No business gain without some pain

One of the benefits of being part of a global group is that we can draw on the expertise of colleagues in other territories. A recent guide produced by our SA Head of Business Solutions, Edden Kift, looks at business efficiencies and includes a survey with 150 advisers from the UK, South Africa and the Republic of Ireland.

The survey results were featured across many of the UK trade publications recently, including this article in FT Adviser.

The headline findings of the survey are that managing the needs of younger clients is a concern for over a quarter (26%) of the financial advisers who took part. A similar number (24%) were concerned about compliance requirements and pressures, and 23% worry about unprofitable clients.

As well as the survey, Edden spoke with 20 advisers. His overall conclusions from the combined responses are that:

  • Two of the most significant risks to a viable business are
    • the inability to grow
    • growing too quickly
  • Two of the biggest frustrations amongst advisers regarding technology are
    • knowing which tool or application is the ‘best’
    • the lack of integration between systems.
  • Two key ingredients for efficiency gains are
    • being proactive
    • allocating time to address inefficiencies

Making efficiency gains has no downsides – it’s the way businesses grow in a sustainable, profitable way. The only drawback is that it does require focus and effort.

Identifying where the efficiency gains lie requires investigation. In the guide, Edden outlines some of the obvious places to start, including

  • recurring mistakes
  • increasingly unhappy clients
  • inadequate service levels
  • frustrated colleagues.

Red flags are if the business continually appears to be operating in ‘crisis mode’, such as difficulties establishing priorities and an excessive number of important tasks being completed at the last possible minute (or late).

When this happens, the default position is often to throw more people at it but this can perpetuate the inefficiencies and increase running costs.

These days, the solution can be to get the right tech in place and choose third-party partners who can lighten the load. This is how we work with our adviser partners and they enjoy a significant level of business efficiencies as a result.

As Edden says in his guide, the benefit of building a business that runs efficiently is that it can be scaled, enabling gain without ongoing pain.

You can download a copy of the Insiders’ Guide to Business Efficiency free via this link.

If you would like to find out more about how we work with advisers to help them streamline their investment services, get in touch with us here.