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Vision in focus

How many firms are clear about what they offer clients and why they should be their adviser of choice? Take time to sit back with the key people in your company and create your business vision

Vision is a nebulous concept at best but a good vision is simply writing down what you want to achieve in your business in plain English to share with everyone involved to create energy and a sense of purpose. For each of us to take our businesses forward, a clear vision is essential.

When discussing visionsetting with advisers, I always counsel against long-winded, convoluted sentences full of florid business speak. It will mean nothing to you, it will mean nothing to everyone in your business and it will mean even less to your clients.

An effective vision is what you and your business are all about. How many of us are clear about what we offer our clients and why we should be their adviser of choice?

The average UK consumer is a customer of around seven financial institutions. That means every one of your clients, including your top 20, is looked upon as a customer by six other financial services organisations.

This means six marketing departments communicating to your clients and trying to retain your clients. Six organisations trying to become the main source of advice to your clients. How will you ensure that the clients you want to work with consider you as their premier source of advice and financial solutions?

If you do not have a clear vision of how to combat this threat, then you could lose these clients to someone who does.

How do you create your vision?

Our support website www.aegonse.co.uk/businessbrain takes you through each of these steps. But a good place to start is to take time to sit
back and get the key people involved in your business and life (including partners and friends) to answer the following questions:

  • What is it that you actually do? The best answer I have heard is “I make peoples financial problems go away”.
  • What do you offer clients? (Please do not think product)
  • What would you want to be known for?
  • What are the key roles that are needed for the vision?
  • Who will you work with in the future?
  • Where will you work in the future (markets/client types?)

What technology will you need? Now take these answers and write a short statement that describes what you want your business to be and achieve. Be brief. Remember the vision of Nike: “Crush Reebok”. When you are finished, give it this test.

  • Does it excite and motivate you?
  • Do you feel you recognise yourself and your business in the statement?
  • Is it challenging but achievable?
  • Is it infectious, will it inspire others?

If the answer is no to any of these, then make the changes you feel can make the answer to every question yes. Once you have your vision, it is time to set your business and personal goals to make it come alive but that’s for next month.

John Joe McGinley Business strategy manager, Aegon

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