Eight principles to make your business fit for the purpose

By Michelle Hoskin, founder and director of Standards International

Added 2nd June 2016

In the first of a series of three articles, Michelle Hoskin, founder and director of Standards International, will be exploring eight principles that promise to help financial advisers redesign their businesses so that it delivers the rewards they deserve.

Eight principles to make your business fit for the purpose

For more than 15 years I have spent thousands of hours with some of the world’s most amazing advisers and firms, and it is sad to see that, despite their professional and industry achievements, they are constantly being distracted from realising and achieving their personal and professional potential.

Over the next three articles I hope to:

  • help you find your purpose, reignite your passion and unleash your power;
  • introduce the eight principles of Woww – love them and live them;
  • explore why collaboration is the difference between surviving and thriving;
  • share with you why everything is just better by design; and, finally
  • help you to see that treating the symptoms is madness, but that treating the cause is genius.

Woww stands for ‘ways of a wow world’ but we originally conceived the definition as ‘ways for well-being at work’. ‘Wow’ really is the only way to live and it is important that people design and live their lives fully intentionally and on purpose. Having a ‘wow world’ does not happen by accident it needs to be designed and we will show them how.

Global change

The best thing about the future is that it has not happened yet; the even better thing about the future is that, when it does, it is going to happen one day at a time.

There is nothing as sure as change – it is part of life. But those who embrace it will be rewarded with a more enjoyable journey to achieving their true potential, both personally and professionally.

However, it is no coincidence that contained within the word ‘challenge’ is the word ‘change’.

Globally, there is a tidal wave of change heading straight over us all and, one thing is for sure, if we want to thrive we need to be right at the top of the wave, embracing every opportunity for change along the way.

But is it really about change or more about choice? The jury is firmly out at the moment and, hopefully, as we move through the next few months, our decision will be swayed one way or the other.

Surviving versus thriving

I am proud to have been instrumental in creating and establishing some key frameworks for business, operational and client-servicing best practice in the UK.

While doing this, I made a remarkably simple discovery – if you want to thrive as a business, you need to start thinking and acting like a business.

In order to pull this off, each and every one of you needs to be firing on all cylinders; your batteries need to be charged, the barrel loaded and you must be ready to feel like you have been shot out of a rocket.

But the past few years have not been plain sailing. It has been tough and no one has had it easy, which is why your purpose and what you are trying to achieve has to be greater than the pain you are going to feel to get there.

As uncertain as the future may be, the truth is that if you want to be in this business you have to start behaving like a business and strive for the ‘best’ in everything you do.

Challenges and pains

After you have read this article, I want you to go back into your businesses with your eyes wide open. I need you to see your business in a way you have never seen it before. Have a look around and ask yourself what is going on, who is doing what and how. Never stop asking ‘Do we need to do this?’ And if the answer is ‘Yes’, is it being done in the most efficient and effective way possible?

I speak with advisers and planners every day and it is remarkable how driven they are and how dedicated to delivering amazing outcomes for clients.

But they continue to be prevented from doing so because of ‘the seven pains’ that are strangling them and their business every day.

These are:

  • a lack of buy-in from their team;
  • a lack of business direction and leader- ship skills;
  • no real clarity about their businesses’ financial position;
  • no clearly designed and repeatable service/client journey;
  • ineffective communication methods;
  • out-of-date or unsuitable IT tools and systems; and
  • a lack of resources and appropriate skills.

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