Assuming you have followed the recommendations we provided in 2019 Business Planning: Get Ready, by this point you have:
- Reviewed and refined (or redefined) your vision for your ideal practice – what you want your practice to look like going out 3-5 years.
- Defined or redefined your ideal client – the clients your practice is designed to serve well and you want to attract.
- Reviewed how you did in 2018 – which quantitative goals you met or exceeded, and which ones were missed.
Now it’s time to put together the heart of your business plan for 2019.
Establish your quantitative goals for 2019.
- These are the results goals that will help you determine the success of your strategies and action steps by this time next year.
- We recommend setting quantitative goals for whatever measurements you believe make the most sense for your business. Many advisors and planners choose to measure success by looking at assets under management, revenue, number of households, building in a growth factor for each, although some advisors are actively seeking to reduce the number of households they serve while increasing the level of assets per household.
Decide on the strategies you will use to meet your quantitative goals and move your practice toward where you want it to be in 3-5 years. We recommend developing strategies in 3 key areas – client experience, support structure, and growth. Let’s look at each one.
1. Review your client experience and determine the strategies you will employ over the next year to make improvements. Your client experience can be divided into two main areas.
- Advice includes the process you use to onboard new clients (introductory conversation, discovery, plan and portfolio presentation, implementation, new client welcome, etc.) and the counsel you provide on an ongoing basis in your review meetings, phone calls, and other one-on-one interactions.
- Service includes the standards you set to provide the very best experience in addressing administrative and operational matters, providing one-to-many communication and educational opportunities, and all the ways you express appreciation for your clients.
2. Review the support structure you have in place to deliver your desired client experience and determine the strategies you will implement over the next year to improve it.
- People support is defined as your team structure – advisors and support staff – and their roles and responsibilities.
- Policies and procedures communicate what you want done and how you want it done in order to create consistency in what your clients experience.
- Technology resources enable your business to function efficiently.
- The appearance of your office and furnishings communicates a message about your practice and your understanding of how to provide a comfortable setting to meet with your clients.
3. Review the growth of your business (new clients, new assets, new revenue) over the last year, and how you can improve on it in the coming year.
- How well does your marketing messaging differentiate you and your practice from your competition? Where could improvements be made?
- Which business development strategies have worked well and in what areas are improvements needed?
- How well do you promote referrals from existing clients, contacts and centers of influence? What improvements can you make?
- Are there additional business development strategies you could implement to increase the growth of your business?
After completing your review of these three key areas of your business and establishing the strategies you plan to use to improve each one, you may think this is all you need for an effective business plan for 2019.
However, a list of strategies won’t get you to where you want to be unless you also prioritize them and establish specific action steps to accomplish each one. More on that next week.