Michelle Hoskin, Founder and CEO, Standards International, is on a bit of a mission this month. She’s taking you through a whistlestop tour of key operational considerations that you and your team need to conquer in order to ensure not only long term business success but to make the whole experience more enjoyable and rewarding for those on the journey with you too.
The financial services profession is constantly evolving (ok that’s the statement of the year I know!) There are new technologies and regulations being introduced on a regular basis, with all of them needing the careful attention of business owners. However, in order to stay competitive and meet the changing demands of your clients, advice and planning businesses must be able to streamline their operations and make the most of their resources.
Automatic for the people
One of the key ways to streamline your operations in financial advice is by implementing automation. Automation can help you to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and increase accuracy in a variety of areas, including compliance, risk management, and client service amongst others. For example, using automated compliance systems can help financial firms to quickly and easily identify and address all-important regulatory issues, while automating client service tasks can help to improve the client experience and reduce wait times.
Avoid paralysis by analysis
An important aspect of streamlining your operations as a financial services professional is through the use of data analytics. By collecting and analysing data from various sources, businesses can gain valuable insights into client behaviour, market trends, and potential areas for improvement. This deep dive can help you to make more informed decisions and to identify opportunities for growth and innovation. It takes time but it’s worth it.
In addition to automation and data analytics, there are a number of other strategies that financial firms can use to streamline their operations. So what are they?
Take it to the limit
As Peter Drucker famously said, “Do what you do best. Outsource the rest”. I couldn’t agree more. This action is one which we often advise our clients to take very seriously and to take advantage of. Outsourcing can help your business both to reduce costs and increase efficiency. How? It’s by allowing you to focus on your core competences, while leaving non-core tasks to specialised providers. Doing so can also help to improve the quality of your services and it will reduce the risk of errors too. That’s because your outsourcing partners will typically have specialised expertise and experience in areas such as IT, accounting, and compliance which can have major benefits for you and your business. You may already by outsourcing some parts of your client service proposition. Why not see how you can take it to the limit one more time?
In the process
Another effective strategy for streamlining your operations is to focus on process improvement. What do I mean by that? Well, this can include using tools such as Lean Six Sigma. Not familiar with it? It’s a methodology that helps organisations to identify and eliminate waste in their processes, and to improve efficiency and quality. By focusing on process improvement, your advice business can find new ways to streamline your operations and reduce costs, while also improving your client experience. It’s worth taking the time to review and reflect – with your team – on all your existing processes so you can find out exactly what’s working for you – and what’s not.
Digitalisation is another crucial aspect of streamlining operations in the financial services firm. It’s a journey which we are on ourselves, here at Standards International, too. By leveraging digital technologies such as mobile banking, online platforms, and cloudbased services, you can improve accessibility, reduce costs, and increase your overall business efficiency.
Digitalisation can also enable your business to reach more clients and offer more services to existing clients. In this way, it can help with client acquisition as well as client retention and really helps you to grow the business as well as to operate a more streamlined service.
We the people
Finally, one of the most important strategies for streamlining operations in any business – especially in a people-orientated profession like financial advice – is to focus on employee engagement, wellbeing and training. By having a benchmark to provide your employees with the skills and resources they need to do their jobs effectively, you can not only help to improve their performance but also reduce your staff turnover too. This can lead to greater productivity, better client service, and a more positive work environment.
ISO 45003, The Wellbeing Standard of Excellence™ does exactly that. This is an international framework for businesses to implement and practise to ensure they are ‘on the money’ when it comes to employee wellbeing and culture. After all, without our people, what would businesses actually look like? It really doesn’t bear thinking about it.
In conclusion, streamlining operations is essential for you and all other financial advice professionals to stay competitive and meet the changing demands of your clients. By effectively implementing automation, data analytics, outsourcing, process improvement, digitalisation and focusing on employee engagement and training, your business can be transformed through improved efficiency, reduced costs, and increased revenue.
Of course, it is important to continuously monitor and improve your operations to stay ahead in today’s ever-evolving landscape. To understand your business position in the area of operational excellence, Standards International can audit your business based on our 8ps concept, which looks at all areas of your business.
For more information, please click here
About Michelle Hoskin
Michelle Hoskin (aka Little Miss WOWW!TM) is well known for her endless enthusiasm and energy, infectious personality and unique outlook on what she describes as a “magical profession”. She is also financial abuse qualified.
Michelle is pioneering a drive towards increased professionalism and operational excellence through her continued work at Standards International of which she is the founder