Equilibria Finance managing director Anthony Landahl explains how building a business required him to think like a business owner and make decisions differently.
Mr Landahl returned to The Adviser’s Elite Broker to reveal how his approach to being a business owner has always been about focusing on longer term decision-making.
He underlined the importance of brokers making a decision about whether they want to be a practitioner where they are applying their trade as a broker or whether they would like to “morph” into a business owner who is focused on building the business.
“Both of these profiles if you like, for want of a better word, have different decision-making mechanisms, have different ways to approach how you're running the business,” Mr Landahl told The Adviser.
“You can run an incredibly successful mortgage broking business as a practitioner where you're essentially applying your trade. But some of the challenges you run into is essentially you run out of time, the whole business is reliant on you, you’re making all the decisions in the business, you’re essentially chasing your tail.”
Mr Landahl said his goal has been to build a business that does not necessarily have to be reliant on him to generate all the revenue and make all the decisions. His goal is for his business to be in a position to sustain itself if he decides to take a step back or focus on other segments of the business.
To build the foundation to enable this, Mr Landahl said he had to focus on some of the core fundamentals of the business, including identifying revenue streams and building a team to generate those revenue streams. He also had to take a critical view of his business systems and processes, and build workflow processes that provided staff and clients with a consistent experience.
“It’s looking at building good processes, building a team, and bringing on board staff and processes before you need them,” Mr Landahl said.
Furthermore, he focused on building to the business’ capacity rather than reaching capacity and suddenly realise that the business may need an additional staff member or different processes. He warned of the risk of losing long-term clients in this scenario because of an inability to look after them.
“So, it was looking at it from the perspective of, sure, I’m a mortgage broker as a practitioner but I’m actually a business owner,” Mr Landahl said.
“Part of the key was looking at what are my goals, and part of that was to build an asset rather than just a trail book.”
This approach of building the business as an asset with different revenue streams, and building a business that is not completely reliant on him has given Mr Landahl options around what he would like to do with the asset in the future.
“Do I bring another business partner in? Do we expand into different areas or different disciplines or does it get sold as an asset?” he said.
“It gives that flexibility both from a business and personal perspective.”
To hear the full Elite Broker podcast with Anthony Landahl, click here.
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Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.
Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.
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