The Elements Ironstone Blog

Current news and trending topics for sales and financial industry professionals


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Hit the Nail On the Head When Constructing Your Business Model

Constructing a business model should be a vital part of your firms overall business strategy; describing the core aspects of your firm, including services, purpose, organizational structure, operational processes/policies and your strategies.

As the financial services industry has evolved over the years, business models available to financial advisors have changed and expanded. You will want to make certain your business model:

  •  Remains as a solid foundation by revising and expanding the structures and systems
  •  Incorporates new services and resources available to create value for your clients

Without an updated business model, it will be challenging to move forward, reach goals and experience firm growth. Top advisors are seeking to change their existing business models from firm driven to client driven by providing a holistic model.  Advisors who have implemented the holistic business model are able to position themselves as a trusted advisor rather than a transaction-based sales person.

 Your business model should describe how your firm plans to generate revenue

 and profits while detailing the core aspects listed above.

 High net worth clients are searching for a trusted advisor that is able to provide multiple products and services under one roof.

Providing results for your clients should be a key factor when constructing your business model.  Clients are in search of an advisor who will:

  • Make smart decisions with their money
  • Assist in mitigating taxes
  • Take care of their heirs
  • Ensure gifts are charitable

In addition, advisors who provide some or all of the following services will stand far above the competition and can promote a proactive working relationship with at least a few of the following professionals:

  •  Tax Attorney
  • CPA
  • Insurance Agent
  • 401k Retirement Consultant
  • Estate Planning Attorney
  • Health Insurance Representative

When the overall financial plan is coordinated, you have added value for your clients. Your clients are able to:

  • Reduce their fees
  • Feel clearly organized
  • Place their trust in you and your firm

WHY BOTHER?

Ever heard the song, “The Wise Man Built His House Upon a Rock”? The lesson of this song is just as true in the business world as it is in construction. If you want to run an effective profitable practice, you need to build on a solid foundation and function within a framework that is based on your goals.

The words to that childhood tune also say that the foolish man built his house on sand—without a foundation—and when the storms come, the house crashes down. In the same way, a business without structure will likely crumble when faced with challenges.

Don’t be like the foolish man! By taking advantage of systems and

structures, you can lead your practice toward success.

 There is not a one-size-fits-all solution for every firm.  Ironstone works with highly successful firms operating with different business models.  Design your business model  considering your goals and objectives along with the structures, systems and elements that will serve as your foundation.

 Contact Ironstone for help in preparing your Business Model

We will provide you with a comprehensive plan in developing or updating your business model.  Choosing the best business model for your firm is not an easy task. We will assist you every step of the way by identifying any gaps in your existing model and providing focus on proper infrastructure, market positions, client product and service mix, value-add and how to put it all together!

 We are curious – what changes have you made to your business model recently?   What changes need to be made to your existing business model?  Let us know! 

 Follow us as we explore each of Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™!

  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Development
  • Operational Effectiveness
  • The Human Element

Coming up next, Niche Marketing!

 

• Email us at info@ironstonehq.com
• Call our office at 800-917-8020
• Connect with us:


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Is Your Firm’s Brand Recognizable?

Financial Advisors are more aggressive than ever in pursuing high-net-worth clients.   In order for you to join the elite pack and remain competitive you need to establish and demonstrate what makes your firm unique and how your firm is the solution to meeting client needs by creating a strong personal brand.

Your brand message should embody core principles of your practice. These principles should act as drivers and filters when you make business decisions. They should be easy to remember and summarize what makes you unique in serving your clients.

Keep in mind that your brand is also determined by your reputation among clients, prospects and centers of influence.  Maintaining a great brand will require that you make promises and set expectations, that you must meet each and every day.  Demonstrating to clients that you consistently follow through on what you say you will do builds trust and a strong foundation for your firm.

Advisors with strong brands do things that are meaningful to clients on an ongoing basis.

 

Building Your Brand

 1.   How Is Your Firm Unique?

In what way is your firm different from your competitors?  Evaluate your skills and expertise.  Consider the following and expound on how you effectively perform each component:

Communication with clients –  introducing new concepts, ideas, products, and portfolio performance, as well as maintaining contact with clients and prospects through educational seminars. Advisors typically try to differentiate themselves by focusing on a fee-only business model.  While this is a key characteristic, it will not truly set your firm apart from your competition and build a brand that speaks to your target market.

Set yourself apart from your competition by effectively communicating your expertise and knowledge and providing pro-active solutions to clients.

2.      Determining Your Relevance Starts with Determining Your Ideal Target Client

Choosing your ideal target clients takes more work than simply making a selection of retirees, pre-retirees, affluent professionals, etc.   Focus on small target groups with similar needs and determine how you can provide them with significant value.  Get to know your clients and target markets by delving beyond their financial needs.  Find out what their values, concerns, and fears are, and what is important to them in daily life.

Design your services as a gift that you give to your clients and prospects

that truly offers and delivers what they want most.

3.      Be Consistent

Consistent brands get noticed.  They achieve strong recognition through trust and engagement, which drives loyalty from existing clients and brings prospects to your firm. To ensure that your brand is recognized and understood it is vital to be consistent through all communication channels.

Review your brand periodically to ensure it remains true.  Research how your brand is perceived by interviewing clients which will give you a better understanding of how they interpret your brand.

Think of any strong brand and you are likely able to list its colors and the products it sells.  The appearance of your brand should always be clear across the foundation that you have set, including your fonts, logos, colors, images and the presentation of your firm name and services.

Your audience should know what to expect from your brand.  Avoid changing your media spokesperson or sending messages that don’t tie-in with what you stand for.  This only causes confusion.  If your target market recognizes a piece of communication they are more likely to engage with it.

4.       In Conclusion

Brand recognition is much more than a nice logo and a bit of advertising –it is the outline of everything you stand for, everything you believe in, and everything you do. It is how you look, how you talk, and how you act.

Ask several clients how they would describe you to their best friends. Their responses are an excellent way to periodically test whether you are living your brand.

Ironstone can assist you in developing a brand that is reflective of your firm.  We specialize in identifying gaps in your existing plan and will collaborate with you to develop solutions that are parallel to achieving the results you desire.

Contact us for assistance in starting and improving your firm’s brand.  We want to hear from you!   Share your best ideas here!  How do you demonstrate your brand?  What challenges do you have in presenting your brand?   We always love hearing from you!

Follow us as we explore each of Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™! 

  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Development
  • Operational Effectiveness
  • The Human Element

You won’t want to miss our next in the series:  Operational Effectiveness-Reports & Tracking