Home Is Where The Heart Is

Home is where the heart is

I often get asked why I’m always sitting in the kitchen in these videos. And my reasons are really quite specific. To me, it’s about creating the perfect environment for great Lifestyle Financial Planning – and that’s where the kitchen comes in. Let me explain.

How it all started

When I first started out, we used to do something called Home Service. We’d go out, see our clients face-to-face and look after all their life insurance policies, endowments and bonds. We all had our own patch, so we got to know our clients pretty well.

Every Friday, we’d knock on their door and physically collect money off them for their policies. It’s how we used to build a rapport with our clients and their families and it often meant we’d then get business from future generations of the same family.

The appeal of the kitchen table

Whenever I went out for a home visit, I’d always engineer it so that we could sit at the kitchen table.

Why? Because the living room was always a bit too informal (the tv might be on, my client’s kids were probably playing in there) and it was too hard to control the conversation. It just made it really difficult for me to ‘do my thing’.

But the kitchen table created just the right feel:

  • It was relaxed, but not too informal
  • The table made it just ‘business-like’ enough
  • It got everyone sitting together
  • It made it easier to get my client’s attention

So I used it to my advantage. It was the perfect place to do business and get some transactions done.

It’s all about creating the right environment

But over the years, I realised I actually needed my own premises so that I could control the process and make it even better – and the whole theatre that surrounds the service that we provide.

Since those early days, we’ve had quite a few different premises. But what I love about the offices we’re in now is that they feel a bit like a bistro, or a coffee shop. Yes, we still have nice, glass office space for our fantastic computer team – but all of our planning rooms, where we sit with our clients, are purposefully designed as kitchens.

We’re using the benefits of ‘kitchen’ to our advantage

So in a way, we’re combining the best of both worlds. We’ve borrowed the kitchen idea from days gone by, but instead of trying to introduce professionalism and something business-like into a family situation, we’re now putting the family feel into the business stuff.

Really it’s about removing anything that feels too corporate. That’s why you’ll also notice that I never wear suits – it just creates the wrong feel.

  • We’re aiming for ‘comfortable’ and ‘relaxed’

Doing financial planning in a kitchen really helps to achieve that goal. It feels homely. It suggests ‘family’ and it’s the perfect environment to open your client’s mind to all that fantastic, human, lifestyle stuff.

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