Nine questions to evaluate your financial advisory practice

Time to Evaluate Your Financial Advisory Practice?

Advisors often ask how their practices measure up against other planners and advisors. Given the turnaround we have seen in the markets since the pandemic began, this might be a good time to look around and assess how you and your practice are doing.

Here are nine questions to help you get started.

  1. Knowing what you know now, if you could wipe the slate clean and design your perfect business, what would it look like? Your Vision describes that business. How have you defined your vision?
    • I have a written vision description that I review regularly for inspiration and to help guide important decisions.
    • I have a general idea of where I want to go, but it’s mostly in my head.
    • I’m just trying to take it day by day.
  2. When you have defined the quantitative and qualitative factors as well as the needs, concerns and challenges that describe Your Ideal Client, you know exactly the type of clients you best serve and the value you can bring to them.
    • Yes, I know exactly who my ideal client is and so do my clients. It’s a core component of our identity.
    • I have a pretty good idea of who I want to work with.
    • I’m willing to work with most people.
  3. Individuals make buying decisions because they are looking for change. What have you done to create a Client Experience that is transformational?
    • Everything we do to advise and serve our clients has been designed to meet the specific needs, concerns and challenges of our ideal clients.
    • We emphasize consistent returns, reducing portfolio risk, and saving time.
    • We provide access to the best tools and resources in the industry.
  4. How comprehensive and consistent is your Advice Process?
    • I have a defined, multi-step process, including checklists and templates, that I use with all my clients.
    • I have a general outline of what I try to cover at each meeting.
    • I let my clients set the direction of our meetings based on what’s important to them.
  5. Your Standards of Care provide guiding principles for how you serve your clients. How have you defined your standards of care?
    • We carefully defined our standards of care for each client segment. We share these standards with our clients so they know exactly what to expect.
    • There are some things that we do for all clients while other things depend on our workload at the time.
    • We do the best we can for each and every client.
  6. Your Support Structure is the behind-the-scenes framework you use to deliver your client experience. How would you describe your support structure?
    • We have an operating manual that incorporates our policies and procedures and is regularly reviewed and updated along with our roles and responsibilities documents.
    • We train new employees as we hire them and have an adequate technology system.
    • We mostly figure things out as we go.
  7. A Business Plan helps you set the goals and strategies you will use to protect, manage and grow your business. How do you use your business plan?
    • We have a written business plan that is reviewed every quarter. It includes quantitative goals as well as our initiatives and action plans to improve our client experience, support structure and marketing.
    • We usually get together about once a year for a review of how we’re doing.
    • It’s something I keep intending to work on.
  8. A clear Marketing Message describes who you serve, how you help them and what differentiates you from other advisors. How compelling is your messaging?
    • We have a storyline that we use all the time. It describes our clients, the questions they have, how we can help and how we are different.
    • We have a custom website and brand that describes our firm.
    • We have fairly standard website that lists our products and services.
  9. Your Marketing Strategy is designed to get your message to the people that need to hear it and ensures that you are actively engaged in growing your firm.
    • We have a marketing plan that is designed to make sure we’re getting our message to the right people. We have a specific referral promotion program and calendar of market events and networking opportunities.
    • We get all our new business from referrals from our existing clients.
    • We focus on helping the clients we already have.

How did you do?  As you went through the list, you probably identified a few or perhaps several places where you want to improve.

If so, don’t brush that feeling aside and just hope to do better.

Here are two suggestions:

  • Block thirty minutes on your calendar to identify specific actions you will take over the next six months to make whatever improvements you’ve identified.
  • Alternatively, click here to request a free, 30-minute coaching call! We’d be glad to help you get started!

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