The shops and cafes are buzzing, the beaches are packed and your mates are coming over for dinner.

It is some time in the not too distant future and life in Australia is buoyant, busy … “normal”.

There is toilet paper on the shelves, sport on the tele and people are back in the office.

Your staff and clients are happy and your business is in a strong position because you took important actions during the COVID-19 crisis to engage and support them.

This day is coming if we all stay safe, embrace working remotely and strive to meet the present needs of our clients.

This is not the time for businesses to take their foot off the gas, reminisce about the good old days and wait patiently for this pandemic to blow over. It is not the time for business as usual. Every business should be aiming for incremental improvements every day.

Staff should be encouraged and incentivised to pursue process improvements. Often, seemingly small changes can yield big results. That is innovation too.

In my experience, the only reason people shrink back and dwell on the past, whether it is an ex-girlfriend, old vice or outdated business processes, is because they lack vision and discipline. They cannot see a brighter future.

But the future of advice is glaringly bright.

Paul Barrett is participating in a panel discussion at Professional Planner’s live streamed Licensee Summit on June 2 on the topic ‘Today’s actions, tomorrow’s future’. See the agenda and get your early bird digital registration here. 

The fundamental drivers underpinning demand for professional advice (mandated super, financial complexity, demographic change et al) remain intact, completely unaffected by COVID-19.

In fact, if there is ever a time for advisers to stand up and demonstrate their value, surely it must be now. For clients, a crisis may be deeply personal like a relationship breakdown, unemployment or the sudden death of a loved one. It may be economic like a stock market crash, recession or an old-fashioned global pandemic.

Whatever the nature, advisers need the right systems and processes to help their clients in times of need.

They also need to allow for interruptions to their routine so they can provide the type of practical, out-of-cycle support that so many clients want and highly value.