1 Dec 2020, 10:03 — 4 min read
In the game of business and life, time flies. We are completing eight years today of successfully running a financial services business. Could we have done something differently? Maybe yes, maybe no. Were there some lemons? Did we turn them into lemonades? Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster ride. It can be a high at some times and it can be a low at others. Is there a middle path? The answer is no.
I will segregate my business learnings between the pre and post Covid days.
The initial enthusiasm to make it big can cause your biggest downfall as an entrepreneur. This leads to overspending and having a skewed cost-income ratio. This is the primary cause of failure in the first five years. The first five years are a period of intensive learning on all counts, primarily attracting and sustaining clients and establishing the core proposition.
Also read: Accepting ‘new normal’ best practices for SMEs
We had begun work on our bigger office when demonetisation struck us. It was a tough year and our sticking to a lean operation helped us in that period. We also faced delay of payments by certain key product manufacturers on the private asset side which stretched to six months causing a delay in post Covid expansion.
We have been slow in adopting technology as most of our clients though tech savvy preferred an interaction. In the current scheme of things we are looking at a high tech-high touch operation for most parts of the business. This would not only help us service clients more effectively, but also free up our time to create more value for clients. Being two years early on technology would have helped us grow better.
Also read: Technology and business trends in 2020
We did the right thing in hindsight by preserving capital after our demonetization expansion, however, we could have taken more risks in the area of adding people to the team. There needs to be a mix in terms of taking risks. We erred on the side of being more cautious which we realised later and are correcting now.
Post Covid implications for our business have been challenging to say the least as it is a service business and most new clients prefer to meet before they finalise on an advisor. Also, incomes at a client level both at a business and senior professional level, have come down which makes it a challenge till the time the vaccine comes out.
What have we done differently?
Most of our marketing was offline. Now over the last six months we have gradually looked at experimenting with social media platforms and are beginning to see some interest.
Also read: Guide to flawless digital transformation
Given the way things are we have looked at products which are helping clients with downside risks and helping them stabilise till we see better days ahead.
We have adopted stronger weekly reviews with more inputs on product and sales level interactions with the team. This has helped us reinforce what we stand for internally.
Also read: 3 ways to start your digital selling journey
I guess the boat which was floated eight years is a motor boat looking to be a catamaran in the next couple of years. Need a blend of luck and operational discipline to forge ahead.
Also read: Do you have a powerful vision for yourself?
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Posted byAnirudh Anand Gupta
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