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Winning Tips: Eldon keeps lid on costs to boost growth
by Brian Cantwell on Feb 26, 2013 at 15:35
Eldon Financial Planning’s healthy profit level was a key factor in the County Durham-based firm’s triumph in the New Model Adviser® awards, and director Tony Conner says keeping a lid on costs is key to its success.
Eldon won the award for the North for the second year in a row, and Conner (pictured), a trained accountant, says he is confident the firm’s low cost base gives it a good platform for growth. The firm delivered a £366,365 profit in 2012 off the back of £597,742 turnover.
‘Turnover really benefits if you don’t deal with [a corresponding increase in costs] – I keep everything as efficient as possible so growth really means growth,’ he says.
One of the contributors to keeping costs low lies in the business’s location, in the North East, where property prices are relatively cheap. ‘Our rent for 1,000 sq ft is £10,000 a year; it’s one of many advantages to where we’re situated’ says Conner.
Another factor is that clients tend to travel to the firm’s offices for meetings, which have a standard 90-minute time limit.
Training advisers in-house
Eldon’s recruitment strategy is based on training its own staff rather than taking on ready-qualified advisers. This strategy has not only helped its efforts to keep costs down, but also led to its succession plans scoring highly in our awards.
Conner says taking on advisers from other firms often costs more than training someone in-house. ‘It raises costs, it takes time to train [advisers from other firms] in the way we do things, and you need time to build trust,’ he says. ‘It’s much better to grow your own talent.’
Conner and co-director Joss Harwood (pictured below) focused on succession after taking part in a one-on-one consultancy provided by EU funding in their local region in 2007.
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