Just one question should be dominating practitioners minds at this stage of the year:
How will this year be better?
HOW is the critical word here.
Advisers are usually great at setting goals and targets. They are great at analysing and doing the numbers that tell them what activity at the same performance ratio’s are required to hit the new BHAG.
But “how” that big audacious goal is going to be achieved is often smoothed over in the planning with a “we’ll just work harder and be more focused” type of mindset.
Sure, you can run harder while doing the same things and it is likely that you will get better results. But running harder is exhausting eventually, even for those with great work ethic and stamina. And let’s face it; everyone has already been running harder just to get the same results for the last couple of years…so how much harder can you – or should you – run?
There are lots of things a practice can improve or do better to get better results around increasing efficiency or client engagement or managing margins. These are all well worth thinking about and executing improvements or upgrades. They will help the capital value of the firm and probably the profitability. But they are rarely “game changers” that lead to a break-through year of growth. In fact the constant search for efficiencies shoiuld be just that anyway; a constant search.
Nailing the strategic issue of “how you will standout” from the market is the game changer for most professional practices. Refining and distilling the value proposition and competitive position of the practice, and then figuring out how that message and positioning is going to get to the target market audience in greater volumes and with greater resonance will lead to a much better year.
To have a much better year ahead than the years that have been smart practitioners will concentrate on understanding how to stand out in todays crowded and noisy market place.
Where are you competing, and how are you going to win in that space?
They are the underlying questions that will determine a “better” year, and a “better” future.
Related: When Social Media Marketing Sucks