When it comes to the term “advisory business operations”, there are probably a thousand ideas that cross the minds of financial advisors. Does this include front office and customer contact activities? Does it cover back office, trading and portfolio management tasks? What about the finance or human resources functions in your office?
In short, consulting business operations include all the steps taken to keep your business running and generating revenue. A consulting firm’s business operations can cover the manpower, equipment, and business infrastructure necessary for leaders and teams to carry out the day-to-day tasks of the business.
Improving your business operations and staying customer-centric can help you solidify your place in the market. New financial advisory firms are popping up every day in an already crowded market. The importance of effective business operations can help you maximize efficiency, streamline communications, and serve customers well. Without effective operations, inefficient workflows and poor communication will become part of your business practices, which is correlated with higher occurrences of business failure. Your customers and teams won’t sing your praises either! Now that you know what operations are all about, here are eight easy ways to improve the way you run your business:
- Organize your day.
- Review your business plan.
- Clearly define the goals and objectives of the business.
- Contact existing customers.
- Reevaluate your pricing/service model.
- List the areas you want to improve.
- Improve your marketing efforts.
- Measure performance.
Organize your day
It’s a big. Financial advisors have competing priorities every day. Working with customers and providing services tends to take priority over working on your business. Take the time to keep an eye on what you are doing day in and day out. Organize blocks of work time so you can do strategic work. Capture urgent, high-priority items in the morning — checking emails, transactions, or money-moving requests — with lower-priority items like networking, marketing, and office administration later. Prepare a list of recurring tasks and projects that require your attention; Define aims; and above all, honor your calendar blocks!
Review your business plan
You’ve probably spent a lot of time on this document, so don’t file it away, never to see it again. Your business plan is a living representation of your business goals, why they are attainable, and the strategies best suited to achieve them. Checking in to see how you’re doing is a great strategic move. Take a look at your SWOT analysis, or your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and revise it as market conditions change to keep you on track. This document can help you plan and prepare for your company’s next move.
Clearly define business goals and objectives
Business goals, when realistically set, will help you measure your success, align your expectations, and chart a course for growth. Defining your direction of what you are aiming for will help improve your consulting firm’s operations. For example, without a clear growth strategy, your business development and/or marketing can be a lot of work for little reward. Throwing spaghetti at the wall hoping something sticks can create more of a mess than a marketing masterpiece.
Reach existing customers
Your existing customers are a wealth of ideas and new business opportunities. Engage them throughout the year through social media, newsletters, and customer events — in-person or virtual — to help you stay ahead. Build your marketing system as an extension of your service operations. Determine which aspects you can automate to personalize and accelerate proactive engagement with your customers. By considering their needs, you can quickly elevate your brand and service model that speaks “high touch, high value.”
Reassess your pricing/service model
Many consulting firms fall under similar pricing models: assets under management, hourly, fee-for-service, subscription, or hybrid. Think about how your services can be improved to meet the needs of your ideal customers. For example, if you plan to serve millennial business owners who may not have amassed significant assets, a monthly subscription model may be a direction to consider. Analyze your service and pricing based on your company’s financial goals, but also based on the customers you intend to serve. Know that people want the best, so structure your service model to meet the need, deliver value at every point, and charge appropriately for the value you provide.
List the areas you want to improve
No company has it all. Most companies are in a constant state of improvement, some more than others. As you evaluate your operations, list the areas you want to improve and the benefits you will get. Reach out to your team and hold brainstorming sessions to find solutions to issues that are compromising your work. Minor issues or areas that aren’t as streamlined can cause more trouble than you think. As a business owner, you need to be aware of weak points in your operations that can affect your bottom line. For example, if your customer onboarding workflows are less than stellar, commit to making changes using the transformation you will achieve as motivation. Workflows that detail how you deliver services will eliminate on-the-spot judgments, avoid bottlenecking customer actions, and reduce errors. Isn’t that something to get excited about?
Improve your marketing efforts
Staying a priority for your ideal customers takes both patience and intention. At its core, marketing is all about building your brand, entering the market, and creating demand for your services. Many business owners can improve their marketing efforts in inexpensive ways, including creating high-quality content on a niche-specific blog, hosting financial webinars, and updating their website that caters to their ideal customer.
Using customer surveys and reviews, financial statements, or employee feedback ratings, measuring performance using key performance indicators, or KPIs, is an important step in learning how you can improve your operations. commercial. Financial statements can clarify where you are overspending. Reviews and customer surveys can highlight the needs of your customers and the frustrations of your employees.
Every day presents a new opportunity to do things differently and move your business forward. It can be difficult to know where to start. Many successful business owners take the time to reflect and monitor what is happening in their business. Elevating your operations is not a one-time event. You need to put plans in place to close the gaps with a firm plan of action. This way you can work towards the business success you seek and it will help you work towards a stronger future for your business. Your goal here is to make your operations streamlined, efficient, and customer-centric, enabling you to achieve your financial goals. It is at this crossroads that you can discover a win-win.