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At first glance, owning a business and having a job may seem like similar endeavors. However, as we know, owning a business comes with its own set of risks and rewards that are usually not a part of having a job. Being a successful business owner also requires top-level thinking that doesn’t always come “standard” in employees. Henry Ford said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.” This cannot be more true for business owners. Thinking about your business and how it can run better, more efficiently, and sustain growth is one of the hardest parts of owning a business and many business owners do not do it enough. If you are not doing the hard work of thinking and working on your business, you are not a true business owner, you just have a job in a business that you happen to own. As Michael Gerber said “you are a technician suffering from an entrepreneurial seizure”.
Because we can all get caught up in the day to day minutia of working in our businesses, one of the best ways to make sure you are dedicating enough time to working on your business is to schedule time on your calendar that is 100% dedicated to this task. It seems like a simple and obvious solution, but so few business owners have dedicated time to work on their business. Some of our most successful clients use a model week that the entire staff knows about and adheres to so that enough time can be dedicated to important work like this. A color-coded calendar can do wonders for some teams – if everyone in the office knows that you only schedule client meetings in “green” times and that no one is allowed to schedule any meetings or calls during “purple” times, it makes it so much easier to carve out your schedule in the best way possible.
As we discussed in our last blog, a strategic plan is as important to your business as a financial plan is to your clients. And working on your business stems from the initiatives that you outline in your strategic plan. However, if you have laid out time every week to work on your business, it does not mean that you are reviewing and changing your strategic plan every week. In fact, if it is changing every week, I wouldn’t call it a strategic plan at all. During the time you dedicate to working on your business, you may be working on streamlining operations, establishing and executing a marketing plan, reviewing staffing issues, etc. You should NOT be working on anything involving day-to-day or even any client issues. This is a time to identify issues or weaknesses and try to resolve them or move your strategic initiatives forward. This makes your firm stronger and allows you provide the best client service to your clients. It always pushes you toward having the ideal firm you have envisioned.
TSI has always been and will always be a huge advocate of education and training to help everyone in a business to be the best that they can be. This also extends to you, the business owner. Keeping yourself abreast of changes and disruptors in the industry and challenges other advisors are facing will not only allow you to feel more connected, but also will help shape the time that you have committed to working on your business. Working with many different advisors gives us a unique perspective to see that many of the challenges and ideas that advisors have about how to better their business are not novel ideas. They just need dedicated time to get implemented.
If you are having troubles getting too mired down in the details and only working “in” your business and not “on” your business, feel free to give us a call and we can help steer you in the right direction.
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.