As COVID-19 has changed the way businesses operate, I’ve seen an interesting trend develop at advisory firms so far this year. Advisor owners are bursting at the seams with ideas for what they want to change and how they want to work in the future.
Those ideas are getting written down, and in many cases they’re quite good and truly innovative. Advisors are coming up with new ways to connect with clients in virtual environments, focusing more on succession planning and putting more thought toward partnership tracks for their most motivated employees.
But an idea written down on a piece of paper is simply something you know. On its own, it’s non-operational. Until you put it into practice and see how well it actually works, it doesn’t do your firm any good.
Those ideas have to transition from the “knowing” stage to the “doing” stage and become operational. To help you get there, I suggest these measures to get past the idea stage and start executing on the good ideas you’ve developed during the pandemic.
Don’t Do This
Because so many advisors are planners, they tend to stick with what they know best — planning.
Usually that means writing down a goal and setting up a plan for how to implement that goal, what steps are necessary to achieve it, and identifying where their firm is now and where they want to be in the future.
The harsh reality, though, is that in most cases you can’t plan out a service-based idea simply by sitting down and strategically developing it. We are not selling a product here, say a t-shirt, that has to be created prior to selling.
In a professional services business, spending too much time on planning can end up getting in the way of action and being nothing more than a waste of time.
Do Take These 4 Steps
The foundation of a great service-based business is service to clients. If you want to serve your clients better, you can’t plan your way there. The only way to truly understand the effectiveness of your ideas is to start doing them and collect data on their success.
Get out of the planning stage and into the doing stage with these four steps:
1. Narrow down your ideas
The reality is that you have a lot of ideas. However, you need to narrow that list down to one idea that you want to get operational.
Also, you don’t have to plan out the entire process right now and have a roadmap built out for six months into the future.