What would be a list of typical key business planning issues for advice firms? While not exhaustive, the following summarises what should be on principals’ minds right now:
- Ensuring financial strength and increasing recurring income
- Reviewing pricing strategy and associated service levels
- Making sure there is concentration in profitable markets
- Sourcing and retaining target clients
- Increasing client and adviser productivity
- Exploiting technology
- Enhancing processes for recruitment, retention and training of people
- Further developing management infrastructure
- Reviewing and updating acquisition and succession policies.
This will vary by firm and partly reflects that improvements can always be made. It is important to continuously review and update business practice as new techniques emerge and supporting software develops. In addition, the market for advice businesses, to sell or acquire, is very dynamic and all firms should have an up to date policy covering how they would respond to opportunities.
David Shelton is a conultant at Stoke Bishop Associates