If you work hard as a financial advisor, you’ll likely reach some level of success. Yet, you may not reach your highest potential, and you may experience a lot of frustration if your only strategy is working as many hours as you can. This might feel as if you’re constantly running on a treadmill. If, however, you create and execute a thoughtful business strategy, you can multiply your success with intention and with a lot less frustration.
Business strategies are important to all of us, whether you’ve been a financial advisor for a year or 25 years. A strategy that you look at once and stick in a drawer for a year and forget about won’t do anyone any good either. You need to execute the plan for it to work.
Let’s say you’ve never done a business plan before. That’s fine. You need to start somewhere. So go online and do a search, find a boilerplate or templated business strategy, and start filling it in. Even if you’re not sure what you’re doing at first, that’s OK. Look at the plan and think about how you’ll start taking the first one or two steps of your plan. And then do it. That is when that plan starts to become reality.
Next year, when you’re reviewing your old plan, your first thought might be, “Wow. I really didn’t know what I was doing.” You did something, though, because you improved your business from this point to the next point — and that shows success. Look at what you did that worked.
And success isn’t always about money. It could be how you improved your craft or your marketing position, for example. The plan should become part of your work culture.
It’s important to look at where you are today and then where you’d like to be in a year. Just working hard and hoping somehow you’ll do something that makes you successful isn’t a business strategy or a plan. Look at what specific actions brought you success as you define it.
A business plan shows you what you did to achieve a little bit more in your business. So, even if your first business plan is not great, you’ll still have some success simply because you did something. And if you take a plan that is getting better every year and you’re great at executing it, just think how much better your business is going to be.
Nobody is successful when their business looks like a roller coaster with multiple ups and downs from unsteady production. What you’re aiming for is a business model that shows your business gradually and steadily increasing.
You don’t want a business that rockets up rapidly like a shooting star either. If you shoot up like a star, I guarantee you a lot of clients aren’t going to stick with you because you missed something along the way that’s important to them. If you have a business that steadily increases, you’ll retain more clients as you make sure you keep doing what’s important for your clients. And that’s what you want to build your success on.
Slow and steady success comes from executing an ever-evolving and improving business plan on which you can build a strong foundation and a career you can be proud of.
Robert Abbate, of Henrico, Virginia, USA, is an 18-year MDRT member. In 2016, he formed The Abbate Agency, which has grown to eight locations. See more from him on this topic in his video “How a business strategy multiplies success.”
For more ideas about creating a business plan and a strategy, read: