Mindshop Business Advisory Insights for Success 2019Mindshop surveyed advisors and business leaders from around the globe in late 2018 on the changing advisory landscape. Results revealed interesting insights from the coalface. Overall business advisors will continue to navigate significant challenges, but the year ahead will also deliver a wealth of opportunities for those with appropriate capabilities, an easily understood business model and high energy levels.

However, each of these opportunities requires an adaptation of approach and new skills to achieve cut-through with time poor and change-fatigued leaders.

The survey revealed that fast paced change, an uncertain economic climate and disruptive technologies continue to negatively impact business confidence. In many cases advisors’ clients (and often advisors themselves) are ‘waving a white flag’, asking for a slower pace of change. As such, advisors need to understand the change readiness of organisations and leaders, adapting their client engagements accordingly.

Reflecting on the ten insights for success from the survey will guide advisors on the strategies and training needs to embrace in 2019:

  1. Advisors have identified future trends and coaching clients as key training needs
    The top two training needs identified by advisors were understanding future trends and coaching clients more effectively. Both require grounding in the practical needs of time poor clients and application to a client’s unique circumstances.
  2. Referrals win the day again
    Referrals will again be the number one sales initiative for advisors in 2019. To ensure the effectiveness of this strategy, advisors should avoid an ad hoc approach, instead implementing strategies to accelerate referrals such as following the ten step Mindshop process.
  3. Ensure your firm is a cash cow
    In 2019, advisors are overwhelmingly predicting growth, however profitable growth is critical to ensure they can reinvest in technologies, quality people and new service lines. Entrepreneurial advisors are changing their mindset away from early retirement, instead exploring work/life balance, freeing up time to spend with family or using ongoing income to fund various investments.
  4. The importance of resilience for you and clients
    In a challenging market, advisors and business leaders need to be more resilient than ever. Avoid trying to be too perfect, instead embrace mistakes as learning opportunities and don’t strive to achieve 100% all the time. A positive mindset and beliefs will be an important focus for advisors and leaders alike.
  5. An evolution, not revolution in capabilities
    Like anything worth striving for in life, becoming a successful business advisor requires hard work and a mindset of continuous learning and improvement. But it doesn’t take long to get some quick wins. A dramatic change is not the answer, but instead small steps where advisors progressively learn new tools to build capabilities at a manageable rate will grow their confidence.
  6. Recognise your shackles
    Advisors have indicated they are clear on their strategy and have high levels of self-awareness but are being constrained by hidden ‘shackles’ holding them back from success. These could include: being happy with the status quo, lacking capability, anxiety and self-sabotaging behaviours.
  7. Leverage but stay human
    Adding ‘one-to-many’ service lines to your advisory offering such as online training courses, growth hub communities and profit improvement workshops delivers leverage but can amplify existing bad habits. Each service addition should instead automate or make more efficient as many tasks as possible, opening opportunities for the ‘human touch’ required for a high value client engagement.
  8. Capability builds confidence
    Advisory confidence is the result of developed skills, appropriate delivery models, the knowledge to tackle any client challenge and the ability to adapt through facilitation agility rather than being locked into a scripted approach. This means continuous learning and practise to hone skills.
  9. Capacity will be your hand brake on success
    ‘No time’ was the key issue identified in the survey of most concern to advisors. Having a strategy, vision and capabilities to be successful will all be for zero if advisors lack the capacity to deliver on new opportunities. Implement strategies such as smart technologies, improving poor work habits and retaining quality team members to increase capacity.
  10. Boost your probability of personal change success
    Avoid ‘groundhog’ years by understanding gaps in your personal change success, a theme that resonates across all the other nine insights from this survey. A new personal change success model created by Mindshop founder, Dr Chris Mason to accompany his Business Change Success model will be released in 2019 looking at how to boost your readiness, capability and beliefs for a specific change initiative.

In summary, advisors first need to demonstrate to prospective clients an understanding of their industries, current and future issues, their growth journey to date and readiness for change. A generic ‘off the shelf’ solution to achieve their goals rarely fits and a bespoke offering, tailored to the clients’ specific needs is instead required. Demonstration of capability to deliver a high value solution that meets the organisations’ unique needs, in a manner respectful to the pace of change they’re comfortable with will be key.

Advisors need to embrace innovative delivery models, training and coaching technologies to deliver agile engagements for a ‘just-in-time’ solution, saving the client and advisor valuable time in achieving their commercial and professional development goals. Importantly these innovative technologies should not be the primary focus, just a seamless element in the way an advisor does business.

Advisors should communicate an easily understood business advisory offering via their website and social media to create cut-through in a noisy and cluttered market. Success starts with a focus on advisors’ high performance in their own strategy, profitability, energy levels and capabilities to authentically lead by example.

The key business advisory opportunities for 2019 will be:

  • gaining clarity on strategies
  • assistance with implementation
  • training & development of teams
  • profit and growth improvement
  • leadership coaching

Which of these opportunities and ten insights for success will you embrace?

Good luck with your business advisory journey in 2019. To read the full Mindshop Business Advisory Insights for Success report click here.