Four Imperatives You Must Embrace to Achieve Sustainable Growth in Your Practice
As you might already know, the key to achieving sustainable growth in a financial advisory practice is to focus on your core business of business development and client management. From a practice management standpoint, that requires developing business processes that enable you and your team to gain greater efficiencies while increasing productivity by doing more with less. In other words, turning your practice into a well-oiled machine.
But what about you? As the guiding force of your practice, what are you doing individually to ensure its sustainable growth? Business processes are essential for scaling your business and expanding its capacity for growth. But there are certain things only you can do to drive its growth.
Here are four imperatives financial advisors must embrace to achieve sustainable growth for themselves and their businesses.
#1. Strive for constant self-improvement
Financial advisors who don’t find ways to constantly improve themselves are falling behind their competitors who do. You may think you have some edge that differentiates you today, but it will soon vanish unless you continuously sharpen, elevate it, or create a new advantage. The advisory industry is changing at digital speed. New technologies are ushering in innovations in planning, investment management, client management, and business development.
Client attitudes and expectations are rapidly evolving. If you’re not constantly working on becoming the advisor they want, they will find one who is. Studies show clients want to work with advisors who genuinely understand their goals and why they’re important to them.
Are you working enough to master your soft skills to become the advisor clients want to open up to and trust on a personal level? Are you spending enough time honing your expertise and thought leadership to differentiate yourself? Are you working on developing essential work habits to increase your prospecting, calling, and selling successes?
The whole idea of creating self-sustaining business processes is to allow you more time to work on yourself.
#2. Master the art of delegation
Implementing business processes lends itself naturally to delegating functions and tasks to others so that you can focus entirely on your core competencies and activities that lead directly to revenues and profits. But, you have to be willing and able to give up control and abandon the ill-fated notion that if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself, which is nonsense.
It’s impossible to grow your practice or as an individual if you’re bogged down in non-revenue-generating functions that can be outsourced or performed by trained staff. If you’re not spending at least 80% of your time on revenue-generating tasks such as marketing, prospecting, and client engagement, you won’t be able to sustain your or your practice’s growth.
#3. Narrow your focus
It may sound counterintuitive, but you can’t achieve sustainable growth by casting too wide a net searching for prospects. Sure, you may see more people, but how many match your profile of an ideal client? Advisors who try to be everything to everybody cap their revenue potential because they spend too much time and energy on less productive clients.
When you concentrate your efforts and resources on a clearly defined target market or niche, you can leverage your expertise to become a unique brand and authority that can attract attention from the right prospects. You suddenly become more referable among people with whom you actually want to serve and around which you can achieve sustainable growth.
4. Focus on creating an exceptional client experience
If you focus on nothing else in your practice, creating an exceptional experience for your clients could be enough to achieve sustainable growth. Of course, that could be challenging if you don’t concentrate on improving yourself as a communicator or delegating enough to allow you to focus on your clients or, more narrowly tailoring the client experience to appeal to your ideal client.
Your greatest challenge as a financial advisor seeking sustainable growth is differentiation—or lack thereof. Clients are in the driver’s seat, and they expect nothing less than excellence from their advisors. But if excellence is the standard, the only way to differentiate yourself is by being exceptional in all facets of your business.
You start becoming exceptional when you understand that the profit is not in your client transactions but in your client relationships—and recognize that your clients don’t want to be treated as another account. They want to feel special and that you genuinely care about their well-being. Build a client experience around that, and you’ll grow forever.
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