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The Importance of Structure When Implementing Advisory Services
Posted on 17th August 2017 in Advisory
Written by Freya Hughes
When preparing to roll out advisory services in your firm, you need to have a set plan for your team to follow. A solid structure not only makes your firm look attractive to prospective clients, it’ll allow you to rest assured tasks are completed efficiently, therefore your firm will start generating more cash. An architect would never approve a build without a plan, so don’t allow your firm to blunder through the darkness. The advisory space is broad, including various services, so it’s essential for your firm to all be on the same page. Confusion could mean selling slightly different packages to your clients, which will impact negatively on your reputation. Clients expect continuity, so let’s look at how you can prepare for advisory and nail it across the board.
You need to lay out a solid structure to be able to roll out advisory services effectively. Your team members are looking to you as their boss to direct them through this unchartered territory, so it’s crucial to get it right. Best practice, when rolling out advisory, is to appoint a couple of your team members to be in charge of the training. Ensure you have at least two people on the case, just in case one moves on, and they need to be committed to the software and new direction. Once you’ve got your leaders, you can start training up the rest of the team.
Getting your team started
It all needs to start with a plan. Moving to advisory is a big jump, and you need to be ready and committed. FUTRLI Advisory Certification is the easiest, simplest way to get your team on board with your new services. The certification course is designed to hold your hand through the ins and outs of advisory in conjunction with the FUTRLI app. We know it can be a daunting prospect to get this going, but the certification course will give you a process to follow so you won’t go around in circles. Your entire team need to be using the same terminology and have consistency in how they diagnose business problems, another huge benefit of following an industry-approved and standardised certification process.
FUTRLI Advisory Certification is a form of continuing professional development (CPD), which has huge benefits to employees and employers alike. Staff will close up the gaps in their knowledge, and learn to put their new skills into practice, usually resulting in them being far more engaged and satisfied at work. For employers, you’ll notice staff retention improves alongside brand perception too. You’ll be able to sell higher value services across the board too, so revenue will increase. And when you’ve completed the course, you’ll be ready to get started – and you’ll have a certificate for your wall!
We’ve put together this course for you. Advisory is still a fairly new concept, and we understand that for most of your team it’s something they’ll need help with. You cannot scale as an advisory practice if your team don’t understand why or how to do it. We will cover all the roadblocks that have prevented true profitability from advisory services from pricing through to marketing. It covers the strategy and the practical implementation so while some modules focus on how your team can increase the average client fees across the firm, another will focus on practicalities such as advanced forecasting or consolidated reporting.
Your work needs to flow
Setting up workflows is going to get your team to work together. A workflow is a series of tasks designed to produce a desired outcome. Implementing one is to equip your team with the tools they need to collaborate on work – and collaboration often produces the best results, especially when working over the cloud. Multiple pairs of eyes on a task will allow you to analyse and deliberate how to produce the best results or conclusion. You’ll find your team will begin to work more in unity with one another.
A key challenge we’ve noticed is finding the time to set up workflows and training processes. It can all seem too much at times, especially when trying to change the direction of your firm. Defining your working processes is like laying the building block to your firm but the good news is that certification has done this for you. We’ve seen what works so the course is a celebration of best practice – you won’t need to reinvent the wheel creating/guessing what your own processes and procedures should be. Once you’ve nailed this process, everything will fall into place – and you’ll see a huge amount more efficiency and productivity from staff. Knowing what’s expected of them and how to do each job is going to make your team work better.
Why is this so important?
Your team all need to be on the same page, and certification and workflows are going to make that happen. A bug bear for most people is inconsistency, and that goes across the board in life. Your clients are paying you for your services, so you have to get this right. Imagine popping into a hairdressers, and you like it so much you decide to go back and get the same thing when it’s time for another cut. You’re excited to replicate the hairstyle you’ve enjoyed, but the hairdresser does something completely different. You’re not going to be very happy are you? Consistency makes your firm’s reputation grow, so to not implement processes is very dangerous.
Structure is key. The Louvre Museum in France has the right idea, using the strongest shape: the pyramid. The sides connect, as should your team, making the building robust. Remember this when implementing advisory to your team, as it’ll keep you on the right track.
Having your team work in unity will push your firm forwards in the advisory space. We spoke to Blu Sky, accountants based in the north of England, recently and you can see the full case study here. They told us that their transition into advisory services has meant everyone in the firm, from juniors to partners, are now selling forecasts, which has improved the firm’s bottom line.
“The whole team are now so eager to sell forecasting to clients because they understand the value of it for businesses across the board, not just larger companies.”
– Sam Wood, Blu Sky Lead Client Account Manager.
So we know now that having every member of your team on the same track is going to benefit your firm’s reputation. Giving solid service throughout the firm will please clients, but also you’ll notice the unified workforce is helping your practice to turn over more profit. As we’ve seen from business owners, getting all of your team working towards individual and team goals will make your life easier, seeing sustainable growth and customer retention. Get started now, and get your staff on the certification course. You’ll notice improvements across your firm pretty quickly.