"Resolutions" written on a piece of notebook paper (Image: Wikimedia Commons Public Domain) (Image: Wikimedia Commons PD) new

In an effort to help advisors achieve their 2019 goals, the Financial Planning Association produced a white paper that incorporates best tactics from their top business coaches. The paper, “Business and Career Ideas for 2019,” covers key areas of advisor interest that include marketing, team development, compliance and cybersecurity.

With the help of seven FPA coaches, common themes emerged:

The importance of assessment: This means being honest about where you currently are in the business and how you got there, which will provide a basis for where you want to go.

Considering your clients point of view:  Coach Mike Byrnes recommends advisors put themselves in their clients’ shoes and ask, “What’s in it for me?” Understanding what you do and how it benefits your clients is important to success.

Define your larger vision: Day-to-day minutiae can bog down the most organized advisor. Instead, write down your vision and refer to it often to keep making progress toward it.

Plan for productivity: Force yourself to be proactive, instead of always reacting.

Don’t set it and forget it: Everyone makes resolutions and stops there. Don’t fall into that trap. Schedule time to review your goals and made adjustments throughout the year to achieve them.

Getting One-on-One Advice

Each of the seven coaches have their own guidance tips. Here are a few from the paper, which goes into detail on their recommendations:

Growth: Mike Byrnes, Byrnes Consulting

Some core business growth strategies include taking these five steps, Byrnes says:

1) Think differently. How will you differentiate you/your firm in the future?

2) Set layers of goals. Break big goals into parts that are easier to achieve.

3) Define owners. Everyone should understand their role.

4) Define metrics for success. Determine performance indicators and keep regular tabs.

5) Make improvements. Learn from mistakes and evolve.

Cybersecurity: Brian Edelman, FCI Inc.

Here are key points on how to prepare for cyber threats in the new year:

1) Use multi-factor authentication.

2) Employ data loss and prevention tools.

3) Have a printed cybersecurity policy and do practice drills.

4) Build a cyber dream team.

5) Make sure you have documented cybersecurity evidence, especially for proof for regulators.

Marketing: Susan and Adam Kornegay, Pathfinder Strategic Solutions Inc.

A good way to accomplish your goals is to fill up your marketing calendar. Here are some ways to make that happen:

1) Deepen and expand your relationships with existing clients. Make dates for specific social and client advisory board meetings.

2) Build relationships with “centers of influence” in your community by setting up meetings with your clients’ tax and legal advisors.

3) Meet new people. Attend community, charitable or networking events.

4) Design and implement a process for promoting referrals from your clients.

5) Develop and implement a series of classes or workshops.

6) Improve your web presence. Learn social media and use it.

Other FPA coaches discuss how to build your team by attracting and retaining the right people, specific self-assessment ideas, and other career building and personal growth.