In the second of an eight part series, Phil Quin-Conroy, CEO at PLAN Australia, outlines how brokers can beat the competition and stay one step ahead by building a more holistic offering.
In February this year, I travelled to the heart of global start-up hub San Francisco with a selection of PLAN Australia brokers as part of our annual High Performance Conference.
On meeting the pioneering tech company Pivotal (whose clients include Uber, AirBnB and Mercedes), it got me thinking about comfort zones. If industries become resistant to change and don’t face disruptors head on, how will they survive, never mind, beat, the competition?
As a broker, it’s important to stand out and consider how you can beat competitors at their own game. You cannot afford to slip into your comfort zone, when the level of industry competition is so strong.
Consider your position in the market place, and analyse where it makes sense for you to expand next. While there is no right or wrong answer – each business should be able to identify where they may be able to find a new competitive advantage.
The power of convenience
A practical way for brokers to build a competitive advantage is to branch out into new competitive arenas such as general insurance, wealth or conveyancing solutions.
Place yourself in your customers’ shoes: the loan journey can be stressful, and most of your customers will be juggling the search for a home along with a full-time job, the sale of their old home, managing family responsibilities and the myriad of other tasks that make our society so time poor.
By positioning yourself as a ‘one-stop shop’ for more of your customers’ needs and expanding your offering, you are adding significant value by saving your customers precious time. This could result in a significant revenue increase for your business as you rise to meet more of their needs. Moreover, you understand your customers’ goals and needs, so it makes sense for you to work with them. It means they will not have to start a new relationship from scratch.
If this sounds like too big a step for your business right now, you can also think of smaller ways to expand your offering into new competitive arenas. Instead of adding a new arm to your business, consider partnering with another firm that specialises in a complementing field, such as an accountant. A trusted business partnership can be beneficial for both parties, as you can work together to meet a wider range of your customers’ needs.
In order to make the most of your business expansion, you should ensure it is coupled with an effective marketing strategy. You need to make sure your customers are aware of your new offering, if they are to take advantage of it.
Remember, no two businesses are the same, and so, tailored growth strategies are the only way to leverage individual businesses’ distinct strengths and identify areas where more support may be required.
At PLAN Australia, we use customised reporting and benchmarking tools to support our brokers to grow their businesses. Our BEAT business benchmarking tool analyses brokers’ businesses to develop a growth strategy that’s tailored to their individual needs and goals.
There is no one single way to beat the competition, but with critical self-analysis you can determine which strategy might work best for you.
Phil Quin-Conroy will continue to explore how brokers can achieve long-term success with a gold medal mindset in this blog series.