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You know the very best way for your clients to achieve their goals is to have a plan, right? Makes sense, doesn’t require a lot of debate. However, when it comes to having a plan to achieve your vision of your firm and where you want your firm to take you, studies show that few of you have this in place.
1. Is it because it seems overwhelming?2. Don’t know where to start?3. Wondering how you’ll get the initiatives achieved when you’re struggling to keep up with what you have on your plate now?
All good reasons so let me take them one by one.
1. Yes, it’s overwhelming but not if you do some homework and identify what you want to accomplish. Also, don’t think about three years or five years. Think about what you want to accomplish in the next 12 months (one quarter at a time).
a. Do you want to grow your firm? If so, what marketing are you most comfortable with? You need a marketing strategy that is tailored to what you're comfortable with. There is no “one type of marketing” for everyone.
b. Staff – do you have all A players on board? If not, either move them to a position within your firm they are better suited for or replace them. Sound harsh? Maybe but I can promise you will never get where you want to be without the right riders on the bus in the right seats (see my blog of2/26/16 -10 Years, 10 Truths - Number 1).
c. Operations & Technology – do you have the right technology? Does it integrate? Do you have processes for everything in your firm?
2. Now, look through the few ideas I gave you above. Which is the MOST pressing? Pick one or two and focus on those. When they have been addressed to your satisfaction, move on to the next most urgent issue.
3. How do you do all of this with what you have your plate? You bite the bullet and put in extra time if needed (and remember, you have all A players helping you) BECAUSE, if you do these things, you will have less on your plate in the future and the items left on your plate will be the things you should be dealing with…not things that others should do.
So here are some common signs you need a Strategic Plan. If any of these are true for you, give us a call. We can help you identify your gaps, provide solutions to close them and help you stay accountable to getting them done!
Common warning signs you need a strategic plan:1. When you are asked why you’re in business and your only answer is “Profit” or “to make money”.2. Someone asks you where your business will be in one year and you don’t have a clue. You ask your partners and/or management team the same question and get wildly different answers.3. You have some idea where you want to go in the next year but you don’t have any idea what you’re going to do to make it a reality.4. Your company won’t hit its revenue goals for the year and although there can be many reasons for the shortfall, you’re not sure how to grow the top line.5. There are inconsistencies in your brochure, your web site, your sales collateral, etc. You can’t understand the content and more importantly, neither can anyone else. You find that when you explain your business to a potential client, you tell different stories about how you provide value.6. You’re ignoring the competition. You don’t know who your number one competitor is and what they’re doing.7. Everything on your to-do list is a priority. You don’t know where your time is best spent.8. Friends and colleagues can’t refer you because they aren’t sure exactly what value your business provides and to whom?9. You ask your employees what success looks like and they don’t have a consistent answer.10. You complain when your customers call you because you just don’t have time to talk to them. You notice your staff complaining as well.
Ginny Hudgens, President and Owner of The Strategic Implementer, started out in the financial services industry in 1992 as a Vice President in the Investment Banking Group of J.C. Bradford & Co., a regional brokerage firm purchased by PaineWebber (now UBS) in 2000.
In August of 2000, she accepted a position with a financial advisor, his only employee at the time, as the "jack of all trades". At the time of her employment, the firm had approximately $7 million in assets under management. Later, as the COO of the firm, she and the advisor built the firm to over $115 million in assets under management. Ginny was responsible for managing all aspects of the firm, leading team strategy sessions and implementing the initiatives that drove the firm growth.
In March of 2006, she started The Strategic Implementer to share her skills with other advisors who are READY to take their business to the next level. Her background has put her in the unique position of knowing exactly what it takes to build a successful advisory firm.
Ginny has written for and been written about in such publications as The Journal of Financial Planning, Investment News and Bob Veres’ Inside Information. She is frequently asked to speak and has spoken to groups including several FPA chapters, Geneos Wealth Advisors in Denver and the 2013 FPA Business Solutions Conference.
Ginny is a 1988 graduate of the University of Louisville with a B.S. in Business Administration (concentration in Finance). She is married and her husband has two grown sons, one who served his country in Iraq for 15 months and his younger brother, who is now her associate in The Strategic Implementer. Ginny serves on the Board of Directors for the Louisiana State University CFP Program.