Build a business that makes you proud


Better the devil you know

Even in this ever changing increasing tech world, some things stay the same.  I am talking about the fundamentals of running a successful business. For a while there when the markets were doing all things wonderful, business owners who were riding this joyous wave of prosperity and growth felt they could take their eye off the normal everyday ‘business fundamentals’ and focus on other more exciting initiatives. I would get calls asking for the newest or the latest and greatest shiny object to lure clients in and get them signing up. They would usually end our call feeling rather deflated when I pointed out that the latest greatest wiz bang ‘whatever’ will not be all it seems unless you have all the fundamentals in place first to support it.

If the latest craze meant you were able to attract 20 new ideal clients in the next 3 months, could you sustainably on board them and still deliver the exceptional client experience you hang your hat on, with all else being equal (ie. the same head count, the same processes, same technology, same service standards, same turnaround times etc. get the drift)?  Then there was silence.

However, once the markets betrayed our appetite for growth and upside and instead did it’s own thing and went south (and did so for many years), many advisers found their revenues followed suite.  And lo and behold, as a result of this rogue market and disgruntled advisers, I have witnessed a revival of the fundamental principles of running a successful business heading back to top the of advisers priority list.

This has seen business owners and advisers resetting the dial and re-focussing on getting the foundations right as a key step to prepare them for the next stage of their business success. Check out the infographic image to this blog highlighting these findings from my research at the AFA Conference in 2012. What we found was advisers are going back to the basics and revisiting the stuff that really works, such as:

1. Being crystal clear on who are you ideal clients – the ones that make you money and make you smile;

2. Nailing your ‘why you’ message and how you demonstrate and deliver real value;

3. Knowing exactly what you need to do for your clients and how you need to do it;

4. Making sure you get paid what you are worth, now and in the future;

5. Delivering a sensational experience that is as rewarding as the outcomes and results you are helping them achieve, and makes them want to tell the world about you.

Get all this right, then it gives the next new exciting initiative you want to test run a far better chance of success.

The best businesses realise that as the world changes, some things stay the same. Improving your chances of sustainable growth in any environment is to:

  • be incredibly adaptable to change and accept that like it or not, change happens;
  • be relentless about knowing what your future looks like and staying focused on getting there;
  • be ‘cult like’ when it comes to addressing the fundamentals required to build and grow a successful business.

The moral to this story is: Never stray too far from the fundamentals to get the best results! Just make sure to include a ‘nowadays’ twist when incorporating them into your business today.

Better the devil you know!


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