Brokers needn’t be put off by the time investment needed to develop a strategy for their business – when it comes to strategic planning, just keep it simple, says Choice CEO Stephen Moore.
A common complaint with many brokers is that they spend too much time working ‘in’ their business and not enough working ‘on’ their business, says Choice CEO Stephen Moore. “A lot of brokers might be doing great at the day-to-day business of loan writing, but they don’t often have the time to step back and take a look at the bigger picture, which is just as important for long-term business growth,” says Moore.
It may take an investment of time out of day-to-day tasks, but developing a long-term strategy is integral to the sustainable success of a broker’s business, Moore believes. “By setting out your priorities, key investment decisions and growth plans for the next year, five years, or even ten years, you are ensuring your business will continue to innovate and evolve and won’t be left behind if market dynamics change,” he says.
When it comes to strategic planning, many brokers may be put off by the idea of spending hours on documents like analyses, charts and presentations, but often developing a strategy doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems. “In fact, the more your business plan has its roots in definitive action, rather than ‘corporate-speak’ words or concepts, the more likely you are to be able to truly implement change in the long term,” says Moore.
As Moore explains, for many brokers it’s important to start small, particularly if this is your first time developing a business strategy. “Creating a strategy for growth doesn’t mean you need to throw your current way of doing things out the window and embark on a complete overhaul”, he says. “If you have an idea for a new tactic that you think could boost revenue, it’s a good idea to do a ‘pilot’ first, with one or two staff taking part, before rolling it out across the whole business.
“Keep trying new concepts like these throughout the year, so by the time you come to refresh your strategy, you have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t,” says Moore.
Another key thing brokers should note is that despite what the internet may tell you, there is no set way to develop a business strategy. “Looking up templates online, or sticking to a particular corporate formula may seem like an easy way to go but it may not necessarily be the best way for you and your business,” says Moore. “Sometimes the best strategies come from throwing out the traditional strategic ‘map’ and just listening to your team on what you can do to make the business better.
“You should never underestimate the value of that firsthand advice and feedback - and the power of a good old-fashioned brainstorm”, he says.
In terms of business strategy, Moore believes the most important questions to ask are, ‘Where are we now?’, ‘Where are we going?’ and ‘How will we get there?’ “Think about your position in the market, what you believe makes you different from other businesses, and how you can use this to your advantage when looking at some of the opportunities or trends that are likely to come up,” he says. “Then develop specific, measurable goals to help you get where you want to go.”
To see how Choice can assist with your strategic direction, contact a Partnership Manager today