Get involved, get better!

01 June 2009 Esm? Davies, Celestis

The third SA Best Practice of the Year competition is about to kick off. Will you be entering your practice? There are several very important reasons why you should be one of this year's participants.

Many of the previous participants have used the competition as a basis for involving many, if not all, of their staff in a practice building exercise. The outcome, according to all reports, has been incredibly rewarding.

The competition requires completion of a HealthCheck, an online diagnostic tool developed by Business Health of Australia and modified for local requirements. It allows one to take a good look at the practice, evaluate it from a best principles perspective and to compare it to international benchmarks.

Involvement is good for your practice

More importantly, however, is that if you involve your staff in the completion of the HealthCheck they end up with a far greater understanding of the business and what you are trying to achieve. Inevitably, they are able to make a more meaningful contribution and their suggestions and ideas could be positively surprising. Some of the practices we have spoken to see the staff involvement as a team building and development exercise that has resulted in benefits for the practice, the individuals and clients alike.

Involvement is good for the industry

Good news is best news and there is very little of it these days. Last year the results of the competition received widespread national coverage in a number of newspapers, including a detailed article that appeared in the Financial Mail. This was in addition to the coverage in the industry media such as FAnews and others.

What this does is inform the public - your clients - that there are financial advisory practices in South Africa that strive for business excellence. Tony Stephens of Business Health stated categorically that the top five finalists in the SA Best Practice competition rank equally with the best practices they have encountered around the world. They run a similar competition in Australia and last year had over 400 participants. We all know that world class practices exist in South Africa and we need to identify them and tell the public about them. This year the SA Best Practice of the Year website will feature a page listing the participants and their contact details. Make sure your practice is on the list.

Business reviews are imperative

"You need to work on your business, not just in your business." This statement is frequently bandied about and means that there are times when the owner must replace an advisor's hat with a business hat and take a critical look at how the practice is operating. The challenges of running a business in demanding times are taxing.

Involvement in the Best Practice competition provides an ideal opportunity for the practice owner to "work on the business", taking time out to visualise and strategise and then to share this with the team.

You can view the SA Best Practice of the Year as a serious competition or an opportunity to take your business to the next level. Either way, your involvement will result in significant benefits. Enter today.

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