How Investment Firm Can Boost Business Development?

While there seems to be a broadly optimistic consensus among investment professionals that the industry is poised for healthy and sustainable growth, there is less confidence about the ability of individuals and their firms to bring in the new clientele which will power this growth. This paradox was clearly illustrated by the results of a recent industry survey which suggested that only 5 per cent of registered investment professionals feel that their organisation is sophisticated in terms of marketing and business development. There is, of course, no “magic bullet” solution when it comes to investment firm strategy but there are some exercises which companies could profitably undertake.

How Investment Firm Can Boost Business Development?
1. Examine your Existing Business Development Strategies and Protocols

This will involve asking a series of possibly painful and potentially embarrassing questions about whether your firm actually has a strategy and whether it is routinely deployed or whether you merely have the kind of theoretical business development ethos which is largely noticeable for its well-meaning vagueness? Do you have dedicated business development professionals and a formal budget for their activities? Are you aware of the strategies of competitor firms and how they compare with yours? Likewise, analyse your firm’s actual business development targets, less to assess whether they are realistic than to determine whether they exist. Put bluntly, does your firm have real targets for new business or is it a more fuzzy general aspiration for “growth?”

The answers to these questions may make for uncomfortable and slightly depressing reading. They will, however, provide the platform on which you can build a strategy for the coming months and years.

2. Create a Formal, Written Strategy

Armed with information garnered from the previous exercise, you can now develop a formal business development strategy. Its exact nature will depend on your firm’s activities and idiosyncrasies but the critical thing is to ensure that your personnel are not only aware of it but are incentivised to act on it. This approach will ensure that your staff are consistent and ambitious in their approach to bringing in new business. It will also spreads responsibility for your investment firm strategy from the marketing department to everyone who has an interest in your company’s growth. Research shows that firms whose staff are generally attuned to business development fare rather better than those which depend on a dedicated and expensive business development department.

Reviewing the success of your plan or protocol is an essential part of ensuring that it remains fit for purpose and sensitive to changes in the marketplace. It can also help you to spot emerging patterns early and potentially harness additional new business.

3. Knowledge is Power

Finally, the importance of continuing education and keeping informed cannot be over emphasised. Clearly, making contacts is a central part of business development but keeping au fait with the market, the regulatory and compliance framework and broader patterns in the wider economy can keep you at the cutting edge and make sure that your firm is better equipped than any other to bring in new business.

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