Investing in your business

, 29 June 2020

How investing in your business now will put you in a great position when the pandemic is over

With eight million staff furloughed and millions more working from home, it’s been a difficult few months for workers in the UK. Talking to financial planners across the country in recent weeks, we’ve found that there are two distinct groups of business owners.

Firstly, those who have decided to hibernate their business. Staff have been furloughed, the doors have been closed, and they have simply tried to hunker down and to get through this period with the business intact.

Many had grand plans for 2020, from rebranding and client acquisition to investment in marketing and process improvements – at least until the pandemic struck. Instead, plans have been put on hold as concerns about cost and profitability take priority.

The second group have seen lockdown as an opportunity. They have taken the time to increase communication with clients, providing reassurance and guidance during this difficult period. Many have stepped out of their comfort zone to engage on social media, run webinars or record videos for the first time.

This group have also used lockdown as an opportunity to work on their business, rather than in it. Financial planners have had the chance to undertake all those admin jobs they had been putting off. The opportunity to undertake branding and marketing work. The time to finally review processes, procedures and technology.

It’s these people who we’ve heard from a lot over the last few weeks. Many have decided to incorporate cashflow modelling into their advice process. They have turned to us for guidance on the best way to do this.

These firms are also pressing ahead with their plans for growth and have decided that now is the perfect time to invest in their business; putting it on a stronger footing for when we exit lockdown and return to ‘a new normal’.

A new normal

Over the last three months, financial advisers and planners have been forced to adapt. Businesses have found new ways of working, adopting new technology and processes to deal with a brand-new way of communicating with clients.

While you may have been used to using much of this technology internally, using video conferencing or webinar technology with clients may be new.

You won’t need reminding that fees are partly driven by ongoing service, and so demonstrating regular reviews has become more important than ever. This move towards remote working, and a dependency on technology, is one reason many firms are turning to us as the cashflow modelling experts. They continue to tell us that engaging with clients remotely is one of the ongoing challenges faced by the profession.

Video conferencing technology such as Zoom enables an adviser to share screens with a client. While useful for sharing documents or data surrounding investment performance, it also offers an excellent opportunity to really engage with cashflow modelling.

The financial advisers getting the most value from cashflow modelling are using it live and interactively with clients. Sharing screens and modelling scenarios with clients present is incredibly powerful.

You would be amazed at how cashflow modelling, coupled with the use of several thought-provoking questions, starts some truly rewarding client conversations.

During a video meeting, the client can see a visual representation of what the future could look like and what they are striving to achieve. They feel more engaged in their financial future and fully understand the impact of their decisions.

It makes it far easier for clients to grasp how their wealth will be affected over time, the level of income they can afford to take, and the impact of factors such as tax and stock market volatility.

Showing clients this type of information in a visual way can be genuinely life-changing. And, as you can create, compare, and illustrate unlimited scenarios using flexible graph options, it’s easy to plan effectively for all clients.

Building a robust business for the future

However you’ve approached the last few months, taking action now could help to put your business on a strong footing when things return to normal.

There are currently millions of people who have never engaged with a financial adviser or planner. These people haven’t had the benefit of your knowledge, wisdom and coaching over the years. They will be more anxious than your existing clients and in need of confidence, reassurance and information.

Using cashflow modelling can show these potential clients what changes they need to consider. It can demonstrate the impact of tax and market volatility in a visual way that they understand. And, it can reassure them that they can still afford to retire when they want to.

Adopting cashflow modelling as part of your process can:

Strengthen client relationships

  • Demonstrate the life-changing impact of planning
  • Enhance client wellbeing
  • Promote interactive review meetings
  • Engage clients in the financial planning process.

Maximise fees and profitability

  • Boost quality referrals from clients and introducers
  • Increase pitch win success
  • Seriously grow new and existing revenue streams
  • Save time and maximise efficiency.

Cashflow modelling doesn’t have to be complicated. Effortless and enjoyable to use in your client meetings, i4C creates clarity and confidence, removes client inertia, and takes your client relationships to the next level. See what i4C users are saying 

This article was written by Carly Robbins, Client Cashflow Solutions Consultant.

To learn more you can enjoy a free 30-day trial or call 020 3308 9448.