A few years ago, we were advised to corporatise our business model. In fact, the message was delivered in no uncertain terms – corporatise your business model or be left behind.
Given this advice at the time, we sought to thoroughly evaluate and review our dealer group model. We didn’t want to put our head in the sand and ignore good advice, but equally we wanted to be completely on board with the direction we were going to take our business.
One of the key factors that we kept coming back to in this evaluation and review process was culture. The glue if you like, that kept us united, differentiated us and defined us as a dealer group model.
You see, we knew at Synchron we did things a bit differently to other dealer groups. We started to discuss what we did internally that was different, that gave us a unique culture. We considered what it would mean if we left this behind.
If you visit our Facebook page, you will notice we don’t treat it as seriously as many businesses do.
You will see on our Facebook page pictures of babies and morning teas and cakes and visitors. Often, I will be holding the baby, serving the morning tea or hugging the visitor.
At our annual conference, children are invited to attend the formal function. At our most recent conference in Hong Kong, we had around 20 kids join us, boys dressed in little tuxedos and girls in beautiful ball gowns.
When new advisers join our business, I do an individual welcome video so on day one. No matter what state they are in, the adviser gets to see a director of Synchron. It allows me to welcome them to Synchron and establish a warm and open dialogue with them.
We looked at all these things, as well as our strong adviser retention, our ability to pick and choose advisers who want to work with Synchron. We examined the happiness of our team and we decided what we had was pretty special. And if we chose to corporatise, we would potentially trade off this something special we had.
It was with this knowledge of the culture of our business that we chose not to corporatise, which feels right, but which also now has implications as we embark on the next phase of our business.
Synchron now has 400 advisers and our plan is to reach 500 advisers in the next five years. We are planning for the future management of our model, and given our strength in people and culture, we want to take it slowly. We want to have the time for new managers to absorb what they are apart of, to complement rather than change the dealer group, and most importantly, understand how Synchron is different.
Don Trapnell is a director at Synchron
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