"If expansion isn’t an option, there are other things you can do to show your commitment to your clients. For example, reprioritising or refocusing so key strengths are in the right places where your clients need them."
When we rebranded over two years ago as YBS Commercial Mortgages (from N&P Commercial Mortgages), our team was local to the Peterborough area. But we made it one of our key priorities to focus on an ambitious expansion plan. This meant opening three new regional offices across the country, based in Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester and almost doubling the size of the team.
As we stand now, our team of regional directors span the country from Carlisle to Cardigan, so it’s really amazing to see the progress we’ve made and how we’ve expanded our reach in just a short period of time.
This is something we’re immensely proud of – especially during a pandemic. But why is it important in the current climate?
I believe that having an expansion plan demonstrates a commitment to the market, and a confidence in what’s to come. It makes a statement that you believe in growth – and a return to strong business progress after the pandemic, and this puts you in a great position to move forward.
It also sends a clear message to your customers that you’re there for them, and that you understand your responsibility for the future of both your business and the wider sector.
Even more importantly, regional expansion means having more capacity and a better ability to service the clients who need you – no matter where they are, or how they want to work with you. Having a contact nearby means that someone can be quickly available to see a client face-to-face. This is something we know they really value - despite the increased use of technology over the last 18 months - it certainly hasn’t replaced the human touch.
As well as attracting more business, regional expansion also puts you in a stronger position to do more business and build better relationships with your existing customers, as well as to compete at a higher level with your competitors – especially if they aren’t present in your new locations.
There’s also the increased brand awareness that physically being in more locations is likely to provide – putting you on the radar of more prospective customers, especially if you leverage this in your marketing and communications plans.
Understanding the challenge
There’s no doubt that we’ve been in a really fortunate position. Not everyone has the capacity, resources or funds to be able to undertake business expansion – at all, or certainly not on the scale of which we’ve been able to carry it out, especially during a pandemic.
If expansion isn’t an option, there are other things you can do to show your commitment to your clients. For example, reprioritising or refocusing so key strengths are in the right places where your clients need them. Finding ways to work smarter or more efficiently - perhaps making better use of technology to service your clients differently.
If expansion isn’t possible now – it might be an option in the near future – even on a small scale. If this is your ambition, or you make it your ambition, you can share this with your clients. This will highlight your dedication to continue serving them well both now and into the future, as well as a commitment to change and improvement, and you’ll reap the rewards that follow.