In the early years of financial advice it was enough for advisers to be great at building their client base, and allowing their business to form around them. These days, successful advisory businesses are built with business acumen and a focus on strategic planning.
In our current environment, getting referred to new clients has never been easier. The demand to see trusted financial advisers is high, but many advisers are struggling to service their volume of new clients. They must prioritise their existing client obligations – and when coupled with increased regulation and paperwork, their waiting list for new clients grows, and so too their stress levels. This is not news for those in this profession, nor is it news that compliance, paperwork, staff and general ‘busyness’ is at an all-time high. This means the love of getting in front of clients and helping them has become stressful and sadly, there is very little time for personal mental and physical wellbeing.
When financial planning principals come to us, they often already know their challenges. They’ve been thinking for a while that they’d love to have someone in their corner, someone they can throw ideas around with and who will help them prioritise what to work on in those precious moments that they do get to work on and not just in the business.
So, when they do reach out, where do we start?
At Elixir we start with a thorough discovery process, we go through a fact-finding exercise to understand what’s happening in their business, and how they arrived at their current state. We start by understanding the vision of the business owner, both personal and business. Surprisingly, often this question of ‘what are you trying to build’ stumps advisers. Either they haven’t revisited that vision for a long time, or it’s just got lost in their drive to run a compliant business.
We then work around the Elixir Business Success Wheel, a framework through which to analyse the business, utilising a blend of data analysis, staff interviews and self-reflection of the Principals. We have determined there are 16 elements of an advice business that will impact its success, so we analyse the business in all of these areas to diagnose what might hold them back, to get a financial baseline from which to improve, and to create an agenda of the highest priority elements to strategise.. Time and again, our clients tell us that the very process of self-reflection and critical analysis of their business by an independent expert is tremendously helpful to them, even before we start into solution mode.
Once we’ve completed the analysis, we run Strategy Sessions with the key business stakeholders, to address each of those agenda items and we map out a plan to achieve the outcomes they seek. It also includes the bigger context of mapping out their long-term strategic plan, and then their tactical business plan for the next 12 months, determining what projects will be completed, to improve the elements that came up in the analysis. Through those strategy days, together we decide what the plan of attack is going to be, how the business plan will be implemented and what additional assistance they will require. Where appropriate, we can then provide ongoing coaching, where we regularly revisit the progress on the plans, keeping the team accountable, helping them troubleshoot not only the current projects, but of course, additional items that come up throughout the year.
All this work is reflected and proudly confirmed by our net promoter score of 89. Just as we often help our clients survey their clients on a regular basis, we do this annually, using NPS, which is essentially asking how likely our clients are to recommend us to their peers, NPS rating is on a scale, not a percentage. Any NPS score above 0 is “good”. It means that the business’s customers are more loyal than not. Anything above 20 is considered “favourable”. Bain & Co, the source of the NPS system, suggests that above 50 is excellent, and above 80 is world class.
Just some of the achievements we’ve helped other firms with include:
“We wouldn’t have merged these businesses so successfully without your help. It’s one thing to have our project plan for the integration (thanks for that gold) but the work you helped us with building the culture of this blended group of people has created the foundation of something beautiful.”
“Looking back on the personal commitments I made at the start of this journey takes me back to how stressed I was, and makes me realise just how far we’ve come in such a relatively short time. Seeing what you’ve helped us achieve in the past year makes me even more excited about what’s yet to come.”
“Thank goodness I’m not working weekends anymore! For the first time in many years of running this business I feel supported. Not just from Elixir, but you’ve helped get my team fully on board with our future vision and we’re all rowing in the same direction!”
Financial planning businesses are too important to leave to chance. Reach out to someone who is experienced, qualified and understands your unique profession and the opportunities and limitations that lie within it. Of course, every business is different, which is why you won’t get a cookie cutter approach at Elixir, our services are designed to help create outcomes linked to your business, to your vision.
Are you ready to evolve your advisory business but not quite sure of which step to take first? Book an obligation free appointment with an Elixir Consultant here, so we can find out more about your business and see how we can help.