New Year’s Resolutions for Advisors

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New Year’s Resolutions for Advisors

January 6, 2015

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by Beverly Flaxington

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Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Dear Bev,

I am asking everyone in my advisory firm to write down resolutions for 2015. I want to post these as motivation. As the owner of the firm, I know I need to do the same. What are some of the best resolutions advisors can make?

Kelly P.

Dear Kelly,

This is a great idea! If it works well, it can become a tradition at your firm. I am a fan of putting goals in writing and posting them as public commitments. My suggestions are based on the common areas for growth that I’ve seen in both firms and advisors. You might commit to:

  1. Open communication throughout the firm. If you are not doing so now, have regular meetings with prepared agendas so everyone knows what to expect and how best to prepare. To make the meetings most effective, elect a recorder and distribute written follow-up notes to everyone.
  2. Make sure all of your employees have written job descriptions and clear, written expectations for success. If you think you have them, review them and make sure they are updated and accurate. If you have not held semi-annual reviews of progress, institute those this year. Make them “real” though, not just rubber stamps.
  3. Focus on teambuilding. Your employees might work well together but there is always an opportunity to make collaboration a priority. Set a goal for the session and ask employees to work together to solve a problem that the firm has been facing.
  4. Hold investment sessions to teach all members of the firm about the market and the business. Even though your employees work in it and with it every day, there are always opportunities for new and deeper learning. Many people who work in this business don’t know the basic lingo and concepts. Focus on education and involvement for everyone on your team.
  5. Review your communication with clients on investment related topics. Make sure you are giving them enough information so they have a clear window into your process and how it impacts them. Many advisory firms don’t continue to educate and update clients about their process and investment trends.
  6. Review your succession plans. Whether you are 35 or 65 years old, as owner of the firm you need to have plans in place for emergencies and retirement. Take the time this year to create a clear plan. Work with both inside and outside resources to be sure it is objective and practical.
  7. Emphasize business building and growth. This includes a written sales plan outlining channels of focus and how you will support the growth efforts.

These are just some ideas for small and large commitments you could make for your firm. If you see something here that fits, great. If not, hopefully this list will give you additional ideas that might be right for you.

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