An advisory firm owner I work with recently got upset, because she didn’t feel I was focused enough on helping her get her “wants and desires” met through her business. Sadly, this isn’t an uncommon occurrence.
It’s hard to run a business. What many owners don’t understand is that building a successful advisory business is about finding the right balance between their needs and the needs of their business. It’s my job to help them find that balance.
This wants/desires imbalance commonly appears after owner advisors have built a successful business, are growing it and then decide it’s “payback” time.
This is when they start taking more money out of the firm and spending money on things that don’t really improve the business (like new furniture, better office space, more travel, appearances at conferences to talk about themselves and their success, etc.). It’s at this point that the business becomes all about an owner’s needs, instead of the other way around.
At the same time, owners often want to “grow their way out” of declining profitability by spending even more money on increased marketing or methods to attract new clients. Of course, getting current spending under control first is a much wiser step to take.
It’s when they are experiencing these pain points that owner advisors call our consulting firm. And we remind them that all this new spending has consequences that can (and probably will) affect the future of their business.
This also is when the dominoes can start falling down quickly in the wrong direction.