December is the month where many successful financial advisors lay out their business plans for the coming year. Although, the planning process isn’t necessarily linear, there are some important building blocks that advisors can put into place that can lead to planning success.
1. Strategic Vision. The strategic vision defines your ideal world. It is a statement that articulates your lifetime goals, deepest ambitions, beliefs and values. The strategic vision clearly spells out the business that you want to create and the life that you want to live. An example of a strategic vision might be: To empower my clients (and prospective clients) to reduce and eliminate their fears regarding their financial future.
- Coach Note. Without a strategic vision, it’s difficult to align your business goals with your life goals. Articulating your deepest hopes and convictions in a strategic vision establishes a fixed point to aim towards in bountiful, and challenging, times. The strategic vision is a “beacon” that guides you forward.
2. Assess and Evaluate. With a clear strategic vision, the stage is set to lay out your business plan. Begin by assessing what worked and what didn’t in 2012. Include all of your achievements and successes. Consider in what areas you’d like to improve.
- Coach Note. Think: Keep! Stop! Start! i.e. what successful behaviors should be kept? What ineffective or destructive behaviors should be stopped? What would you like to begin?
Along these lines, ClientWise has developed the Benchmark Assessment Report™(BAR™). The BAR™ allows the advisor to compare their practice to other practices across the nation across all seven areas of practice management outlined in the Professional Advisory Model™. The BAR™ produces a 45-50 page report, that an advisor or team covers with a ClientWise ICF Certified coach to produce a strategic plan for the next several months.
3. Goal-Setting 2013. With a review of the past year as data points, work on your goals for 2013. Be specific, but don’t be afraid to think big. Also, when you set your goals for next year, incorporate milestones that point you in your right direction, e.g. quarterly or mid-year goals.
- Coach Note. Identify any key leverage points in your business that, if improved, would have an exponential effect on your success.
- Coach Note: Think about projects strategically. Why are they important? How are they related to your annual goals? For maximum impact, who should be involved?
- Coach Note. Momentum (and self-confidence) is a powerful catalyst. Start your year off with high activity. Get some small wins. Build to bigger wins.
To help you build your 2013 finaancial advisor business plan, we also suggest that you consider these ClientWise Planning tools:
- Benchmark Assessment Report™ (BAR™). Use the Benchmark Assessment Report to assess where you are right now. By benchmarking your practice, you will have a clearer idea on your strengths and weaknesses, and will know your planning baseline for the coming year.