As the new year begins, optimistic thoughts of future successes come to mind. Many financial advisers have taken their wish list and formulated a goals list, or better yet, a business plan. Other financial advisers have taken this process one step further and created a business blueprint which emphasizes in greater detail the “how, when and why” they want to accomplish those items on their goals list. However, few advisers take the time during all this planning to determine if their current tools are adequate to build the business of their dreams.
Think of it this way, if you were interested in building a new house you would most likely hire an architect to draw up blueprints. Next, you would find a contactor who would have his/her construction crew begin the project by showing up at the site one day with tools in hand ready to go to work. Sounds simple, right? But what if this construction crew had outdated tools?
Now, think back to this time last year. You may have had the same goals of creating a successful year, but did you succeed? If not, it may have been because what is in your toolbox doesn’t work anymore or needs an upgrade. And therein lies the challenge with business development tools. Most financial advisers, rookies and veterans alike, do not realize that in order to get better results, you need to not only understand the solutions to common challenges but utilize specific tools to implement solutions on a consistent basis—turning your new activities into long-term habits.
Managing the many facets of your business can be difficult to master; advisers work in a very reactive environment with many constantly changing factors: the fluctuating market, ongoing client concerns and compliance, just to name a few. In order to become pro-active in a reactive environment, you need to have the right tools, techniques and resources to help keep your day structured, your interruptions prioritized, your client servicing items organized and your motivation and momentum at full steam.
Years ago, I began creating tools for financial advisers. All of the tools in the Advisor Solutions Toolbox help advisers manage the multiple demands of their day-to-day responsibilities. If advisers use these tools or ones they’ve developed themselves long enough, they turn into habits. And it is important to remember that activities need to be anchored with positive reward systems and negative punishment systems to ensure you continue using them. If you’re interested in receiving Advisor Solutions Toolbox, a complimentary set of tools, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tools and strategies can help you to keep your focus, which is a primary challenge for most of the clients I have worked with. But if you are armed with the right equipment you can get down to the job of building a better financial advisory business today!
[Editor’s note: FPA member, tools and templates for various areas of running a business, including marketing and operations, are available free at www.FPAnet.org/PracticeManagement on each of the category pages listed along the top, horizontal navigation.]
Daniel C. Finley
Advisor Solutions Inc.
St. Paul, Minn.