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Business Growth Strategy -

Self-Reflection

By Greg Gilbert, CFP®

CEO and President, Infinity Financial Services

Look Within and Consider What You Really Want

As the leader and owner of a national independent wealth management firm, I have a targeted business growth strategy. That strategy is centered on attracting and retaining a diverse and inclusive array of talented, diligent financial advisors who genuinely want to grow their practices. I seek FAs who are willing to do the groundwork to develop and implement a professional written business strategy of their own, perhaps the first they have created in their careers. This helps me to understand what drives them and inspires them to succeed, what success looks like to them and specifically, how they plan to achieve their goals. The planning process provides an opportunity for my managers and me to coach our advisors regarding best practices on everything from client communications to software choices to digital marketing.

According to Forbes, a Harvard goal-setting study found that the 3% of MBA graduates who wrote down their goals ended up earning ten times as much as the other 97% combined, just ten years after graduation. Advisors who plan effectively, reassess their businesses at each stage of growth, and adjust their goals as needed, tend to reap the most rewards.

  

Onboarded advisors are given a comprehensive, step-by-step program to develop the written business strategy ̶ the Infinity Financial Advisor Jump Start. They complete the program within their first 2 months with the firm. Step one in the process is self-reflection.

  

Advisors take time for self-reflection to evaluate their skills and expertise, personal and professional strengths and weaknesses, core values and beliefs, work ethic, and level of passion for achievement. Introspection can lead to valuable insights and breakthroughs. Being open to change is necessary for each advisor’ personal and professional growth.

To prepare for creating their Financial Advisor Practice Business Plan, we ask advisors to think about who they are and what they really want in their career and life. They reflect on these questions:

   

  • What special qualities and capabilities do you bring to your practice and client base?

  • Based upon your skills and personality, whom do you naturally attract as clients? (Young couples with children, business owners, divorcees, pilots, doctors, lawyers, corporate executives, sports figures, retirees, retirement plan sponsors, people of certain ethnicities or someone else?)

  • What are your personal and professional goals?

  • What does a successful financial advisor look like? Where does he/she go? How does he/she dress?

  • What are the specific characteristics of your ideal client?

  • Are those whom you naturally (easily) attract the type of clients you seek to grow your practice?

  • What is your definition of success and how do measure it?

  • What is your motivation to succeed? What gets you excited?

  • Are you a risk taker?

  • What has shaped you as a financial advisor?

  • Why did you take all your licensing and regulatory exams?

  • When did you make the decision to help clients build wealth?

  • Whose expertise do you count on when selecting investments for clients?

  • When does a prospect typically decide to buy from you?

  • How do you show that you care about client outcomes and are trustworthy?

  • Do you want to be a solo practitioner, or will you hire and manage a support staff?

  • Do you want to build an Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJ) and hire advisors to work for you?

  • What experience do you have in managing others?

  • Do you enjoy managing people and nurturing their careers?

  • How many hours will you work on your practice each week? How devoted are you to your work?

  • How will you work to balance your personal life and professional life?

  • How do you like to spend your time away from your practice?

  

There is no right or wrong way to self-reflect. Advisors can write in a journal or type on a PC; work alone or brainstorm with a colleague, mentor, coach, marketing consultant or partner; go for a walk, sit, stand, or ride a bike – whatever works best for them.  While this process may be a bit uncomfortable for some, it is an especially important first step toward ensuring that the business plan is written based upon a deep understanding of one’s self. 
If you are considering making a change from your current broker-dealer/RIA, I hope you will reach out to me.  For personalized assistance in considering affiliation options, please click here

Infinity Financial Services is a national, independent Investment and Wealth Management firm, founded with a vision: help enterprising financial professionals to grow truly independent, successful practices, leveraging leading-edge technologies and firm support. Based in Oakland, California, with branch offices around the U.S., Infinity's financial professionals offer an array of asset management, brokerage, insurance, financial planning, benefit plan, insurance, and risk management services. This article provides information for investment professionals. It is not intended for use by the general public.