Stacy Brooks, National Practice Management Consultant at Financial Horizons Group.
Let’s jump right in today and talk about Business Planning.
Specifically, we’re going to go over the importance of creating and documenting a vision statement and defining your customer experience.
As a financial advisor, you’re pulled in two directions—looking after your business, as the owner of the business, and looking after your clients’ needs.
This can be a constant struggle to balance your time “on” the business and “in” the business.
Investing time on a documented business plan can actually save you time in the long run—allowing you to keep your focus on your clients.
You and your team get a clear vision of where you want to go—helping with making decisions along the way.
You can define your experience, which helps you to increase your positive reputation.
This may seem like it could be a lot of work, but
As Eleanor Roosevelt once said “it takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan”
So many financial advisors get into the business to help people, and then realize a few years later that they need to spend more time to work ON their business.
A business plan is your strategic roadmap that captures your business vision and purpose.
It often starts with the end in mind by outlining your business goals and objectives, and documents your plan of action to execute and achieve your goals.
Research shows that financial advisors who have a written business plan can earn up to 47% more in revenue than those who don’t.
Source: Business Health Data Warehouse
Now, let’s dig into two specific areas of the overall business plan.
- Client experience
Let’s start with Vision.
Your vision statement defines the ideal position that your practice wants to reach. It’s the desired future state. Where do I want to be?
So, why is this important?
- It helps you and your team create and maintain focus,
- It helps with your decision making process,
- It can help attract the clients you want and recruit the RIGHT talent to your team,
- It can be a guide to prioritize your resources,
- And overall can help you create a legacy by building a long term business.
Here are a couple inspiring vision statements from companies you already know.
- Nike: Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)
- Dynacare: To be Canada’s health and wellness solution leader.
Why are these great? There are various reasons, which you can keep in mind when developing YOUR vision statement. These vision statements are…
- Inspiring (something you and your team can rally behind)
- And Challenging (remember, you’re looking into the future… it should be a reach)
The other topic in the business plan that can make a substantial difference to how you’re perceived by your clients and help you build a strong reputation in the industry is defining your client experience.
This is the process of identifying and describing what sets you apart in the marketplace. Your key differentiator.
Having a simple, but unique client experience that you can replicate can set you apart in the industry.
From how you attract new clients, to how you set up meetings and structure ongoing communications — These are all important elements of your client experience.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when starting to map this out:
- How do you want clients to feel after meeting with you?
- How can you make it easy for clients to get in touch and book appointments?
- What do you want your follow-up processes to be?
These are just some of the questions to ask when defining your client experience. In your planning, think about companies you’ve had a great experience with—what can you learn from them?
We talked about Vision and Client Experience today, but your overall business plan helps you focus on all the key areas that are important to your business, such as:
- Identifying your ideal client
- Client segmentation
- Compliance and regulation
- And, outlining your business transition and continuity plans.
At Financial Horizons Group, we offer support and expertise for financial advisors.
Let’s keep talking. Visit TrustedAdvice.ca for more business ideas.