How to build a business strategy that separates you from the pack
One thing about financial services is clear: our industry is changing, and it's changing fast.
Increased client expectations, additional professional educational requirements and changing regulations make doing business more complicated than ever. And, if that's not enough, there's also the digital disruption that online apps and tools such as robo-advisers, FinTech start-ups and D.I.Y. accounting software are bringing to the traditional work of financial advisers, accountants and other financial services professionals.
Against this backdrop, growing your business often means refining your business strategy so that potential clients see the value you can bring that your competitors simply can't.
So, if you need help defining your competitive advantage, read on.
What does competitive advantage mean for financial services professionals?
As long ago as 1985, business strategist Michael Porter introduced the concept of 'competitive advantage' in his book of the same name, as the decisive factor in why people chose one product or service over another.
"You win either by being cheaper or by being different (which means being perceived by the customer as better or more relevant). There are no other ways," he argued.
Over thirty years later, that same concept is even more appropriate in today's ultra-competitive financial services environment, says Sue-Ella Prodonovich, Principal of Prodonovich Advisory. But it's also more complicated. That's because any competitive advantage you'll hold is usually bound up in the people delivering the service, as well the clients you're servicing.