Getting Your RIA To The Next Level: Are You Making Progress?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 11:06
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Getting Your RIA To The Next Level:  Are You Making Progress?

Tags: strategic planning

When planning, whether financial planning for your clients or strategic planning for your business, there has to be follow up and follow through (accountability & monitoring) to see if you are making progress toward your goals.

In my 2012 year-end post, Getting Your RIA To The Next Level In 2013: Resolve To Follow These Six Steps And I’ll Help You Follow Through, I laid out a six-step process to help your firm make progress in 2013.  Since we are nearing the end of the first 90 days of 2013, it is time for the first quarterly checkup.

 Are you making progress on each of the six steps?

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Step One: Create a strategic plan and refer to it throughout the year to guide the firm.

This step is a series of smaller decisions that need to be determined by the leaders of the firm.  It includes deciding on a mission (core focus) and vision (who and what is your organization, where is it going, how is it going to get there) just to name a few. The vision will point you to where you want to be in the future.  From there, develop longer-term goals (more than 90 days) and identify shorter-term tasks (less than 90 days) that need to be completed to reach your longer-term goals.

If you have no done this yet, identify your vision and longer-term goals. In Step Four below you will create a list shorter-term tasks and projects that need to be completed in the next 90 days to reach the longer-term goals.

 
Step Two: Assign someone in your firm the role of “Implementer.”

In a smaller firm, the Implementer will likely be the President.  In a larger firm, you may (should) have someone else with the right skill set to handle this role.  It would be a good fit for someone handling the COO responsibilities or it could also be outsourced to a business coach (someone who can hold staff accountable).

The key responsibilities of this role are: 1) make sure the firm has the correct staff in place to reach longer-term goals, 2) prioritize shorter-term tasks and projects and ensure that progress is being made on these as well as toward reaching the longer-term goals, 3) assign tasks to the correct staff members and hold them accountable for completing these.

Holding your staff accountable for completing these shorter-term tasks is critically important to reaching the longer-term goals and ultimately the future vision of your firm.

Identify someone to fill this role or you may forever be stuck in a rut. The Implementer role is extremely important for continuing to make positive progress toward your longer-term goals.

 
Step Three: Make sure you have the right staff in place to execute your strategy.

Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, the person in a particular role is not the best person for the position. The initial hire may have been incorrect or the employee may have outgrown their previous role.  Whatever the reason(s), as your firm evolves and grows, it becomes increasingly important to hire the right people for the correct roles (needs). Your mission and vision discussed above will guide your hiring needs going forward.

Analyze your current staff and identify any changes you need to make. Having staff in the wrong roles is another way your growth will continue to be stifled unless changes are made.  

Step Four: Focus on critical tasks and projects that move the firm toward longer-term goals.

Look at all the issues your firm struggles with and the projects you need to work on to move your firm ahead.  Prioritize each of these with the ones needing to be completed in the next 90 days at the top of the list. Decide what can be completed today and this week to remove the issue or get you closer to completing the project.

What issues and projects need attention? What can you do today and this week that moves you closer to resolving issues and completing tasks and projects?
  

Step Five: Assign accountability for completing the shorter-term tasks and projects.

Once the issues and tasks have been identified, assign accountability for completing each of these. Spread them out to the correct individual(s) and place deadline dates on each task.

Who will be responsible for each issue, task, and project your firm is working on?


Step Six: Measure your progress.

Have the Implementer meet weekly with your staff to measure your progress on the shorter-term issues, tasks and projects. This is the time to address anything holding up completing these by the dates set.  After doing this weekly, when you reach a 90 day time period, you should begin seeing progress toward your longer-term goals. Once you begin seeing progress, it develops momentum in the organization.

If you followed these steps beginning in January, have you noticed progress?  If you have not started these steps, begin with Steps One through Five today.  After you get going for a week or two, stop and measure your progress.

 I’ll follow up again in 90 days to see if you are making progress toward your goals.

Keep moving toward your goals!

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