There’s a lot of talk around 18 year cycles in business. While it’s not an exact science, the cycle predictions are often startlingly accurate.
The theories roughly agree that markets see around seven years of moderate growth, then around eight years of exponential growth, followed by a down turn until the cycle restarts.
The end of the last cycle was 2011, so the next stage of exponential growth begins now.
Growth comes from innovation. If you want to ride this wave, it’s important to know what this innovation will be.
It’s About Purpose
Many people think that innovation equals technology. This is wrong.
Technology equals efficiency, and we only need to look at the success of Monzo to see this.
Monzo doesn’t offer anything that a traditional bank can’t. It processes payments, offers statements, onboards new customers – all well within the remit of traditional retail banking. But the difference is, it does it far more quickly.
So why are people confusing this with innovation? Because the technology has enabled the true innovation: customer experience.
The technology has certainly allowed Monzo to create a superior, customer-centric offering - but consumer focus is the innovation itself.
This is what the next stage of exponential growth will be about.
Not just improved customer service, but a complete overhaul putting the customer at the centre of everything the company offers.
Business in the 21st Century will be about the customer, and it will be about purpose. The biggest growth is expected in businesses that, either directly or indirectly, aim to improve people’s lives and improve our planet. So how can you take advantage of this?
How to Ride the Wave
This trend is already affecting IFAs through the increase in Unbiased users searching for ethical investments.
But this change will affect all advisers on a much deeper level.
Your client must be the centre of everything. Customer experience should no longer be part of your business, but the root of it. More important than the products you offer, your offering must be personalised, and carry purpose.
As an adviser you have a close relationship with your client, and can capture their individual aspirations. Be that investing for income, growing their business, or a comfy retirement, people are coming to you to improve their lives.
So in many ways, you’re already well placed to benefit from the innovative forces underpinning the next cycle of growth. Reframe how you present your business from ‘making your client and yourself money’, to allowing ‘each client to achieve their personal dreams’.
Ensuring each individual client is at the centre of what you do, and offering them an exceptional customer experience, will allow you to ride the wave of growth expected across the next decade.