It’s easy for owner advisors to make mistakes as they work on growing their businesses. Focusing too much on “making money” is on that list.
Based on e-mails I receive about this topic and advisor owners who raise the issue with me when I first meet them, it’s worth further discussion.
Of course, many owner advisors find it counter-intuitive when I tell them that to make more money, they should really focus on the non-revenue side of the businesses.
This is because — unlike with businesses that just sell products — advisory firms provide largely intangible services to clients; in this case, financial services.
If your focus is on “making more money,” then you’ll tend to focus less on servicing your existing clients and more on adding new ones. This means, of course, that you aren’t improving services for your current clients.
Ironically, we find that owners who focus on growing this way (i.e., making more money) generally increase their businesses more slowly and make less money than those who shift their attention to improving client services.
It’s best for owner advisors to focus on firm culture rather than on growth as a way to genuinely and sustainably grow the business.
When you shift your firm’s culture away from growth and toward service, good things happen. For instance, your employees — and partners — will shift their focus from their compensation to your mission of good client service.
Yes, the business is based on providing financial services, but the broader goal is expanding your clients’ happiness and peace of mind. This will trickle down to your employees — moving them away from a mentality that’s overly focused on growth and making more money to one founded on purpose, happiness and value.