Happy New Year! To help you start 2018 on the right foot, I thought I’d share some advice about getting advice — business advice, that is.
Although I’ve written this before, it seems that it can’t be repeated often enough: There is no secret to building a successful independent advisory firm.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t build a successful business, it simply means that there isn’t one formula for doing it.
Sure, there are some basic principles for growing businesses, but simply knowing the principles isn’t enough. You also must know when and how to apply them.
Part of this wisdom comes from experience. After you’ve observed enough businesses, you start to get an idea of what works under different circumstances.
You also come to realize that you never really know something until you try it. In other words, the key to building a successful advisory business isn’t a formula; it’s a process — a learning process.
That is, it’s a process of learning what works for your business, with your skills, your staff and your target clients, in your market — and doing so in accordance with your definition of success.
While this may sound complex, I’ve found that it really boils down to doing just three things:
1. Develop a process.
We all have our own ways of approaching problems and making decisions.
Whether it’s about adding a new service, entering a new market, hiring a new employee, or expanding our marketing efforts, it’s important for business owners and their staffs to develop a consistent process for making important decisions.
Some people are researchers and start by gathering as much information as they can about how others have approached similar challenges. Others are thinkers, who like to thoroughly consider a problem themselves before gathering outside information.