There are many areas advisers will need to look at when evolving the way they do business.
We have identified six key issues: business planning, understanding the customer, investment planning options, profitability analysis, people assessment and operational efficiency.
In our first article of this series we looked at business planning; this month we focus on understanding the customer and the importance of customer segmentation.
The international advice market is evolving and a new type of customer is emerging.
Greater access to information is driving customer awareness and, as customer expectations evolve, there is demand for greater transparency and value.
Advisers need to consider how they can meet these demands as the future success of their business will depend on retaining and growing their customer base – and ensuring the services they offer are suitable for each individual customer.
To keep pace with the evolving needs of customers, advisers must ensure they develop a business model that places the customer at the centre of their business.
They need to know what type of customer they want, what services these customers truly value, how they can offer such services, what the cost of providing those services are and what they need to charge customers to make it commercially viable.
Not all customers are the same, and businesses need to identify the different servicing models required to suit different needs.
Some businesses are currently unaware of the similarities and differences in their customer base or the link to profitability.
By understanding more about the types of customers they have and the services they offer, the firm can start to shape their proposition and service accordingly.
An adviser proposition cannot be all things to all people. By identifying their strengths and building
a business based on those strengths, they will create a more customer-focused and profitable business model.
Business constultancy Masthead’s head of practice management, Mimi Pienaar, has worked with OMI for more than three years, developing a practice management business development programme that helps adviser firms build sustainable business models.
She says: “Once a firm has identified its strengths and decided on its target market, it can then identify the customer profile it wants to attract. It may have existing customers that do not fit the profile, and decisions may need to be taken on whether the firm continues to service these customers.”