The Whiteboard: goal-setting goes beyond AUM and January is the perfect time to set out expectations for your practice
It’s the beginning of a new year and with that comes goals, hopes and aspirations. For advisors, this generally means new goals for growth for the coming year but as they say, goals without a plan are just a dream. So, what are your targets for growth for this year?
Recently, I went through a strategic planning process for my business where I looked at where I wanted the business to be in 10, five, three and one year. I go through this process along with some of my key business partners every year because I feel it helps us to filter down what it is we are trying to accomplish and then get into the details on how we are going to do it.
I also believe that by putting your goals onto paper, physically writing them down, that it sends a message to not only others in your organization but also yourself, that this is important and you are committed to it. For me, it makes sense to start with the long term and work backwards because I’m more of a big-picture thinker and I need to see that before I can get into the nitty gritty details. It’s important that you find a process that works for you when it comes to setting your goals but I do believe that it’s always a good idea to have one eye on the horizon so you can set expectations for where you want to be in the future.
For each time period I listed seven goals that I wanted to achieve, highlighted the actions I was willing to do to get there and the reward I would give myself or my stakeholders if we achieved it. I could write an entire post on just goal-setting but just to conclude this section I would encourage you to set growth goals that go beyond just assets under management. Market growth is a great advantage we have in our industry but it can also lead to a false sense of expansion in your business. If you are truly interested in building sustainable growth, I would suggest that you need to measure new client relationships and new assets under management coming in. In our business we are aiming for 17% annual growth in these areas.
Once your goals are set and you know where you would like your business to be in the future, how are you going to get there? I think that one of the biggest challenges advisors face in building a growth plan is that they will try something for a few months but give up on it when it doesn’t bear fruit in the short term. This is a mistake. Most marketing strategies can take a year or two before they gain full momentum and so you need to go in with a long-term mindset. This is also why it’s so important to try a number of different strategies at the same time. Some initiatives will work out earlier than others but remember that they are all working together and building your brand recognition. At Endeavour Wealth Management we employ a multi-strategy approach to new client and asset acquisition. Currently we are running campaigns which include the following:
- Digital marketing – social media presence and advertising;
- Cold calling – yes, we still have cold callers and admittedly it’s a low-percentage strategy, but it is still cost effective;
- Seminars – both educational and fun events;
- Referrals – our greatest source for new business has easily been referrals from both clients and centers of influence;
- Advisor acquisition – probably the greatest opportunity for large incremental growth, especially in the next decade, will be book acquisition. It’s important to have a strategy around aligning yourself with like-minded advisors in the industry.
At the end of the day, acquiring new business is all about activity. The more activity you are doing, as long as you are strategic about it, the more growth you will see. Depending on what type of practice you want to run in the future, having the right team members in the right roles will also be critical in staying committed to your growth plan.
Consistent and sustainable growth is one of the most difficult things to accomplish in our industry. It takes time and discipline to do it effectively but if achieved, you will have true freedom in your business and likely in your life.
If you have developed successful strategies I would love to hear your ideas and, in turn, if you are looking for ideas on how you can achieve consistent growth, please reach out and I will be happy to share our playbook.
Grant White is a Portfolio Manager/Investment Advisor at Endeavour Wealth Management with Industrial Alliance Securities Inc, an award-winning office as recognized by the Carson Group. Together with his partners he provides comprehensive wealth management planning for business owners, professionals and individual families.
This information has been prepared by Grant White who is a Portfolio Manager/Investment Advisor for Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. Opinions expressed in this article are those of the Portfolio Manager/Investment Advisor only and do not necessarily reflect those of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.