Nothing is as exciting as building a successful business. After planting the acorn and working hard to nurture it, seeing your firm transform into the oak tree you’d dreamed of is as rewarding as it is satisfying.
Anyone who has achieved this, or is currently working to achieve this, knows there are obstacles along the way. Success is never guaranteed. So, what can you do to increase the chances of your company growing to the level you want it to in a sustainable way?
Read on to discover five important things that could help you successfully turn your single-adviser company into a highly respected multi-adviser practice that stands the test of time.
1. Create the right culture
Central to every business is its culture, but what is the right culture? According to one article by Forbes, Ray Kroc, the man behind the success of McDonald’s said:
“If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours”.
While growing your business for money will get you so far, companies with this business model tend not to put clients first. Because of this, service levels are not consistently high, resulting in poor-quality advice and complaints. This can ultimately lead to reputation damage, lost business and existing clients going elsewhere.
Ensuring you have a client-centred culture can help maintain high levels of service, meaning happy clients who’ll recommend you to others, and a reputation that will attract business to your company.
2. Take the time to find the right people
According to the Harvard Business Review, 80% of employee turnover is because of poor recruitment decisions.
While waiting that bit longer for the “right person” can be frustrating if you have a vacancy that needs filling, taking your time could pay dividends in the long term. According to another Forbes article, trusting your instinct about a candidate is key and, if it doesn’t feel right, don’t offer them the role no matter how keen you are to fill it.
Having a structured interview is good, although be careful not to make it so rigid that there is no time to develop a personal connection with the candidate. They’ll be working alongside you, so getting along with them is vital.
Also, ask them to carry out a task on the second interview or provide them with case study scenarios to see how they would deal with situations. Look for signs they can deal with change, as this will be something they’ll have to accept as your company grows.
3. Put the systems in place
Creating the right systems to ensure high standards as the company grows is vital. It will help ensure that existing and new members of the team deal with their work efficiently and effectively, reducing the potential for mistakes and poor client outcomes.
Once these systems are in place, ensure no-one flouts them or does their own thing. This could easily cause a breakdown of the systems, leading to a complaint or FCA investigation, both of which could cause reputational damage and lost business.
4. Be prepared to delegate
As the company grows from a single-adviser to a multi-adviser business it can sometimes be difficult for you, the founder, not to be involved in every aspect of the business.
At some point you’ll need to move away from some elements of the business and delegate responsibility to others.
That said, delegating does not mean abdicating responsibility. As a director, you not only have legal responsibilities under the FCA, but you are also responsible for the company’s culture, direction, reputation, and profitability.
5. Ensure the business is not about you
Growing a business is about structuring it in a way that means you are not central to its success. Consider this: what would happen to your business if you took a year off and had no contact with it?
If you’re confident it would still run successfully, you’re probably building your firm in the right way. If you’re not, and you’re a servant to the business, that might have implications for its sale value.
This is because a prospective buyer may refuse to pay the price you’re asking, because the moment you leave the firm could struggle as clients potentially go elsewhere.
If your company is reliant on you, it could mean your business folds and the people within it lose their job if anything happens to you. Building a company that does not depend on you for revenue and future success means your clients will be looked after no matter what happens, and the company can continue to flourish.
Get in touch
Part of our work as paraplanners involves helping clients create the right systems. This makes sure your advice stands up to scrutiny, protecting your reputation and ensuring you have a robust defence in the event of a complaint.
Besides this, we advise businesses we work with create a client centred culture, which helps it grow through referred business and recommendations.
If you would like to discuss further how we can help you with this, please contact us online or call on 01472 728 030.