There is so much to know if you hope to run a successful financial advisory business. And with so much information available on the subject, sometimes it is hard to pull out the relevant information you need to grow your business.
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The major challenge often facing principals in an RIA is starting and then following through on strategic projects important to reaching a higher level of success. Often, these projects involve writing and implementing efficient processes to scale a business.
With the calendar about to turn past 2012, we all have a chance to take a fresh look, make a new start.
If you resolve now to stick with the six-step process I am about to articulate, I'll be here to remind and encourage you throughout 2013.
I resolve to come back to this theme in my posts to help you stick with the plan.
It's free help. Purposeful and well-intentioned. Let's get started right now.
Here is a six-step process your firm can follow to achieve the next level of success.
Step One: Create a strategic plan and refer to it throughout the year to guide the firm. Include in your plan the mission and vision of the firm. Share it with your employees. Make sure they understand where the firm is headed, why and how their role is important in reaching the company’s goals, and how they will contribute to reaching these goals. Break the goals and tasks into 3 year, 1 year, 3 month, 1 month, and weekly. Work backwards from your longer-term goals to the shorter-term tasks. Figure out what needs to be completed in the short-term to reach your longer-term goals. Most importantly, follow through and keep moving toward your goals.
Have you created a strategic plan and shared it with your employees? Are you and your staff continuing to follow the strategic plan?
Step Two: Assign someone in your firm the role of “Implementer.” The role of the Implementer is threefold: 1) to make sure the correct staff is in place to reach your longer-term goals, 2) prioritize tasks and projects and ensure progress is being made toward longer-term goals, and 3) assign tasks and hold staff accountable for completion of the tasks. This role could be filled by the founder or one of the partners of the firm, particularly when the firm is small. However, as the firm grows, the principal’s time will become more consumed with client-facing activities- servicing current clients and gathering new ones. Consider hiring a COO or engaging a business coach to manage this role.
Who is the Implementer in (for) your firm?
Step Three: Make sure you have the right staff in place to execute your strategy. If you don’t have the correct staff in place to move your firm to the next level you can hire the correct person for the job, shift roles within the firm if the right people are there but are in the wrong roles, or hire an outside firm (consultant or outsourcer) to serve in the role on a short or long-term basis.
Is your current staff in the correct seats to get your firm to the next level or do you need to explore options outside your firm?
Step Four: Focus on critical tasks and projects that move the firm toward longer-term goals. Identify the most important tasks to be completed and assign priorities. Clarify what needs to be accomplished daily and weekly in order to reach your quarterly and yearly goals. Repeat this step as prioritized tasks and projects are completed.
What tasks and projects are most important and what needs to get done today to move your firm forward?
Step Five: Assign accountability for completing the shorter-term tasks and projects. Assign tasks or projects on a weekly/monthly/quarterly basis and make sure the correct person in your firm is handling each task or project. Hold each staff member accountable for completing the assigned tasks or project.
Are you holding your staff accountable for their assigned tasks and projects?
Step Six: Measure Your Progress. As you continue to make progress toward completing tasks and projects, monitor your progress and measure where you are at in terms of reaching your longer-term goals. Assess your progress and reallocate or add resources if needed. Progress and success builds momentum as you move forward.
Are you measuring the progress of the staff toward creating a successful, efficient and effective firm?
Follow these steps and answer the questions in each step to put your firm on the right path toward reaching the next level of success you are seeking.
I will be here throughout 2013 periodically reminding you to stick with the plan and encouraging you to follow through with specific ideas every step of the way.
Best wishes for a new year full of happiness, success, and big dreams coming true!