I’m celebrating 20 years as a consul- tant to financial advisors this year, and I’ve learned a lot about how torun a successful advisory firm in thosetwo decades.
My own success has taught me somethings, but much of what I’ve learnedcomes from observing how some of theindustry’s best advisors grew their companies. These businesses understoodhow to define success, and they did soby answering five key questions.
In fact, when we talk about successwith our clients, we often come back tothe same five questions. No matter howlong we’ve worked together, those fivequestions help guide our clients to thedecisions on how to direct their advisory business.
It’s important to come back to thesame questions, because consistencyhelps advisory firm owners assess ifthey’ve altered their own definition ofsuccess. If the benchmarking process isthe same but the answers are different,we know change needs to happen in theleadership of the business.
When an owner’s definition of successchanges, their culture often changes along with it. And keep in mindthat the wealth management industryis changing rapidly — moving awayfrom what it’s been for decades. Whenyou find yourself in a rapidly changing environment, culture can make orbreak a firm.
Unfortunately, many leaders don’t
realize they’ve changed — and as a
result, they don’t realize they have to
change their firm culture to continue
to align with their definition of success.
With that said, these are the fivequestions to ask when you need todefine what success means to you.Hopefully, these questions will help youcelebrate and recalibrate your effortsgoing forward.
1. WHAT KIND OF SERVICE DO YOU
WANT TO PROVIDE CLIENTS?
Why do advisors decide to leavethe comfort and safety of regularemployment to start their own businesses? Largely because they have adesire to work with their clients in aspecific way.
Their old employer, for whateverreason, didn’t give them the flexibilityto provide client support in the waythey thought was best, so they starteda business to give themselves that control. Even though many advisors offersimilar services, each advisor gets todecide on the unique way they deliverthese services.
Understanding the kind of client service you want to provide is the first stepto knowing what direction works bestfor your unique talents.
2. WHAT KIND OF WORKING
ENVIRONMENT DO YOU WANT?
A working environment can alsobe described as a firm’s culture.Everything about how a companyoperates can impact its culture, fromhow much vacation time employees getto the expectations for working hourseach day.
As a business leader, you need to
5 Questions to Help You Define Success
After 20 years of working with advisors, I’ve learned how the best advisorsguide their businesses. Here are some of their secrets.
When we talk aboutsuccess with ourclients, we often comeback to the same fivequestions. … [which]help guide our clientsto the decisions forhow to direct theiradvisory business.
THE FAST TRACK
By Angie Herbers