over the weekend, i spoke with a friend of mine who is a financial planner. he works with extremely wealthy clients (of which i am definitely not one!) providing investment and financial advice. his focus is on expanding his services well beyond basic investing and portfolio management. sure, estate planning and family trusts are not exactly stretches to his base business, but what about bill paying and college planning? heck, he even told me they have a service to help clients buy cars or private jets! another fellow i know is a residential builder. They are very nice homes that i assume - even in a tough market, still provide good margins. he is transforming his business to offer his customers home management services for an annual fee. these include regular maintenance to property management to security services and more.
my financial buddy tells me investment management has become a commodity. the winners have to differentiate themselves by adding value. a builder offering additional services creates an ongoing revenue stream to soften the downturns in the real estate market. software companies have been using this approach for some time. the secret of course is that real value must be delivered. otherwise it's viewed as a tax or a service that just won't sell. i think there is also an analogy to how we view our time at work. do we bring a unique value proposition in the eyes of our company and our colleagues? to succeed, it's not enough to just show up and do our job. it's the value above and beyond what is expected - even if it's outside of the box - that makes the difference.....
what makes you special?