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Passionate about your business

Quote of the week

Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.

Henry David Thoreau

Quote of the week

Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

George Bernard Shaw

Quote of the week

You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.

Christopher Columbus

Quote of the week

The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.”

Vince Lombardi

Quote of the week

Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.”

Vesta Kelly

Quote of the week

Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.”

John Madden

Quote of the week

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.

Maya Angelou

Is your success deliberate?

Established financial advice and planning firms are now discovering the importance of taking a disciplined approach to the way they manage their business.

If you cannot have impact in a first meeting, for example, there are others who can.

The following questions have should help you to identify whether you have a consistent, repeatable process for thinking about where you are heading and staying ahead of your peers and competitors. How many of them are true for your business?

  1. I have a quarterly strategic plan, against which I manage the business. (As opposed to ticking a To-Do list, reacting to the Inbox or just responding to opportunities as I go along)
  2. My diary is organised so that each work-week contains three time-zones: delivery to clients, business-development and admin. (As opposed to trying to do everything all the time)
  3. There is a “keep-in-touch” system that replenishes the pipeline. (As opposed to random calls, disappearing into client work, or waiting for the right moment)
  4. I take specific measures to develop enhanced services and differentiate the business from other providers. (As opposed to hoping that clients don’t shop around)
  5. I have tested the extent to which clients value the services I provide with key people to make sure they are relevant and helpful.   (As opposed to being seduced by my own story or wisdom)
  6. There is a proven marketing and sales process that brings quality clients, and is constantly being refined. (As opposed to waiting, hoping or relying on someone else)
  7. When I am in front of a prospective client, I take them through a structured dialogue that adds value to their thinking and reframes their needs. (As opposed to being interviewed by them)
  8. I am able to get from a first- to a second- meeting (As opposed to offering to write a proposal, and/or never hearing from them again)
  9. When confronted with hesitant clients, I have developed techniques to “get them off the fence”  (As opposed to waiting, following-up, or being passive)
  10. Whether paid or unpaid, there is a support team to whom support-tasks can be delegated (As opposed to doing everything myself)
  11. There is a regime of monthly financial control, and adequate financial reserves to withstand six-months of downtime. (As opposed to constant worry, hope or daily panic about cash-flow)
  12. Fees: I enjoy above-average remuneration, coupled with clear-cut reasons why my clients are willing to pay these rates (As opposed to “my many years of experience”)
  13. I am close to top colleagues, who inspire me to raise my game (As opposed to being stuck in a comfort-zone, bored, isolated, unknown or only learning from others who are also struggling)
  14. My own business-planning and behaviour is challenged monthly (at least), just as it would be at board-level in a large company. (As opposed to being stuck in a rut)

If you can honestly tick all of the above statements, then you have achieved a level of sustainable success to be proud of. Well done.

If you can tick most of the above (10+); then you may wish to challenge yourself a bit more: particularly between Q4-Q9. Why delay resolution of the remaining issues?

Every year is precious, and there is a huge difference between scoring 10 and scoring 14. In short, life at 14 is a lot easier than at 8.

If you scored less than 10 and are still reading this with an open mind, then you have courage. Many advisers and planners find a reason to avoid confronting the reality of their situation, or they procrastinate and delay over doing something about it.

Or they look for a “magic-wand”.

Hope isn’t a strategy. Things don’t just happen. They are made to happen. How are you making things happen in your business?

Quote of the week

At first, dreams seem impossible, then improbable, then inevitable.

Christopher Reeve

Quote of the week

The time is always right to do what is right.

Martin Luther King Jr