In our industry, change is inevitable. Businesses that move with the tide, rather than against it, are always better prepared for the next crisis that’s lurking around the corner.
The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged advice firms to address the changing needs of their clients, quickly upskill staff and justify their pricing models — all the while grappling with the logistics of getting their workforce back in the office. Agile firms that seize the opportunities on the horizon will find the adjustment to life after lockdown much easier than those that don’t. Now’s the time to review the way you do things. So, what questions should you be asking yourself?
- Is your culture serving you well?
Covid-19 confirmed that culture really does lie beneath almost everything in your business. It drives behaviours and is the difference between a resigned workforce that do their jobs because they have to, and one that is motivated and full of purpose. While not without its logistical issues, many firms that proactively create a healthy culture found the sudden shift to remote working a relatively seamless transition – largely because of the positive mindset, dedication, and commitment to good customer outcomes among their staff.
Take this opportunity to re-assess and clearly define your purpose and the objectives of your business. Then, proactively engage with your customers to see how changes are impacting service levels and outcomes. If you can tangibly show your employees how they are improving the lives of their clients, they’re more likely to bring the same energy to their jobs post-lockdown.
- Is your business model still fit for purpose?
For many businesses, it was the unique blend of humans and technology that enabled them to continue serving clients during the peak of lockdown. And as market turmoil continues, it’s likely that you’re still seeing above-average levels of contact from anxious clients. On top of that, you might’ve seen an increased demand for financial planning as self-investors seek professional advice following recent portfolio losses.
You won’t be able to service all these clients face-to-face, especially in the immediate future. Capitalise on the explosion of virtual communication tools by integrating technology into your post-lockdown business model. Not only will a more streamlined service reduce costs, but more flexibility for your clients adds value.
For some, positive change might mean tweaking the advice process itself. For example, a move to discretionary models will mean you can be agile in the face of market volatility in the future, making your business more resilient and potentially saving your clients from significant losses by acting more quickly.