How connecting with peers can help advisers and accountants to get ahead
Believing you have the ability to create a favourable, positive outcome is essential when it comes to running a business, and financial planning and accounting practices are no exception.
The more confident an adviser or accountant is that they can achieve their business goals, the more successful they feel they are at doing so.
This held true across almost all measures in Macquarie’s 2015/16 Accounting and Financial Services Benchmarking Report.
Those who rated their confidence as ‘high’ were also more likely to rate themselves as successful at achieving their goals. This ranged from retaining quality staff, to improving profitability and integrating technology solutions to create efficiencies.
With this confidence comes a sense of focus and control.
Confident respondents prioritised factors that were within their control, such as building referrals and allocating resources effectively. On the flip side, the report revealed those with lower confidence were distracted by external factors outside of their control, pulling their focus away from issues where they can create a positive outcome. They cited increased competition, client retirement, the pace of regulatory change and attracting new clients as key concerns.
So what steps can advisers take to increase their confidence and ultimately their success?
One way is to tap into the collective intelligence of industry peers. Connecting with others who have most likely faced a similar problem, having valuable conversations about ways to tackle those problems and building networks can help advisers to share ideas, learn from each other and ultimately build confidence.
Connectivity, creating communities and having valuable conversations are key.
Virginia Heyer, Managing Director at Strategy One Financial Planning agrees. Heyer started her career at what was Godfrey Pembroke, and bought four practices in 2007.
“I am the receptionist that ended up buying the company,” says Heyer.
“They employed me some 30 years ago and I bought them all out. That was quite an interesting thing to do, particularly as a female, as I think a lot of women discount their ability to be able to do that sort of thing. To be able to go and buy businesses and take that plunge and borrow money to do it and all whilst being a single mother; it certainly wasn't without its challenges,” says Heyer.
Heyer believes there is value in advisers connecting with one another; having the opportunity to openly discuss challenges can be mutually beneficial, and gives advisers the confidence that the problems they are facing are not unique. It can also provide reassurance that you are on the right track with the work you’re doing in your own firm.