In our work with financial planners we have many conversations about the three “P’s” – People, Processes and Profit. These are our top 3 challenges for most financial planning business owners.
(Note that financial planning issues do not make the top 3.)
It is these other critical areas that challenge the best of financial planners. This point is also borne out by the Future Ready IX 2022 report from Business Health.
Many of the conversations we have are about people issues in businesses. Often this revolves around role clarity, selection, undefined expectations and individual performance issues.
The Future Ready IX 2022 report also makes some key points:
One in three do not have position descriptions for most of their staff – role clarity could well be an issue in many of these businesses.
Almost half do not have agreed and documented performance objectives for most of their staff.
Have not conducted performance reviews or appraisals with their staff in the past six months (although without an accurate and up to date position description and a set of agreed performance goals, conducting reviews could be very difficult).
Plus add to this the difficulty in recruiting experienced support staff.
Given the landscape of people issues it is no surprise then that this leads into common issues around efficiency, process and systems to productively service financial planning clients needs and meet all compliance requirements.
Without the appropriate blend of skilled support, developing efficient business processes becomes a significant challenge for many businesses.
Do you have the staffing/support mix right in technical/compliance tasks vs administration/plan writing?
If the support function is not structured appropriately the outcome is financial planners become involved in too much administration and implementation for clients. This then becomes a drag on the capacity for growth for the business, and leads to poor profitability in most cases.
Poor business profitability is one of the common problems for Principals. (worse still if Principals are not aware of the depth of the problem in this area.)
There are many value drivers that contribute to profitability.
Those that have addressed the staff challenges identified are benefiting from higher profitability according to the Future Ready IX 2022 report. (up to 165% increase)
The report also identified that effective use of process & systems is increasing profitability in the order of 50% -60%.
In most businesses we have worked with we have reviewed pricing. This has in most cases been a major driver of increased profitability. The bottom line is that many financial planners are still under pricing their services or is it they don’t know how to address this with their current clients?
The reasons for this are:
- Underestimate the time involved by both advisers and support staff to complete ongoing service and /or on board new clients.
- Failure to properly account for all business costs
- An adequate profit margin not included
- Adviser lack of confidence in pricing their worth
- Trying to be all things to all people regardless of capacity to pay
It is our belief that with the appropriate mix of staff support (incl outsourcing) you will be surprised what impact this will have on your client management per adviser, and hence profitability and business value.
At Futuro we have a track record of helping business owners improve their business lives through our Advantage Program.
Advantage is an in-house program delivered by a team of experienced experts and business consultants. They get to know you and your business and show you the most effective ways to increase your profitability. From technology to admin systems, strategy to marketing, they will show you how to create a significantly more efficient business.
To have a conversation about how the Futuro Advantage Program can help your business, please call us on (07) 3018 0400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.