There’s change in the air. To some change means loss, to others change means opportunity. I’d suspect though this is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity for independent and non-bank owned financial planning businesses. I am of course talking about the release of the Royal Commission findings and the changes Government is likely to make as a result of them.
To make the most of change, your business needs to come to one key decision quickly:
• Are you going to resist the change and be dragged kicking and screaming along the way?
• Or are you going to embrace the change, and do whatever it is you need to do to continue to operate a high advice quality client focused financial planning business?
If you’re the former, there’s nothing useful here for you. But if you’re ready to show leadership, still want to be an advice provider and will do whatever it is you need to do to keep doing what you love then please read on.
It’s important make the decision quickly and commit to it. Successful businesses own change.
It’s probably a good time to employ a differentiation strategy.
What is it?
A marketing differentiation strategy is one that considers your firms identity and what you stand for and how you communicate that to your marketplace.
Why would you use a differentiation strategy?
Now more than perhaps ever it’s going to be important to show how you stand out from the crowd. The risk of not doing it is that you’ll be tarred with the same brush as those banks and institutions which will wear reputation consequences of the RC outcomes, given the focus that was placed upon them.
What might some of your key messages be?
– The best interests of your clients
– Providing high quality advice
– Ongoing professional development standards
– Operating within an ethical based framework, as a part of your professional association membership
So if you’re an independently owned business and you’re planning to be in business post the RC, I’d encourage you to think about how you will differentiate yourself and how you’re going to communicate that to potential and existing clients.
The reality is that Australians still need financial planning advice regardless of the RC findings. Post the RC, they’re probably less likely to visit a bank or institutional brand. Clients of those businesses will probably be looking for a second opinion and perhaps a new adviser too.
So what is your business doing to take advantage of this once in a lifetime change? And more importantly are you going to own the changes coming?
Additional reading: RC talking points