Have you thought of your 2021 plan?

It is about time that we start doing things differently, the same way we tell our clients to review their financial planning yearly.

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We all know that 2020 was a difficult year in all aspects of our lives. It was even worse for financial advisors who did not build an annuity income for their businesses or practices. It is about time that we start doing things differently, the same way we tell our clients to review their financial planning yearly. We need to apply the same principles and change the way we do things so we can see different results in 2021.

You will need to start by reviewing your value proposition to your clients. Let them know what you stand for and what makes you unique. There are so many financial advisors out there, but your clients work with you for a particular reason. Do you know what that reason is? Do you know why they trust and understand you compared to your other colleagues? If you don’t know that reason, send a select group of clients questionnaires that will give you a clear reason why they work with you and if it defines you.

Find a mentor or coach that can help you avoid mistakes and guide you when you feel lost and want to discuss ideas that will help grow your business. You must look for a mentor or a coach who is on a higher level than you, so they can be able to share their wisdom with you. You need a person who you can share your problems with, and they will be able to give you tools to resolve your problems. They must be able to guide on both personal and business aspects to help you balance your life.

We need to allocate more time to working on the business than working in the business.

I was privileged to have had a mentor on this path and he managed to show me my weak and strong points in the business and how I can work on these to help me grow my business.

I was taught the difference between working in the business and working on the business. Working in the business means going out and seeing clients full-time and working on the business is working on growing your business by attending sessions and workshops that talk about business development. We need to allocate more time to working on the business than working in the business.

Restructure your business by reviewing your client base, your products, sales and review strategy. This will help you find your specialised area that you can focus on and be the best at it. When you review your client base, you will be able to segment your clients so you know how your book looks and also if you are still on track working with your target market. When we are building our businesses we end up losing focus on our target market as we take any clients that come our way, which is understandable, but will it grow your businesses at the pace that we want it to grow?

Let us learn to do things differently this year.

Work on that target market and stick to it.

Let us learn to do things differently this year. Start calling all your existing clients and touch base with them to understand their current financial goal. This will help them rethink their lives and their financial goals. Calling your clients for a check-in will make them even happier about your services. If the conversation persists, propose a Zoom meeting so you can guide them further. Remember, clients are looking for more of a financial coach than a financial advisor. If they receive great service and advice, they will pay for it.

Nonhlanhla Nxele, CEO, Tokoloho Financial Services

Lastly, get a supporting team such as an administrator and a paraplanner because you cannot handle all the paperwork by yourself. You will need to delegate activities that are not directly linked to affecting your results. I know most of us cannot afford to pay them but there are programmes in the industry that help with funding.

You can partner with TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) colleges that need to place learners for 18 months to assist with administration or apply for interns with INSETA (Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority). INSETA can also help with paraplanners. Use the resources that are available to us.

With everything you do in 2021, do not forget to digitise your business.

Remember, we are the masters of our destiny, therefore by taking these first steps you are building a business that can self-sustain and survive the next pandemic, regardless of what it is. The above-mentioned points are essential and will redefine your perspective towards the future.

Happy planning for your successful 2021!