8 Ways to Renew Your Focus as the Seasons Change

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Like most people, you probably took time to kick back this summer. Perhaps you took an extended vacation, or you took three-day weekends regularly throughout June, July and August. Whatever the case may be, recent market volatility may have kick-started your return to the 40-hour workweek, as you’ve had to respond to client concerns about their portfolios.

To everything there is a season, so they say, and as each season changes, we face new experiences and opportunities, both personally and professionally. In the fall, for example, as students head back to school, there’s a sense of buckling down and getting back to business. And this is just as true for financial advisers.

How can you buckle down and renew your focus?
Buckling down often translates into activities like the following:

  1. Holding more review meetings with clients
  2. Taking extra steps to prospect for new clients
  3. Reviewing internal processes to ensure efficiency
  4. Examining your client base and potentially realigning it with your vision
  5. Rethinking your brand and the extent to which it serves a specific niche
  6. Working with your staff and partners to ensure that everyone is working toward the same firm goals
  7. Assessing the risks the firm faces from clients, employees, technology, business continuity, or natural disaster
  8. Thinking ahead to 2016 and assessing what you need to do to foster the firm’s ongoing growth and quality

For some advisers, the above activities are business as usual. They keep these items top of mind and regularly review them for any signs of trouble or inefficiency. Others advisers think about “CEO-type” issues once in a while—perhaps when they read a blog post like this. Still others think of the above as irrelevant, unnecessary and a pain in the neck. As time goes on and practices turn into more sophisticated businesses, advisers won’t be able to get away with the latter. In fact, the larger the organization, the more critical these activities are.

The approaching fourth quarter is a time for wrapping up 2015 and thinking ahead to 2016 and beyond. Why not seize the autumn momentum and adopt a “back-to-school” mind-set to take a look at your business today in preparation for next year. It will help you appropriately ground the reality of your practice today with your dreams and goals for your business in the future.

Joni Youngwirth_2014 for webJoni Youngwirth
Managing Principal of Practice Management
Commonwealth Financial Network
Waltham, Mass.

One thought on “8 Ways to Renew Your Focus as the Seasons Change

  1. Joni, appreciate your comments on the risk management and biz management issues for those managing all aspects of a practice.

    Any tips for finding discussion of legal/practice insurance issues for small or sole practitioners? Seems to be a dearth here and possibly a call for me to blog!

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