In helping owner advisors build their businesses, we’ve noticed that many tend to fall into some predictable behavior patterns that prevent them from attaining their goals. Probably the most predictable — and damaging — mistake occurs in strategic planning.
Here’s the problem: The term “strategic planning” doesn’t include any reference to actually implementing the “plan.” As most financial advisors tend to be “planners” by nature, firm owners tend to overemphasize their focus on the strategic plan.
But no matter how well you “plan” for any situation, the reality will involve more problems than you anticipated.
This means that in building a business, view your strategic plan as only a starting place — a collection of ideas that you “think” might improve your business, and a rough outline of the order in which they might be most successfully implemented.
But the key to your success — or failure — will be your ability to monitor the implementation of the plan, and make changes to it, as some aspects will turn out better or worse than you expected.
We suggest following these five steps to successfully implement your goals:
1. Assess where your business is now.
If you don’t know where every facet of your business is today, it will be difficult to make successful improvements. You can’t fix it if you don’t know what’s broken.
We find that owner advisors are often so excited about creating and implementing a new strategic plan that they don’t want to take the time and effort to shore up existing areas of their business that are holding them back.
Be sure that your business is good at what it currently does — before your start adding more for it to do.
2. Identify “key” employees involved in implementing your strategic plan and meet regularly with them as a group.