Not driving home for Christmas 


Given that Cardiff's 'white Christmas' credentials are decidedly flakey this year, this week's blog provides another set of reflections with a photo taken at sunset yesterday, of the River Rumney in St. Mellons.  Not quite as festive as I might want, but apposite.

I took the photo during one of my lengthy bike rides around Cardiff, part of a 2020 regime to attempt to defer the point at which I become perfectly spherical.  Cycling is one of those pastimes where one's geographical aspirations expand in line with experience - but I am not so misguided as to think that I might make it back to Essex, where my elderly parents live, on two wheels.  And, now it seems that I would be equally irrational to anticipate that I might make that journey on four.  Essex is in Tier 3, and I have no idea at all what Wales is in, because Mark Drakeford changes the goalposts on a daily basis.  I am reasonably sure that it is impossible to establish a correlation between English and Welsh rules, whatever it is that the latter are.  So, listening to that famous Chris Rea song really isn't going to help.

As we all know, 2020 has been all about that.  It's unreasonable to expect Christmas to be any different, so we need to adapt intelligently, and make the best of things.  This is what the Brits are best at.  Last week, I referred to the fact that, during a pandemic, battening down the hatches is unlikely to prove a winning strategy, and that is born out by ValidPath's experience throughout the year.  We have Member Firms who, through judicious, intentional activity, have steadily built their business under what others might consider impossible conditions.  We have observed a pronounced uptick in the kinds of initiative which build client relationships.  As more and more Members have adopted our 'Client Portal' technology, there's been a noticeable improvement in client servicing activities, including reviews.  All of us know that there's been a huge take-up of services such as Zoom, but the encouraging thing is to see how strategically Member Firms are using it, to improve the delivery of their advisory proposition.

What is absolutely clear is that, if our businesses are not thriving, we can't just blame things on the pandemic.  So, if you have found 2020 a somewhat arid and trying experience, why not use your Christmas break in a reflective manner, to plan ahead for 2021?  Here are a few resources that ValidPathers may want to take a look at (you'll need to be logged in to our site):

On working smarter (we wrote this for 2020)
On developing effective referral relationships
On the safe use of social media
On profitable joint ventures
On developing excellent client review services


Kevin Moss, 17/12/2020