Some good things that come from being at home due to COVID-19, like reconnecting with family and reorganizing our living spaces. But there are also new stresses as adjustments to combine work life and home life into one happen. The future of remote work is here to stay and likely won’t go away after the pandemic subsides. You must change the way you work to enable you to be more productive now versus waiting until things return to ‘normal.’ Normal may not happen to the extent we would like.
The actions you take today will define your future success. You must consider ways to help yourself ride out the crisis and emerge more durable than others in our industry. Additionally, think about the lessons you’ve learned throughout this crisis. These lessons should provide you with the answers to what you need to change for your business and yourself. Perhaps during this crisis, you were unprepared?
According to Bain and Company, businesses in any industry must commit to two guiding principles to move past the COVID-19: act now to protect and run your business today, and plan now to retool your business for the future. Consider the following:
Protecting your business today:
- Does your practice have a continuity plan? In our industry, we advise clients to have a contingency plan (ex. life insurance or an estate plan) in case something unexpected happens to them. The ‘unexpected’ will eventually arise, guaranteed. Having a continuity plan for our business in case of a natural disaster (or pandemic) or the premature death of the primary principal is essential. A continuity plan must even consider the equipment for any team to work remotely.
- Are you, your employees, and clients protected from COVID-19 if required to come to your office? Onsite protection should minimally include physical protection such as a separated room disinfected after each client use, hand sanitizer, etc. Desktop and mobile computing protection including anti-malware and cyber-security measures and all the concerns related to working remotely with sensitive data.
- Evaluate and brainstorm how to continue advising and servicing clients. With face to face meetings only occurring remotely, having the technology in place to stay meeting with clients remotely and sending sensitive information is essential.
- Internet security and VPN access to custodians and other service providers from your remote location is critical. Security checks should be part of your plan for all employees to continue working remotely. If remote work compromises data security, you aren’t protecting either your business or your clients.
- COVID-19 is a harsh salient reminder that a complete and up-to-date succession plan is important to ensure that your firm will continue to provide benefits for your family and employees in the event of a personal disaster.
Retooling your business for the future:
- Develop a plan for times of high-client demand, regardless of market conditions. Forecast which clients are likely to need your help first, and so on, now and once recovery begins. This demand will impact revenue from ramping up to slowing down the application on you and your staff.
- Review and revamp your practice management directives and initiatives. For example, if your trading and rebalancing software is cumbersome, now is the time to change it. Acquiring new software with additional capabilities that has proven itself will allow you to do more in less time. While not meeting clients face to face, trying out and transitioning to new software can push you ahead of your competition. In an industry where time is money, saving time creates an opportunity for more clients.
- Use digital partnerships to enhance your business operations. Efficiency and scalability quickly enact when FinTech providers partner with each other for the good of the industry.
Contact us at AdvisorPeak to learn more about retooling your business for the future and our FinTech partnerships.