Fancy a coffee? Don’t mind if I do …then fifty fumblings later what do you most need? A sleep, a cheeky smoke perhaps ..or if you are really sensible, an exit strategy.
Let’s face it last year was manner from heaven for many technology suppliers in the adviser marketplace. ‘Buy it now, quick and we can make you RDR ready but if you don’t you might not make muster’. The headlines were getting tedious by October, but it made commercial sense and a great hook for all the PRs losing the will to live with all the new software launches and grandiose claims of killer applications from clients desperate for column inches.
So post-RDR have the techies all reached a fulfilling climax and settled back waiting for the end of year profit numbers to swell their balance sheets – unlikely. Sadly the truth is that whilst the adviser population has itself contracted so has the perceived need for all the technology suppliers’ new toys on the shelf. As an adviser if you have not yet bought your risk profiler; your cashflow planning tool; your upgraded, integrated, seamlessly brilliant back-office solution and a couple of stochastic modellers for good measure then it’s likely your IFA practice is already doomed.
The good news though is that if you have shopped wisely – and got a toy collection that even Madonna would be proud of – you have probably made an excellent investment in building your firm’s valuation. Whilst brand, annuity revenue, client retention and a competitive market position all stack up the big zeros on the balance sheet, having invested in good technology can make all the difference.
Still not sure what your exit strategy is? Don’t worry as you are unlikely to be alone if this is the case. But as in all matters of business strategy remember that preparation and protection are paramount. So if you still think you might be just fumbling around in the dark you might be wise to consider the importance of the big ‘P’s.