The million-dollar-question for financial advisers (literally!) is:
“How do I go about leveraging a good professional practice into a great business that is worth heaps?”
Answer: Uber-ise it.
The inherent assumption in this question is that one already has a good professional practice, so let’s take that as a given for this discussion.
The answer to the question lies in understanding how a lever is used to deliver greater power or force than is otherwise possible to shift a weight, and then applying that strategy to the growth of a business.
Your great existing practice is the power that you have available. Its’ existing clients, revenue, systems and personnel are simply “the power you can exert”.
The “weight” in this analogy is of course the big goal. That is the thing that we want to try and achieve, so think of it as a sack of money that is just way too heavy for you to pick up all by yourself. You want that. And you want to move it on over into your bank account. That is what the key elements in a great business do: they move a hefty weight of money into the direction of your choosing.
So you just need 2 things, right? The fulcrum and a lever. The fulcrum is the essential thing that the lever needs to generate the additional power. The fulcrum is also a useless inanimate object without a lever…so it is critical, but useless without the other critical part of the process of leveraging.
To take that good practice and turn it into something delivering sacks of money your fulcrum is “distribution” and your lever is “lead generation”.
A good practice generally has figured out how to get enough clients and new business opportunities for itself year-on-year. It has its own “lead generation” largely sorted and is confident in its ability to continue generating sufficient numbers of qualified prospects to meet its own objectives.
That is not the case for many others in professional services however. Prospecting for new clients is a major challenge, and a source of considerable expense and stress for practice owners. Any practice which can deliver on the promise of continual lead generation has a powerful lever which can move other practices and individual professionals to change their own allegiances or business models.
Turning a good lead generation process into “a system” is what makes it become a lever.
The lead generation system is only half of the leveraging strategy though. In order for that lead generation system to be capitalised upon without additional effort on the part of the owners requires additional distribution. “Distribution” in this sense is simply being able to have a whole lot of other people or platforms paying you a good margin to use your lead generation opportunites that your system created. “Distribution” of course is not as limited in potential as it once was…in days gone by the only real distribution option was “recruit more advisers into your business”. But that is not the case any longer.
“Uber”-ising Your Practice
Similar to franchising where you “licence” others to use your successful model, but uber-ising a business does not necessarily have to come with all the same controls and requirements.
The reason why it may not have all the same controls and requirments is because out-sourced and crowd-sourced labour is almost by definition “the use of self-employed contractors”.
They can pay to use your systems, and your lead generation expertise, but ultimately in professional services the individual professional will be personally responsible for the advice or service that they provide to any particular consumer. So there are possibilities for minimising risk and liability issues immediately by simply outsourcing the advice component to those who do not have your systems. In simple terms; you provide the systems and the opportunity and they do the work. Hence the “uber-ising” analogy: Uber provide the app, the marketing and the customers lining up looking for a ride, and the drivers bring their own wheels and determine their own capacity for more work. Uber’s system effectively focuses on matching needs in real time, not actually providing a guaranteed taxi service or guaranteeing employment.
Out-sourced or crowd-sourced professional contractors or transactional platforms are potentially the fulcrum upon which a good practice can use its leverage to make a good practice a great commercial venture which makes money from more than merely delivering financial advice.