Jenny Stilwell

Financial advice firms have the same challenges as other businesses when it comes to growing revenues.

These include dealing with increasing complexity in business during periods of growth, strategic challenges and the huge complexity of the finance industry and the added cost of compliance.

But there are ways to keep growing your business despite this, according to Jenny Stilwell, strategy adviser, business mentor and author of The 7% Club.

Her new book, written after she realised that just 7 per cent of Australian businesses make more than $2 million in turnover, aims to give businesses the tools they need to be part of the elite club.

The book helps founders and CEOs break through $2 million in turnover by overcoming any roadblocks and challenges in their way. Stilwell says that there’s no reason why financial advice firms can’t be part of the club.

Know your numbers

While she has no doubt that financial advisers are all about the numbers, they can sometimes overlook aspects such as the ratios of advisers to clients and the ratios of support staff to advisers.

“What happens often is that people have a certain number of clients and the team is pressed for time,” Stilwell says.

“But you should be very careful before putting on new advisers or support staff to really understand if you’re in a financial position to make it work without impacting profit.”

Look at your current processes in place and consider how you can introduce new efficiencies into the business by streamlining with the same amount of people before simply resorting to new hires, she says.

Not all clients are equal

The cost of delivering financial advice is high, which dictates fees to some extent, but not all clients necessarily represent value.

This means not taking on clients that don’t fit your niche just because you want to help them.

“The cost of onboarding clients is high, which means you want to make sure the value of the client is worthwhile, so I’d be very specific about that,” Stilwell says.