While advisers are using their dealer groups to stay on top of compliance and systems administration, many aren’t taking advantage of the business development services their licensee might offer.
For approximately half of advisers (47%), corporate governance is the number one service that they value the most for their dealer fees. It makes absolute sense with looming FoFA deadlines, that compliance is foremost in advisers’ minds, says Andrew Doquile, managing director of The Advice Exchange, boutique financial services firm.
But he says that firms must keep in mind the long term profitability of their business – particularly if they’re planning on selling their practice in the next five to ten years.
According to a survey The Advice Exchange conducted, 22% of advisers believe their business is ready for sale, but only 19% have a list of suitors ready to buy. Even if you’re not planning to sell, understanding how your business is priced and the sort of buyer that it would suit is important in terms of developing growth strategies, says Doquile.
“Any buyer of a business will be looking for long term track record of earnings and client stability. So ensuring you are targeted with the types of clients you want to attract will make the business attractive to buyers down the track.
“Building a list of suitors is also one of the most important steps advisers can take if they are planning to exit their business,” he said. “You need to ensure the potential firm or dealer group understands your business and that your growth plans align if you are to realise the best possible price.”
Benjamin Simkin from BusinessNET says he has noticed financial planners warming up to lead generation marketing over the past few years as they keep up with changes happening in the industry. He said there were a few things to keep in mind when improving your marketing:
Planners should be spending a few hours a week on marketing – if they can’t manage that they should outsource their marketing to professionals
If planners want to target a particular occupation or client type then they should go on the internet and look at what their target market is reading – industry publications etc. and look into advertising there
Social media is a powerful tool to reach out to new clients. Rather than just advertising, planners can start a conversation about a client’s needs, and build that into a consultation
Currently only 9-11% of advisers value the marketing and business development services provided by their dealer group. Have you talked to your licensee about how they can help to cultivate your business?