All the business books I love recommend working in 90-day cycles.
It’s enough time to set a reasonably meaty objective and to achieve it, while still doing business as usual at the same time.
The recommendation is that you set between three and seven goals each quarter (and less is more, so three or four is fine for most small businesses). These goals are important projects that will make your business better and are in addition to whatever financial targets you might set for the quarter and your business as usual client work.
When I’m working with adviser-owners in either a formal course setting or in my individual consulting work, I’m often asked what other firms are doing right.
Rest assured, I don’t give away any proprietary secrets. The truth is what makes some business owners great is almost never related to tricks or secrets anyway.
Here are the seven traits I see in dealing with adviser-owners who are turning their business from good to great:
In business it’s all about the results.
We live in a world where the outcome is what people want to know, and nothing matters more.
Except that when you really start to look at what matters, it seems there are plenty of other contenders for the crown in terms of what matters most to your business.
Being a trusted member of your community
Well ok, maybe being a trusted member of your community matters more than financial results.
Finding great team members is often referred to as ‘the war for talent’, and with good reason.
Have you tried hiring a paraplanner lately? Not only are you competing against market forces (as there aren’t enough of them), but the outsourced paraplanning firms are growing and hiring, and they offer some pretty attractive benefits, such as home-based working.
Attracting and retaining great people is one of the keys to building your business. In my consulting work I spend more time on this issue than almost any other.
For most advisers the part of the job they love best is giving great advice to clients.
However, as the business grows and becomes more successful they can find themselves doing less and less advising and more and more ‘management stuff.’
The end result is a mass of frustration as they end up doing both advice and management roles in an unsatisfactory way.
If this is you right now, let me put your mind at rest; you’re not a miracle worker. No one can perform both these roles well at the same time. It’s not possible.
A poor customer service experience can leave you feeling a bit miffed and unappreciated as a customer or potential customer.
I seem to be highly attuned to my own customer service interactions as a business consultant, for two reasons. Firstly, these interactions often provide great real-world examples of how to do, or not do, things in a business. That can be useful when I’m trying to convey a message to clients I’m working with.