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Target young guns

IFAs need to be aware of their immediate target market and where their

client bank will come from in the future. Effective planning is necessary

to build long-term sustainable business.

It is easy to become a jack of all trades and a master of none. But a

company can easily become disjointed, especially if there are attempts to

expand the business base. The danger is that you can lose control along

with the prosperity that was originally wanted.

It is very important for a company that wishes to expand to look at how to

develop niche markets. If you are able to spot an area that is not being

utilised, then it is worth spending the time and money to develop knowledge

and contacts.

If you specialise in an area, other than the general work that you will no

doubt continue to do, it is much easier to get publicity through the

national or specialist press.

It is also easier to develop relationships with accountants and solicitors

and to find new introducers of business.

But although it is important to have niche areas where you become well

known, one area that you should never lose sight of is young clients.

These will help the business in the future as their own careers develop.

You need to make sure you look after them properly so they will continue

to use your services and not drift away to another organisation or arrange

things themselves.

This market can easily be a loss-leader to begin with but the work done

at the start of the relationship should pay dividends in the future.

Ask yourself first if service is the most important priority of the

business. If the answer to that question is no, you have no chance.

People&#39s attitudes are changing, especially among the younger generation.

Loyalty has to be earned more than ever before. If you cannot deliver a

service that is perceived as offering quality and value at the least, you

have a big chance of failing.

The most important way for you to be able to control this area of your

business is to have a clean and effective database. Using the database as a

starting point, you will be able to keep in touch with your clients. This

can be done with a regular newsletter telling them of seminars that you are

planning to run. You should also make sure that regular meetings occur.

This can also help with the referral system that you are developing.

If you do not have many younger clients, how can you attract them? Be sure

of your target market and recognise the value of affinity grouping. Someone

is more likely to deal with you if they know that you advise other people

in that area or profession.

If you can develop a service tailored to a section of younger clients,

this can be marketed directly at them through the media. You will then

start to build up awareness. The more specific that you can be with the

target audience, the better the chances of success. If you have a

scattergun approach, it is unlikely that you will see any significant

benefit.

If you do not feel you have an affinity with the younger market but have

an idea, employ a PR/design agency to help you. Although the cost might

seem high at first, a properly managed campaign can turn out to be very

successful.

Once you have these clients coming through the door, your work is only

just beginning. This where the service element of your plan comes into

play. Be prepared to adapt as the marketplace continues to change.

The younger generation are the managers and owners of the businesses of

the future. This obviously leads to enormous potential as long as you have

structured your business plan properly and kept to some broad principles

related to service.

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