Where Is Your Business Now?

How useful would it be to be able to demonstrate that your company is taking pro-active steps to understanding your business?

The starting point for any firm looking to carry out any sort of transformation – be that for firms looking to maintain, exit or expand – is to know or demonstrate your current position.

Understanding your practice is imperative, so we need to get under the bonnet of your current business model and how you operate, reviewing areas such as:

Organisation structure, board composition, senior management roles, job descriptions, structures & procedures, process & reporting, client & service segmentation, resource requirements and facilities management.

How does AURA carry out this process?

We use our unique online Business Health Check tool.

Online Business Heath Check

  • Current State Assessment – Review of history, the current business model and how you operate
  • Valuable Insight – Will provide the necessary background information for either internal or external support services
  • Completion online with remote access
  • Low cost & time efficient – c. 90 minutes to complete
  • Produces informative bespoke reports
  • Provides vital information to make intelligent business decisions – Whether your business objective is to expand, transform or exit the industry

Valuable Feedback

An AURA consultant will also feedback concerns or recommendations that you may wish to consider in priority order in the bespoke report. AURA recommendations will demonstrate areas for development and the rationale behind this. You can then decide to initiate change by using in-house resources or, if commercially more viable, by instructing internal & external AURA consultants.

IFA Business Health Check AURA

Where Are You Heading? – Vision

We arrange a one day roundtable Visioning Workshop including all key stakeholders. This looks at where the firm’s business owners want to be.

Review Business
Health Check

SWOT & Competitor
Analysis

Vision, Mission,
Culture and Values

Key Goals
For The Year

Current And Future
Business Processes

Organisation
Structure

Client &
Service Segmentation

Client
Proposition

Benefits Of Visioning

Firms we have worked with to date have found the visioning workshop process to be extremely cathartic which led to healthy discussion and ideas.

The process assisted with aligning the views of leadership, created positive steps to moving forward and provided a specific time dedicated to the business with no distractions.

You may also be surprised on how your objectives may change during such a workshop!

Financial Impact

Part of the AURA process is to review the cost of delivery & return on investment.

What are the financial benefits of implementing the transformation process?

If you’re going to initiate change, you need to know what your outlay is going to be and what the return will be.

AURA review the following >>>

  • Service assumptions
  • Fees charged to clients
  • Resource capacity
  • Sales assumptions
  • Man days required
  • Revenue
  • Business costs

Business decisions will have a considerable impact on profit and revenue and in the fee charging world, it’s essential that a firm can deliver the service a client has chosen in the timescales agreed.

Keeping On Top Of Change

How are you going to monitor results and make sure you’re on track?

From experience, we always start off with good intentions but daily distractions and regulatory requirements plus client demands start to infiltrate and before you know it, you’re back to square one.

You need to agree on rules, systems and processes that can help you maintain control of your business.

AURA review the following >>>

  • Technology
  • Strategic planning
  • Decision making protocols
  • Financial management
  • Leadership & supervision
  • Fulfilling customer demand
  • Recruitment strategy

Developing A Strategic Plan

I’m sure that you’re all aware that the regulator takes the view that if it’s not written down, it’s not happening!

The regulator wants to know that you have a robust business model and strategy that clearly articulates the business proposition, target markets, distribution and how your business will manage its conduct risk.

Strategic Plan Benefits

Discussion & negotiation

Healthy discussions can be had to iron out any differences and to align ideas before the team is informed and implementation proceeds, breeding confidence into your organisation.

Translatable to internal or external advisers & support services

Having a written plan will enable your firm to engage with support and rapidly benefit from the advice provided.

Transparency & disclosure

A written plan for strategy will provide full disclosure to all parties of your firm’s intentions and what is expected from them.

Technology to support strategy

Providing a clear definition of your firm’s monitoring and MI requirements will enable the firm to build technology solutions that manage change requirements to support growth.

Just a few months of activity focusing on strategy can save so much time and cost in the long run!

IFA Business Health Check AURA

Where Are Your Gaps In Strategy?

AURA’s unique Business Health Check articulates the current position of your firm. The strategic plan describes your firm’s vision. Collectively, these valuable documents will enable your business to tap into a variety of external specialist advisers to highlight any risk or gap in capabilities that you may not have considered.

Being well prepared for specialist advisers will reduce the time required with them, thereby creating a cost saving.

Working with or requesting opinion from specialist advisers will have a short term cost, but most importantly, by working with specialist advisers you can create significant cost savings over the medium to long term by making sure you’re ‘belt and braced’.

Specialists advisers that your firm should seek opinion from include:

Legal, finance, compliance, IT, marketing, branding and advertising, training & development.

Specialist advisers will review the following:

  • Document gaps and risk
  • Prioritise gaps and risk
  • Identify ‘quick wins’
  • Recommend plans and timescales for change

Implementation

The project management plan

This should be a macro view of activity required that incorporates risk mitigation and commercial developments.

A good project management plan will include the following:

  • Prioritisation and timescales for change
  • Identifying resources to implement change
  • Deciding on a start date
  • Costs of change by working with financial management
  • Publishing an agenda to all contributors
  • Publishing an activity schedule for all future work and meetings

Marketing plan

This will be heavily reliant on the feedback from the project management plan. For example, if the weighting between risk mitigation and commercial developments is heavily skewed to risk mitigation, it may be sensible to keep the marketing strategy to existing customers whilst the foundations of the business are being secured.

T&C & recruitment strategy

An evidence based approach should be applied to recruitment and training & competence, making sure that you’re clear on the reason for the introduction or training need, who will support them and what contribution they will have to the existing team.

Leadership development

The leaders will set the tone of the organisation and influence behaviours to the rest of the team, so it’s imperative that they’re completely in tune with where the business is going and what’s required from them.

Client management & operations technology

When you are able to clearly articulate the firm’s current and future objectives, only then will you truly be in a position to maximise technology to optimise efficiency gains. Technology will be pivotal in monitoring specified processes for activity and generate valuable Management Information (MI) data that will demonstrate if individual and company targets are being met.

Communication – It’s Now Time To Share Your Unique Story

Marketing can be a reasonable financial outlay, so you need to be confident of your strategies and objectives prior to the execution of your plan.

A good initial communication point should be your existing customers and strategic partners – let them be the first to know of the intended changes within the company.

Why not make them feel part of the firm’s growth and that their opinion is valued?

As customers or partners, they may provide ideas that the firm has not yet considered that could help when attracting or retaining clients.

Your objective is to provide feedback on the following:

The brand

 

Your brand influences the opinion of existing or potential clients about your business. A brand can be powerful. It can bring people together and make them want to become part of something.

Your team and their credentials

 

You’ve just been through a period of education and you’ve invested time to ensure that your team is qualified. Be sure that your customers are aware of this investment and how it benefits them.

Your services (including strategic partners)

 

Be sure to clearly demonstrate the difference between each service and gain feedback from your existing customers to what service would best suit their needs and why. This would be extremely valuable feedback and may make a huge difference to your intended service proposition.

Your advice process

 

You can now clearly articulate the way that you work to include the process for delivery and the team supporting this process.

It’s now time to get feedback on which customers, staff and business connections will compliment and work well with you.

The technology you use

 

If you have invested into technology or about to, explain how this will benefit the customer experience and general communications e.g. online access, valuations, client forums, a client portal and so on.

Testimonials

 

Ask clients if they would support your firm’s development by offering testimonials, especially as they can now see the effort you have put into developing your proposition.

Just be clear on what your desired outcome and capabilities are i.e. are you trying to develop your existing client bank or attract new customers and business opportunities?

This entire exercise may alter the direction of your proposition and provide you with time for development before you fully invest and engage into new marketing initiatives that will introduce your new proposition to the outside world.

Specialist Marketing and Advertising Partner:

There are many marketing and communication options for telling your unique transformation story to clients.

Marketing:

  • Web design
  • Copywriting
  • Video production
  • Content creation (case studies, whitepapers) made marketable and useful for staff and for communicating to clients in effective ways

Advertising:

  • Print/magazine/radio
  • PPC/SEO/Analytics (online advertising and promotion)
  • Advanced call tracking
  • Television advert creation and buying

Branding and Communication:

  • Tell your unique story
  • Learn more about your business and get internal and external buy in for what you stand for
  • Quality design and copywriting to make your business propositions clear to all