Adviser Workshop: how to run a business during summer

With a huge heatwave and World Cup commotion, it has been quite a summer. How do you run your business during the summer months?

Mandy says...

We have just doubled our water order for the summer months so everyone is hydrated. We are also going through a lot of ice and ice cream! Because of the heat, we have said to staff they can wear shorts and cool summer wear if they wish.

I have also called clients to make sure they are okay with our staff being dressed casually in meetings.

I did that because, if I were seeing a financial adviser, I would want them to be dressed smartly. Clients have been really accommodating. They are dressing casually too!

We have an office manager at Hanbury who is in charge of the smooth running of the office all year round. But we tend to make sure our holidays do not overlap, so there is always a member of management or a director in the office at all times. Directors are always working anyway.

Our out-of-office emails are normally clear, so clients know who to contact if we are away. Should a client wish to speak to someone senior at the business in the absence of their adviser, I am always happy to get involved.

At the moment I fit my holidays around managing director Chris Emery, but that is relatively easy as I do not have kids. We do have an emergency protocol in the event of a severe incident while someone is away. This is managed by Chris and the office manager.

Top tip:

Communicate clearly with clients so they know what to expect.

Top quote:

'If I were seeing a financial adviser, I would want them to be dressed smartly. Clients have been really accommodating. They are dressing casually too!'

Mandy Dale is director at Hanbury Wealth

Mandy says...

We have just doubled our water order for the summer months so everyone is hydrated. We are also going through a lot of ice and ice cream! Because of the heat, we have said to staff they can wear shorts and cool summer wear if they wish.

I have also called clients to make sure they are okay with our staff being dressed casually in meetings.

I did that because, if I were seeing a financial adviser, I would want them to be dressed smartly. Clients have been really accommodating. They are dressing casually too!

We have an office manager at Hanbury who is in charge of the smooth running of the office all year round. But we tend to make sure our holidays do not overlap, so there is always a member of management or a director in the office at all times. Directors are always working anyway.

Our out-of-office emails are normally clear, so clients know who to contact if we are away. Should a client wish to speak to someone senior at the business in the absence of their adviser, I am always happy to get involved.

At the moment I fit my holidays around managing director Chris Emery, but that is relatively easy as I do not have kids. We do have an emergency protocol in the event of a severe incident while someone is away. This is managed by Chris and the office manager.

Top tip:

Communicate clearly with clients so they know what to expect.

Top quote:

'If I were seeing a financial adviser, I would want them to be dressed smartly. Clients have been really accommodating. They are dressing casually too!'

Mandy Dale is director at Hanbury Wealth

Neil says...

Clients receive an email saying when I will be away. We then nominate a planner as deputy. There have been one or two occasions where my fellow director Chris White has stepped in because a client wanted something. But I have never had to rush back from a holiday, nor would I.

We are a very planning-centric and process-driven business, so we have a weekly team meeting with an agenda anyway.

Our client meetings are arranged six weeks in advance for a particular month, so we already know who in the team is on holiday. If a financial planner is away, none of their client meetings will be scheduled for that period.

You do not want everyone away at the same time. But as a business gets bigger, it is almost impossible to avoid overlaps. The team is aware of that constraint and it is their responsibility to check the diary to ensure they are not overlapping.

That way, when someone wants a holiday, they do not have to ask permission. Instead, they merely have to notify the business of when they will be away.

We put a lot of effort into managing clients’ expectations. For example, we help clients understand how their portfolios have performed in both good and bad times. So they should not need to call someone up about this when they are away.

Top tip: Encourage ownership of day-to-day organisation by staff.

Top quote: 

Our client meetings are arranged six weeks in advance for a particular month, so we already know who in the team is on holiday.

Neil Bailey is director at Fortitude Financial Planning

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