It’s Groundhog Day — Punxsutawney Phil says to expect more winter — which is a reminder of the movie of the same name.
Like the movie “Groundhog Day,” where weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) is trapped in a time loop, many small or family-run businesses can repeat the same planning mistakes over and over, according to Jim King, who is an owner and wealth manager at Balasa Dinverno Foltz.
“If you’re [a business] owner and have been doing things the same way year after year, maybe it’s time you made some changes — before the next Groundhog Day rolls around,” according to King.
King leads the commercial insurance professionals practice group at Balasa Dinverno Foltz, a wealth management firm in Chicago with more than $3 billion under management.
In working with insurance professionals, King has found five planning tips to be the most consistent areas for improvement for them — advice that also translates well to wealth management owners or any business owner.
“[O]wners need to slow down and reflect on what their long-term vision is for themselves, their [business], and their family,” King said in an email to ThinkAdvisor.
Here is King’s list of five tasks that can help build value in any business practice:
1. Get your house in order.
When helping clients is the main priority of a business, King’s advice is to not fail in addressing your own business needs.
“For instance, do you have noncompete agreements for your top producers? Do you have a shareholder agreement for the owners? Do you have a succession plan? What would happen if one of the owners died or was divorced?” King explains.
Business owners need to systematically review and address all of the risks of running a business.
2. Focus on what you’re good at.
According to King, successful business owners concentrate on what they do well and delegate what they don’t do well.
“Create a dedicated management team with well-defined roles,” King advises. “Put standard operational procedures in place. Then hold people accountable. That will free you up to do what you do best.”
3. Grow your business.