In article one we dealt with implementing Business Planning and an Operations Plan in the business in order to embed TCF Outcomes 1, 4 and 6 in the business. In this article we deal with implementing a Marketing and Communications plan and the financial planning process which embeds TCF principles 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Although this particular member business had historically built long-term relationships with their customers and built a solid business over the years, demonstrating the six TCF principles had not yet been put in place. The essence of looking after customers and providing good service was present, the implementation of all the required TCF outcomes was not yet embedded into day to day business practices.
The following strategies and plans were implemented:
- Business planning – strategic objectives and annual business plan
- Operations plan
- Marketing and Communications plan
- Financial planning process
Marketing and Communications plan
In working with our FSP, the natural flow from implementing strategic objectives and business planning is implementing the Marketing plan as this supports business goals by ensuring the income is generated from various clients which the business serves.
The Marketing plan helps the Key Individual to identify specific target groups which can be linked to events that are appropriate to their needs and circumstances. Identifying these target groups would already have been done and set out in the Operations Manual – where required segmentation criteria and client groups were identified. These initiatives support strategic objectives and indicators as it groups the various target markets the business deals with for optimum efficiency. The benefits are:
- All clients are taken into consideration when marketing events or initiatives are planned. This way, the appropriate product is matched with the appropriate customer – from a business perspective a more targeted approach leads to an increased opportunity to ‘close the deal during the advice meeting and from a customer perspective the solutions offered is suitable to their needs and circumstances.
- From a business perspective these events and initiatives assist with building business sustainability based on sound income generation. This in turn supports business goals based on changes in client circumstances over the years whilst at the same time ensuring all clients are treated fairly by providing an opportunity to be exposed to events which address their particular needs and circumstances.
The next step would be to set up a Communications plan which creates the structure that will embed relationship building with relevant client groups. The result is a Communications plan that sets out very clear initiatives and projects about when, who and what types of communication the business will use to engage with clients.
Financial planning process
The financial planning process is based on the international ISO 22222 standard. Its objective is to achieve and promote a globally accepted benchmark for individuals who provide a professional service of financial planning. The aim is to promote consumer confidence in their financial advisor.
As this process is embedded in the General Code of Conduct for Authorised Financial Services Providers and Representatives (BN 80 of 2003), most of the industry is familiar with this process. The principle is providing suitable financial advice to customers based on their individual needs and objectives including monitoring of this advice in relation to achievement of the agreed needs and objectives.
- The benefits of embedding this process in the Operations manual and as such all business are: The financial planning process is the core component of what a FSP business model is based upon. It is how income is generated and in essence is the business value proposition. This is what customers buy and depending on the value they experience over time, they remain with the business or are attracted by competitors. Embedding this process in every single action in the business retains customers, retains and grows income and demonstrates treating customers fairly.
- It provides a platform for providing ongoing advice to various customer segments based on the criteria selected and assists the business to utilise resources most efficiently by delivering differentiated services based on the complexity of customer needs – therefore ensuring customers are treated fairly based on their needs. Ultimately it helps the Key Individual to structure resources to operate optimally.
Implementing the four areas covered will enable the Key Individual to demonstrate compliance embedding TCF Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 – and combined with this, it creates a business platform which sets the business on a course for any future change.
Should you require input from us to assist you with embedding the TCF principles in your business please make contact with your regional office and enquire about our regional seminars. Our seminars are practical and provide you with the opportunity to take ‘time out’ and work ON your business as opposed to IN your business. This will become more and more important as you prepare for RDR