The 10-year yield was essentially flat for this past week. There was some optimism expressed on Thursday regarding the potential for tax reform. This caused a slight move upward in yields and in the overall stock market.
Over the last couple of weeks, a few of the meetings I attended seemed to focus on the potential of losing business to the web version of what we all do. As this has come up before, I thought it would be make sense to share an article that I had written back in December of 2015.
Is Your Business Vulnerable to an Electronic Encyclopedia?
Last week, I commented on an article I read regarding a new online lending portal. I started thinking about all of our businesses; and how I constantly hear discussions about how vulnerable we all are to our business being done over the internet. To be fair, these web based solutions spring up because there is an opportunity to grow a business.
However, when one steps back a bit, these web based businesses are like having an encyclopedia at our fingertips to find solutions. I can get some surface level information on just about anything from the internet. And, many clients believe that is all one needs to buy a home, get a loan, form a living trust, get their taxes done, etc. At the same time, there are lots of professionals who really do a great job of providing added value well beyond what one can discover through a Google search.
With all that stated, I suggest that many professionals are at risk because of the way they do business. If they are really pushing a commodity and little value added, then they are extremely vulnerable to a cost effective web based solution that also provides little value added. The cookie cutter one size fits all solutions are great until they are not. What happens when advice, guidance, and analytical skills are needed to properly protect a client?
I can provide numerous examples of solutions being offered to clients that put them at risk. Clients do not know what they do not know; and they also do not know the right questions to ask all the time. That is where professionals come into play. Look at all the insurance commercials that state something like “tell us what you can afford and we will get you coverage for the price.” Does this truly protect the client? Or is it more of a way to get their business even if it is not in the client’s best interest.
This approach happens in all businesses sadly. So, since I am high on my soapbox today, our job as professionals is to set ourselves apart from the transactional approaches used by many. Do your homework, be a professional, make sure your clients know why you do what you do, protect them and be their advocate! You want to insulate your business against the evil internet, then be better! Be transparent in your discussions and be integral to your clients’ success now and in the future.
We all own our part of the solution here. Connect the dots for your clients. If you do not know something, then go find out. Build a quality team (virtual or in house) that can protect your clients. By taking these steps, you will find more business will find you since you are providing invaluable services. Do not settle on being mediocre.
Those of you that know me well know I am one of those that walks my talk. I will protect my clients and my business partners. It is how I do business; and it is how my business partners that I refer to do business. Sometimes business can be pretty simple. Do the right thing, protect others, and help all succeed. Okay, that is it for this week. Sorry for the rant, but we all can do a lot better than an electronic encyclopedia!