“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” —Alan Lakein
]“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. —Yogi Berra
Your business plan defines where you want to go and how to get there. You can use the plan to monitor your progress, hold yourself accountable, and control your business’s fate. A written business plan forces you to review everything at once: your value proposition, marketing assumptions and plans, operations plan, financial plan, and staffing plan. A well-executed plan can deliver the results you promise yourself. Developing a business plan is an imperative!
Structure Your Wealth Management Team
The structuring of a wealth management team and business presents both challenges and opportunities. A well-run team will be:
- Achieve optimal workload and flow,
- Fully understand the value of their time, and
- Have a plan for long-term growth and sustainability.
- Turn Your Team From Managed Chaos to Calm and Effective
By studying many teams’ practices over the years, they fall into one of two categories: managed chaos or calm. With managed chaos, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. These teams have lots of meetings and lots of administrative work, the team leader is frequently traveling or in new client meetings, there is little scale in asset management, there is lots of trading and customization, and the feeling one gets is just overload.
When a team is calm, tasks and meetings are done much more deliberately because they are planned, efficient, and effective. These teams make time for strategizing, the quality of work is high, they have a proactive service model, clients are engaged, and each team member has a defined role.
What does your practice look like? Is it managed chaos or calm and effective?
Calmer teams are able to manage their time more effectively and efficiently because of 5 key factors.
- Advance planning.
- A very deliberate business plan.
- Decided who they want to work with and how many clients they can serve effectively.
- A clear service definition for exactly what they are going to provide for each client.
- A set of goals, strategies, tactics, and action plans.
Controlling the key variables of their desired target market(s), the number of clients, and their service commitments are critical. These teams do not have too many clients, they do not need to be over-reactive, disrupting their plans, and they don’t try to be all things to all clients.
Healthy business growth expectations begin with the business planning process.
A planned and well-run practice should be growing at 15 percent per year as measured by new clients, new assets, and new revenue. A normal practice will leak about 5 percent per year, with clients and assets leaving, so bringing in 15 percent per year of new business will help ensure that your practice is growing at 10 percent net per year. Using the rule of 72, the business should then double in size in seven years, assuming flat capital market returns. To achieve this level of growth a practice should have 20 percent of manpower focused on growth. Naturally, you can establish a higher growth goal for your business, which will impact your plans and your resource requirements.
Reach Your Goals With A Simplified Business Plan
A business plan is a tool for understanding how your business is put together and how to take it from where it currently is to where you want it to be in the next X years and how you plan to accomplish that.
If you Google “business plan,” you will get tens of millions of hits. A base business marketing and sales plan should include the following sections:
- A Review of Last Year (for perspective)
- Your Business Foundations (i.e., value proposition; ideal client profile, if unique; and target or niche markets)
- Goals (including any special or emphasis areas such as financial planning, insurance, etc.)
- Focus Areas
- a. Marketing and Sales Strategies and Tactics b. Service Strategies and Tactics, c. Operational
- Model Week/Time Blocking
- Marketing Calendar
- A 90-Day Action Plan
There is no question that without a plan for your business the odds are high that you will wind up somewhere, but it’s less likely that it will be where you had hoped!