It would be easy to think that with the instability of the UK economic outlook and rising costs that Insolvency Firms would be seeing huge growth. From our experience, we are indeed seeing insolvency firms getting increasingly busier. However, the nature of business available is changing, with struggling firms holding on before going to IPs for help, leaving little to no assets to work with. Also, recent years have seen a massive surge in start-ups and many of the firms going under are still technically in this category and again meaning limited assets for distribution if they meet their demise.
So yes, along with everyone else IPs are increasingly busy but for smaller returns. So what can they do to ensure they get a bigger slice of the pie?
Needing an IP is probably the most distressed purchase anyone in business is likely to make, even more so than seen in the legal industry. There is an element of being in the right place at the right time and failing that the only way is to make yourself known and trusted by as many people in business as possible. Aim to be the person that people say ‘I know a great guy that will help’.
Regular communications with your referral partners are vital to staying at the forefront of their mind as well as demonstrating credibility and your expertise. Important things to consider;
Referral partners, struggling companies, business groups, staff & potential staff – communication plans are needed for each group.
A consistent use of brand and message across all the social media platforms will feed into your brand awareness. It is important to own your brand across all the platforms.
Being consistent in your messaging is key to building brand awareness and changing perceptions about the insolvency sector. Insolvency firms are often seen as the Grim Reapers of business. A lot has been done to change perceptions, with firms opting to be called business recovery or turnaround specialists but more should be done. Messaging has to focus on the role of IPs as one of help and guidance, they are there to minimise the impact of a business in trouble. Messaging should encourage directors to come forward earlier, when there are more options available to help turn around a firm, rather than waiting for it to be a damage limitation exercise.
Love them or loathe them, there is a place for a well written newsletter to your referral partners. Digitally an e newsletter can provide you with valuable insights into what your contacts are interested in and how many of them are engaged (ie opening/reading your newsletter)
Branding & PR
Consistent use of a recognisable brand is an important piece of your marketing mix. It can take a long time and often a lot of money to establish brand recognition but use of brand guidelines and being consistent in your messaging will help.
A vital part of the communications mix, another opportunity to tick the boxes for brand and credibility building. Not to forget that it will help with your website SEO.
Referrers care programme
In the Insolvency sector one of the most important, if not the most important, route to business is your referrers. How are you going to thank them and keep your relationship strong?
Running seminars to demonstrate credibility and expertise it a great idea, however, a note of caution, it can be tough to get people along to seminars. By teaming up with others you not only spread the cost but will also double your chances of getting attendees.
It is easy to become lazy in this area… take a table at the xyz event that you have done for the last 10 years, invite the same people etc etc. Why not think outside the box and create something really memorable that gets people talking about you – ticking that brand awareness box without even trying. Now I won’t lie, thinking outside the box can be difficult but often the hard things are the ones worth doing. Even better, find out what your referrers like doing and tailor something for them?!
Become a Niche Practitioner
i.e. specialise in a specific sector
In most circumstances, people like an expert… have you found that you get a large amount of work from the manufacturing sector for example? Great – become a niche practitioner in this space. It will give you a better chance of getting the job, it will focus your marketing and it will win your more business!
A note of caution though, picking an area that doesn’t often require your services would be a mistake, so a certain amount of research is required here. Along with what the competition is like!
Develop Complementary Services
Use partners to provide additional services. i.e. when focusing on recovery or business turnaround you could offer marketing strategy advice to give firms the best chance of turnaround. Or working with business coaches where the business is recoverable, they can ensure they stay on the correct path to a successful business.
If you would like some help with implementing these ideas or more information please contact us on 01909 530787 or email firstname.lastname@example.org