Two articles caught my eye last week. The first was an interview in Professional Adviser with the former FCA technical specialist, Rory Percival, where he suggests advisers would do better to focus time ‘on’ their businesses rather than ‘in’ them.

The second was an article in Money Marketing about Prudential research that shows advisers are working more hours than ever to meet demand from clients.

Now you could argue that if advisers are working longer hours managing clients, it’s going to be difficult to step back from their businesses to look at how they can be developed, and if they have lots of clients to manage then where’s the problem?

The problem is, many advisers are working harder to effectively stand still in terms of running a profitable business. Some are even going backwards, due to the difficulty in getting clients to adequately pay for the highly specialised service they are getting.

The way to tackle this quandary is to do as Rory Percival suggests and take a step back and really look at your business strategy and how it shapes up.

Before writing this blog, I carried out a quick search on the internet for quotes about being too busy. One that kept popping up was “I’m too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener.” This is very apt because there are advisers out there who are shaping their businesses in a way that helps them achieve a profitable business that also better serves their clients.

They are adapting their business models to embrace technology and using this to add specialist capabilities that integrate with their financial planning skills, thus extending what they can offer and opening up opportunities for servicing more clients in a highly cost effective way.

Change is never easy but the short-term pain of putting a business under scrutiny and adapting it to take on new ways of working smarter is definitely the way to long term gain.