self-employed businesses get the right insurance without feeling like their head is going to explode. (Especially because business insurance would be of no help, in that case). So, I guess our biggest win is being able present business insurance in a way that preserves your safety and your sanity.”
Breaking into an unknown industry.
Sullivan explains, “For Jade and I, choosing to work in insurance was the biggest risk. Her background is in film and technology, mine is in marketing and design. At the time we were 100% not insurance people. I remember the first few weeks when I got started… I would just constantly black out like, what the heck is happening right now?! How did I get here?! Jade worked in commercials and I was straight out of school. We had a brief stint at an ad agency, but other than that, we didn’t have much “business” experience. I’d say the true risk taker here was Steve, but he must have known that our obsession with making good work could apply to anything.”
Embrace the challenge.
Sullivan says, “I wish I hadn’t been so hard on myself. It’s like Jade and I would just pass a huge ball of stress back and forth, every day, for months. We were filled with such doubt because we weren’t “insurance people.” Looking back, we should have just owned it! We had fresh eyes, and that’s the reason our company has an edge. It’s relatable to real people because it was made by real people. Not simply by insurance experts.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Sullivan explains, “This summer Jade and I traveled throughout Mexico while renting out coworking spaces. It was so inspiring and we were able to meet tons of freelancers and entrepreneurs. It was great to get a chance to talk to them about their lifestyle and how important (or unimportant) they perceived insurance.”
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Images: Pogo; Top Image: The team’s coworking space in Mexico, Second Image: Hannah Sullivan