JCW had a fantastic day speaking at Vedanvi’s monthly Financial Services & Fintech Leaders Roundtable.
Vadanvi, a specialist fintech advisory firm, host these monthly forums along with JCW, to bring Founders and Leaders within the fintech space together to tackle the biggest hurdles facing the industry today. The roundtable discussed various topics around how to successfully scale a financial services business.
“Out of 35,210 scaleups in the UK, only 1 in 40 scale up”
Source: Scale Up Institute
What fintech business leaders learnt at the roundtable
First, Vedanvi looked into why the scale-up figure above is so low and summarised the main challenges involved in a scale-up which included:
- Intense competition
- Tight regulatory climate
- Leadership capacity gap
- Talent and skills gap
- Financing gap
Vadanvi and JCW summarised the principles of how to effectively scale up your fintech business into seven key areas.
1. Identifying your market
When upscaling, you need to identify the right market for your business and ensure that you are targeting the right people. Once you have refined your market, it’s important to create a purpose-driven mission and establish a clear and compelling business message. Onboarding marketing skills within your company and developing a marketing strategy requires attention if you wish to scale.
2. Operational Precision
You should organise your business operations around delivering on your brand promise and factoring in a process to deliver good customer service. Speed of execution should be factored into your operational strategy with feedback loops, as well as a process which implements financial control that generates and preserves cash.
3. Regulatory Resilience
In an ever-changing regulatory landscape, this is one of the toughest hurdles financial services business leaders face. Foreseeing regulatory changes should be a strategic imperative and built into company culture. Avoid commercial exploitation of regulatory change and put measures in place to identify non-compliance quickly and make the time to forge a healthy relationship with Regulators Regulation.
4. Hiring a talented team
A high energy and high growth mindset cannot be driven from the bottom up but top-down by the CEO. To support your organisational structure, you’ll need to start by identifying your employer brand. What makes you different? Why should people work for you over your competition? What can you put in place to attract and retain top talent?
Research what incentives encourage employee loyalty and make plans to be flexible about this. Think about what you can implement that will grow and nurture the skills and work experience of your employees. Following that, it’s important to find innovative resourcing solutions and take the hiring process seriously. Headcount is often the biggest cost to your business, so get it right with a well thought out hiring process.
Your upscaling strategy should factor in your efforts around building your brand and your business message. Also, watch out for new products religiously, keep an eye on emerging markets and find the time to create new partnerships regularly.
6. Nurturing Success and Protecting Risk
You should maximise success but while doing so, dedicate resources to mitigating risk. Reactive behaviour to problems is costly and can halt scaling altogether. Conduct regular risk assessments and have a process in place to escalate issues and resolve them quickly. Factor risk into your business infrastructure and invest in outsourcing or hiring a risk consultant if necessary.
7. Evolve or Exit
Whether you have plans to exit your business or not, you should be prepared to evolve or exit the company at any point. You should have an exit strategy in place way before this happens including shaping the business structure around enabling an exit. This will also encourage autonomy and self-sufficiency amongst employees and make your business model more efficient. If a business cannot survive without a few key members, your current structure is weak. Be prepared to pivot quickly when necessary and plan for the event of growth by geography, merger or acquisition and IPO.
Bringing it together
Implementing the points covered at the roundtable may seem like more work from you, but ultimately, it’s working smarter not harder. More of it is about ensuring that your leadership team is shifting their decisions around the issues we’ve discussed and incorporating the right skill-sets and people into your business to deliver your growth objectives.
How Vedanvi and JCW can help you
For a full consultation about how to successfully execute these seven key points and scale your financial services business, get in touch with Vedanvi today.
If you would like help to develop your talent strategy to help you grow, get in touch with us for advice about securing the best talent on the market for you today.
Nicola Lawler, Head of Marketing at The JCW Group
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