As you read this article, you are probably receiving a barrage of emails or phone calls offering you the next greatest marketing approach, sales/planning strategy or product to offer your clients.
Each promises to help grow your business, but at what cost to you and your clients? Often, these endeavors take you off track from what is working in your business and waste time and money in the process. How can advisors avoid some of the pitfalls?
For starters, before making any decisions, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Will the new approach make me more efficient at generating leads to grow my business, provide better service to my clients, or improve the way in which I communicate with my clients?
2. Does the new idea replace something I am already doing? Or will it supplement current marketing activities?
3. How does the new approach fit into my overall business plan, and where does it fall within my short-term and long-term goals?
4. What is the cost of the new idea, and at what point will it become a profitable endeavor for my business? We tend to overlook the true costs of chasing something new. These costs extend beyond marketing or software costs. They can include the opportunity costs — the time and money that could have been invested in activities better suited to your business plan. There is also one cost we must consider but often overlook — the loss of a client. Distracting new endeavors can consume too much of your time and affect your ability to provide the level of service your clients have come to expect.
Before you make any decisions, ask yourself the four key questions, take time to think through your choices and get a second opinion. The most successful advisors have a business plan and set goals to help keep them on track. Many also have a business consultant or colleague they trust — someone to share ideas with and help them make important decisions for their business. Finally, do your own due diligence. Research advisors who have had past success with the approach, software or idea you’re considering and learn from them.