Financial services businesses are very popular. The main reason behind this is that you’re providing an essential service. Not only that, but you’re providing a service for both individuals and companies. Furthermore, the various financial services you provide are extremely diverse. Some people need guidance, others require you to file their tax return, etc. It’s a vast industry that leaves many doors open for you to go down.
Plus, the startup costs are some of the lowest around. Someone in the financial services industry will rarely have to fold during the first year of business due to overspending. You can run a business like this from home, with almost no overhead costs to worry about.
Instantly, these are promising signs for anyone interested in this business idea. Of course, there are some concerns – don’t assume it will be plain sailing! If you do want to start a financial services business, then please be aware of the following:
Don’t take on too much at once
In the beginning, it’s tempting to offer as many services as possible. The logic is that, if you provide more services, you open yourself up to more customers. This makes sense, but the issue is that you’re a very young business. As a new company, you’ll find it hard to try and push all these services on your target market. It will probably cost too much money trying to market all of the different services as well. Not to mention the fact that you might not have enough time or resources to carry out all the tasks.
Instead, you should start with a more conservative approach. Identify your target market, then choose a small selection of services to focus on. As an example, you might identify business owners as your target market. Then, you may provide tax or bookkeeping services for them. Your offerings are clear and concise, and you can put all your effort into them.
When your company starts to grow, and your resources expand, then you can branch off into new service territories. This helps you expand your business at a natural rate. If you go all-in right at the start, then you take on far too much, too soon. This will only end in one way; your business closing down.
Security is your top concern
All businesses need to worry about security. If you have serious security concerns in your company, then you put yourself at risk. However, security issues are magnified in the financial services industry.
Why? Because you’re handling sensitive information all the time. Every single client will provide you with data and info that’s incredibly private. This includes their personal details – people tell you where they live, what they do, and so on. But it also includes financial information. You’ll probably have bank details for all of your clients stored on a device somewhere. If there’s a security breach, then someone can gain all of this information and use it to their advantage.
In today’s world, we’re both lucky and unlucky. We’re lucky that lots of excellent data security technology exist to help safeguard your business. We’re unlucky in that hackers have access to outstanding technology as well! This means that cyberattacks are increasing, which puts pressure on your company to protect your data.
Don’t let all of your client’s information be compromised. Make sure you set up a strict security protocol that keeps everything safe and secure. If you suffer an attack, and their financial information gets stolen, then that’s pretty much it for your business. A small company will struggle to recover from this. Your reputation will be soiled.
A good website is essential
It goes without saying that your financial services business must have a website. There are three key reasons for this:
- It increases your brand visibility
- It helps you gain customers
- It improves your professional image
You need a place for people to go to learn about your company and what you offer. So, you must develop detailed service pages that tell people about your business products. What can you do for them? What services do you offer and how do they work? How will they benefit from choosing you over other companies?
Provide content that answers all of these questions for the user, convincing them that you’re the best choice. As a result, you can gain more customers.
The key behind everything is to provide a great user experience. When this happens, people stay on your site for longer. They’re more inclined to look around, and they’re impressed by how well your site looks and functions. This helps you gain more customers again, and it also boosts our professional image. You can find user testing tools for banking and finance companies that help you figure out how good the experience is on your website. Then, you can work on improving it for your users. In return, you see the benefits spoken about above, along with increased brand visibility. A great user experience improves your SEO, which helps you be seen by more people in search engines.
You should invest in the best software
You’ll remember that we spoke about a lack of overheads for financial businesses. Primarily, the only thing you will pay for – if you work from home – is the software you use every day. All financial services businesses rely on software to be productive and provide the best service to their clients.
It won’t take you long to realize that there are so many different software programs available. Some are better than others, and you should choose the best ones! They might cost more, but if they provide you with more features and let you complete tasks quicker and to a higher standard, then it’s worth the investment. Arm yourself with the right tools to make your business as good as it can be.
There’s no doubt that a business in this industry can be successful. The key is in how you plan things out. Hopefully, the points in this article have shown you some of the chief concerns to focus on as you build your business.
As a parent business owner, you’re not exactly going to get a lot of downtime for yourself. You are trying to run your business, look after your kids and make sure that the household continues to run effectively from start to finish. It’s a lot to ask of anyone, especially someone who’s trying to be a present and loving parent all at once!
But, in spite of all of this, self-care has to be a pretty big part of your life. You need to make time for yourself because otherwise, you’ll suffer a burnout or just go mad from the pressure. It’s tough, but let’s take a look at some ideas for looking after you.
Set Clear Business Hours
A good recipe for success when it comes to being a parent business owner is to set clear business hours for your enterprise. You need to sit down and establish a working day for yourself, whether it is the conventional 9 – 5 or something else according to your schedule.
Wherever possible, you need to make sure that you keep to that schedule. The job will take all of you if you let it, and between all of your other responsibilities, you’ll have even less time to sit down and decompress. Clients can wait, and people will understand, especially if your standard of service is high when you actually work, but at least this way, you have a chance of having downtime for self-care.
Weekends Are Yours
A lot of parent business owners tend to follow the same patterns as most organisations and only work weekdays. Most places close over the weekend, and that is pretty reasonable, especially offices and solicitors and such.
Customers and clients will be used to their businesses closing over the weekend and just accept that it is part of life itself. You need to keep the weekends for you, so you can indulge in a little self-care and also spend time with your little ones.
Take That Lunch Break
If you’re going to think about self-care, then you need to examine your working day objectively. It can be very tempting to work all the hours of your day, but this isn’t good for you.
You need to take a lunch break every day. It will be an hour of peace where you sit down, eat and drink, and refocus yourself. It’s good from a self-care perspective because you get the chance to look after you every day.
So overall, these are some of our top suggestions for working towards that self-care you deserve. We choose to focus a lot on the business side of things because being a business owner is a consuming job. You will start to feel like you don’t have the time to look after you because there is always something that could be done for the business. What you choose to do is up to you, and it is all about making sure that you split your time between work, yourself and your kids evenly.
Happy: Finding joy in every day and letting go of perfect – By Fearne Cotton
In this era of business, we believe it takes something really special for a business to hit the ground running. It’s pretty much impossible for one to do this straight off the bat, but we do also believe that a business can hit the ground running at any point in its life. Just one new idea or one new way of doing something and everything can change. But until that point, a business can feel like it’s doing anything but hit the ground running. From struggling to make ends meet to struggling to find the cash investment to support new ideas, businesses experience it all. It’s the rare few that have that ‘million dollar idea’, and even then that idea is developed off the back of an idea that might not have been functioning as well. So, if you’re dying for your business to hit the ground running, but you feel like you’re further from success than ever before, then this article might give you a good tip or two. We’re going to show you a few ways that we know a business can perform far better than it used to, and better than competitors. Keep on reading to find out more.
Better Your Own Skills
The trouble with many business owners at the minute is that they’re going into business blind. Rather than knowing how to run a business, they learn along the way, which is totally fine. But all this means is that it takes far longer to learn the ins and outs of actually running a business. Every day is a learning curve and some business owners relish this. However, we think it’s far more effective if you take it upon yourself to better your own skills by taking a course. There are so many courses that will allow you to do this. From business management courses to simple ones that allow you to improve your presentation skills. It’s skills like these that are going to massively improve your confidence as the manager of a business. Plus, it’ll allow you to learn different skills that will promote the success of your business. From understanding where you can invest your money, to profit margin management, taking a course is a surefire way of understanding the ins and outs of running a business. They’re easy enough to do as well, it’s not like you have to dedicate your days to learning. All you need to do is take an online course in your own time and you’ll be on your way to business success.
Understanding Market Trends
There are so many market trends going on at the minute, and it’ll vary depending on what market you’re in. The trends we’re referring to are not based on the stock market, but the trends of the market your business is operating in. For example, if you’re in the fitness industry, there are new trends every single year that are defining the way, business is promoted. There are now more people watching vlogs than ever before which have become a viable way for businesses to promote themselves. Pay a vlogger a nice amount of money and sponsor their video and you could reach new potential. This also works very well with beauty and fashion. There will be trends in your specific niche with regards to the way you’re able to promote your business and sell products, all you have to do is watch for what other businesses are doing and how people are responding to that.
Understanding Marketing Influences
Marketing is no doubt going to be such a big part of what you do with your business at the minute. Marketing influences everything you do, and it most definitely influences the success of your business. We think it largely depends on the business that you’re running. All marketing techniques have success for every business, but there are some marketing techniques that have the edge over others. For example, if you’re an e-commerce business, there’s a trio of marketing techniques that offer a lot of success. SEO, PPC, and Google Adwords are three big marketing techniques that directly influence online success. Coupled with smaller techniques that should be ongoing for every business, such as social media marketing, you should be able to find success.
Understanding Sales Techniques
There are so many sales techniques to try and often the one that businesses use the most is that attack. How many times have you been cornered in the street asking who pays the bills? Well, that’s exactly how it feels for your customers who are receiving phone calls or emails and they have no clue who you are. Focus on the customer coming to you approach, which will happen if you can get your marketing right.
Every workplace is riddled with risks and potential problems that could cause an organisation to come crashing down, so it’s vital that every business owner takes steps to reduce the likelihood of issues and implement procedures that can deal with negative situations should one arise. You have the responsibility to protect your staff and the data that your company collects, so you must do everything that you can to ensure the highest levels of safety and security are implemented at all times. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be difficult to reduce risks and prepare for problems in your business, as a few easy tips and tricks can help to guide the way and provide you, your staff and your customers with ultimate peace of mind. So, if you would like to find out more, then read on to uncover some of the best things that you can do to protect your organisation today!
Minimising The Potential Risks
It’s so essential that you can make an effort to minimise the potential risks that threaten your business and everything inside, as your reputation and profit are on the line. There are a few major risks that could pose a great danger to any organisation, including things like fires, break-ins and online hacking. Reducing these risks doesn’t require huge amounts of time, money or effort, just a little innovative thought to ensure smart working procedures amongst all members of staff. For example, avoiding fires takes safe chemical storage, clear walkways at all times, and the safest working practices that do not endanger the safety of those around you. CCTV equipment and shutters on windows and doors can help to prevent break-ins, whilst virus scanning software and strong firewall systems can aid in protecting you from threats online.
Dealing With Problems Productively
Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, some problems may still occur within your business, and you must take steps to deal with these issues in a fast and productive manner. Sprinkler systems should be in place to be triggered upon the sensation of excessive heat or smoke, whilst fire repelling equipment such as foam extinguishers and fire retardant blankets should be available in every workspace. Fire exits routes must be clear at all times, and all staff members must be aware of how to get out of the building in the event of an emergency. When hackers gain access to your systems, they can steal data and take control of your devices to wreak havoc for your business – having a few backup diesel generators will allow you to stay up and running if the worst were to happen, and employing your own IT technical support team should provide you with the break-ins needed to tackle the malicious activity and continue protecting your business.
Reducing risks and preparing for problems in the workplace has never been so simple when you can make the most of the tips and tricks detailed above! Protect your business today, and ensure that you can thrive and prosper for as long as possible.
If there is one area that all the businesses seem to struggle with, it’s strategic planning. The ability to precisely and coherently make plans is critical for success in a variety of different areas, and strategic planning is a unique necessity all its own.
As a business owner, there are a lot of benefits to come from strategic planning that you’re going to want to find out.
In this video, I discuss the benefits of strategic planning in your business
As a small business owner, you might have heard about online directories but wondered if they are really worth the effort and whether they will actually bring any business your way. The first thing you need to understand is that this is not merely a replacement for the good old Yellow Pages, they are actually a lot more than that, and very worthwhile being part of, and here are a few reasons why.
Good for SEO
Ah, that old cherry again! But it is true; you want to do everything possible to enhance your SEO ratings. Search engine optimisation is what search engines use to determine how to rank the results, and your aim is to get listed as high as possible. Online directories have a weight of their own, so will give you extra validation when it comes to building trust and gaining rankings on the likes of Google. Secondly, the online directory will likely have an excellent ranking with Google, so, they often appear first in the results. If it is your listing that the directory is showing as appropriate in response to the Google search, boom, you just ranked first.
Give Your Online Presence a Boost
Anything that helps boost your online presence in a good way is important, and online directories can do this. The only proviso is to submit your listings to complete and reputable directories. This hopefully avoids your details being duplicated across less successful details and gives your name a wider reach. If you come across your details on a directory that you do not remember submitting to, don’t panic but check that they are listed accurately and correctly. Should you not be happy with the directory in question request removal of your details.
Branding and Awareness
Again, the more consistent exposure you can create, the more you are promoting your brand. Be sure that you are putting the same face out everywhere and if you choose to rebrand in the future go back and update every listing you can find, In the case of rebranding you need to search your old brand and make sure you are removing that and replacing. When a customer uses an online directory, they are presented with a list of possible outcomes, even if they do not end up following your listing, they will have seen your company name and details. This goes a long way to making sure your name is getting out there as a trusted industry expert.
Both locally and online, you are looking to be discovered when someone is searching for a company that offers the same services as you. The most common searches to online business directories feature queries similar to ‘dentists near me’ or ‘best graphic designer in London’. Searches are rarely the company name as people have come searching for someone they have yet to discover. Many online directories use local search filters, and even if you have a web-based business do not underestimate the number of customers who still like to shop locally for products and services.