The role of the advisor has evolved greatly since it’s conception, reinventing itself with every leap in technology and the frequent revision of new business needs. Advisors are an essential component to keep businesses on track and working towards success. Forecasting futures, modeling to optimize scenarios and reporting on, essentially, everything under the sun.
And yet, there are times when I consider if it’s as beneficial a relationship as it could be. It’s not that anyone’s doing a bad job, but I wonder whether there’s a little too much spoon-feeding. A report completed last year by National Australia Bank, suggests that a quarter of businesses don’t believe they have adequate levels of financial literacy to run their business.
So, my question stands: could the next evolution of the advisor role be a mentor?
Advisory’s really taken off in the last few years, no doubt about it. But, looking at the figures we see from our clients every day, only around 10% of most firm’s portfolios are being served advisory. 90% of clients aren’t receiving advisory services. So, why isn’t advisory morphing to suit this huge pool of clients? Three reasons: time, on your part, and on your client’s part, funds and a lack of education.
If you asked your clients what services your firm provides, they’ll likely list only the services they already receive from you, possibly recalling that they’ve seen ‘some newsletter with some other things on it’ in the past. That’s not a failure on your part, getting your clients to open up and warm to the idea of new services is extremely tricky (but keep reading, I have a little something that’ll fix that).
“But if my clients are educated, they won’t need me anymore” someone shouts from the back – let’s clear this argument up. Your clients will need you more because they’re educated. You’re still the expert, the bearer of data, the one with the knowledge, the one with the advice. The whole premise of advisory shows that businesses seek advice for what to do with their numbers, not just the numbers themselves.
With a deeper understanding, your clients will be able to put your advice to better use. And they’ll attribute that increased success to you (just picture that advocating army – all those referrals!). Much to the delight of your team, I imagine, the back and forth of conversations will be more beneficial, more valuable and more interesting. Your clients will be able to ask more complex questions, diving deeper into their insights and knowing they have several options in how to analyze and develop strategies around their findings.
This is the premise behind our newest product suite, Futrli Platform. Providing businesses with digestible, actionable numbers and education. Your bigger clients, those who need complex forecasts, heavy reporting, and other traditional advisory services, are suited to our original platform, now appropriately renamed Futrli Advisor. But those smaller clients, plagued with issues of funds, time and experience, still need that help.
So, this is all great to talk about in theory, but do you have time to dedicate to educating each and every one of your clients? Futrli Platform is a completely hands-off education tool. It’s free to use and has some groundbreaking AI under the hood.
We designed it to encourage best practice habits in your clients: keeping records up to date, monitoring cash flow and forecasts daily, using data as a core decision driver, closely monitoring customers and suppliers. And most importantly, really beginning to understand their own finances. The platform speaks in a direct and friendly language they’ll understand, weaving in education throughout and prioritizing the most important information they need to review or take action on every day.
Take a look around during a commute on the train and it’s obvious to see how information is best consumed today. *visualize an image of a trainload of phone scrolling here*. Futrli Platform uses an actionfeed to display your clients’ data to them. Their feed will be full of posts (data-snapshot updates), which they can check off, dive deeper into and best of all, send over to you so you can sweep in and save the day – our Slack and Gmail integrations work the magic there. So not only will they be educating themselves, but they’ll start initiating conversations with you, and climbing the ladder towards fully-fledged advisory services.
Businesses are yearning for insights, we know that. 44% of business’ biggest complaint about their accountant is their lack of proactivity. Why? Because businesses want more insight. They don’t want to run their business blind. So, together, let’s open their eyes.
Finance is complicated and inaccessible. We’re all here to help. By educating and empowering clients, we can make way for a world where all business owners feel capable of running their business, where advisory is accessible and understood by all, and where businesses, and firms, really succeed.