Consider the reasons you decided to become an independent financial advisor. Did you want to be your own boss? Address a client need that you felt was going unfilled? Desire more freedom regarding your paycheck and your schedule?
I recently gave a presentation on How to Become a Millionaire Advisor as part of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors' (NAIFA) Annual Conference in Las Vegas to discuss why so many advisors fail to meet their goals and what they can do to stop running a cash-on-cash business and start creating a self-sustaining business.
Often, entrepreneurs get wrapped up in the daily responsibilities of their organizations, looking no further down the road than the next day, week or month. They are constantly in reaction mode, responding to whatever task is immediately in front of them and avoiding the decisions and actions that could advance the company and put it in a higher operating bracket. This creates vulnerabilities for a company and stymies any potential for growth and development. It also distracts you from addressing other threats to your organization, including the ever-changing regulatory and compliance requirements, encroaching competitors and a still-uncertain economy.
Are you running in place?
If you feel you are always pressed for time, operating without enough resources or help from support staff, and often questioning how long your cash will continue to flow, it is certainly time to step back and focus on changing your mindset. This is the prerequisite for overhauling your entire business and establishing a framework with which you can grow and add value to your business.
Defining your brand will provide greater insight about what you need to do to accomplish your goals. There are three components to a brand: relevance, differentiation, and sustainability. What kind of client do you need to serve to generate higher revenues? What value proposition and what price will you have to offer in order to attract that kind of client? Consider the characteristics that differentiate you from the competition, and decide how you will communicate these relevant and unique factors to establish new client relationships.
Pay attention to your current business processes, such as how you find, attract, and communicate with clients. Are these replicable? You will need to create processes that are sustainable in order to build your brand.
You may think that taking the time to answer these questions would be better served trying to sign that new client. But that kind of short-sightedness is exactly why it seems there is never enough time in the day. You may feel stuck at an income level that you hoped would be higher. As I noted in my presentation, by building a scaffolding of brand and process strategy, you can raise your business to new heights.