January 1 is still a ways away, but it will be here sooner than you think. Be ready for when the rest of 2018 zips past by starting your 2019 business planning today.
Thinking ahead about what’s next for your independent financial practice while having a few months to spare allows you time to mull over the details and revise your strategy as needed—and avoid rushing through it at the last minute. Spending time planning now allows you to fully internalize your goals and gain traction before the new year begins using the slower time at the end of the year.
One way you can start to plan is by establishing measurable goals and then building your strategy around them. A good framework for creating your goals is SMART: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Time-Bound.
Specific: Where do you want to focus your efforts? Perhaps you’re focused on prospecting for new clients, or adding a new service line, or increasing your professional acumen. Drill down into what you want to achieve by answering the who, what, where, when, and why of each goal. The clearer you can make your objective, the better.
Measurable: What does success look like? If you’re focused on client prospecting, a measurable goal could be “Bring on 10 new clients.” Or, if you’re looking to expand the advisory side of your practice, you could have a goal of “Increase advisory assets by 10%.” This gives you a more tangible, clear-cut target than simply “Attract more clients” or “Do more advisory business.”
Actionable: Can you actually complete this goal? Goals are meant to be a bit of a challenge, but you want to make sure that you’re being realistic and don’t get defeated in the process. If you’re a solo practitioner with a large book of business, having lunch with every client every month probably isn’t feasible. How are you defining your goals in a way that you can attain them?
Relevant: Does this make the most sense for your practice right now? How will it help you past 2019? What other factors may be standing in the way? If you want to gain new clients but don’t have the infrastructure in place to serve them well, you may want to shift your priorities to address those other challenges. Once those enhancements have been made, then you can move on to the primary goal of acquiring new clients in this year and beyond.
Time-Bound: When do you want to complete this goal? Set a firm date or time range by which you want to be finished. You can also build in specific milestone periods to make sure you’re on track. Going back to the 10 new clients example, you could break that up into smaller time-bound goals, like “Add two new clients in Q1” or “Add one new client per month.”
How are you planning for 2019?
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About Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.
Summit Brokerage Services is part of Cetera Financial Group. Summit Brokerage provides a broad range of securities brokerage and investment services to primarily individual investors. Summit Brokerage also sells insurance products, predominantly fixed and variable annuities and life insurance through its subsidiary, SBS Insurance Agency of Florida. Summit Brokerage also provides asset management services through its investment advisor, Summit Financial Group, Inc.
About Cetera Financial Group
Cetera Financial Group (Cetera®) is a leading network of independent firms empowering the delivery of professional financial advice to individuals, families and company retirement plans across the country through trusted financial advisors and financial institutions. Cetera is the second-largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, as well as a leading service provider to the investment programs of banks and credit unions.
Through its multiple distinct firms, Cetera offers independent and institutions-based advisors the benefits of a large, established broker-dealer and registered investment adviser, while serving advisors and institutions in a way that is customized to their needs and aspirations. Advisor support resources offered through Cetera include award-winning wealth management and advisory platforms, comprehensive broker-dealer and registered investment adviser services, practice management support and innovative technology. For more information, visit cetera.com.
“Cetera Financial Group” refers to the network of independent firms encompassing, among others, Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Investment Services (marketed as Cetera Financial Institutions), Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities and Summit Brokerage Services. All firms are members FINRA/SIPC.
All information herein has been prepared solely for informational purposes, and it is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any particular trading strategy.
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