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Practice Management > Building Your Business

When Your Team Is Overwhelmed, Hit Reset

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What You Need to Know

  • Advisory firms that go back to basics will be able to handle their problems and move forward.
  • Your firm should continually emphasize its core values; they should guide your decisions in every area.
  • Now is the perfect time to evaluate your firm's successes and opportunities.

 Advisory firm owners and leaders have to deal with a lot at once. Right now, the many changes in the industry and global challenges might even make it seem there’s too much to handle at any given moment.

We’re experiencing record turnover as remote work has made it easier (and more attractive) for advisors to find new employers; skyrocketing valuations are making M&A growth difficult for firms that aren’t institutionally scaled; the reopening of the economy is happening as we’re still dealing with the new strains of COVID-19; and summer break is shuffling schedules and personnel as employees all need a respite after a tough period. 

As firm owners look for ways to deal with all these issues concurrently, they are asking one question: How do I balance everything that is coming at me?

Advisors who understand how to hit reset and come back to their core values will be able to answer that question and move forward. The ones who keep pressing and pushing against that towering wall of problems will inevitably burn out.

Here’s how to achieve balance as you seek ways to keep your firm moving, while the world seems to be pushing against you.

Back to Basics

Achieving balance and responding well to any challenge require that you go back to the basic business principles that you used to start your firm.

Ask yourself two questions to start on the right path: What are my company’s core values? And what can we do better?

The first question is one that often gets asked when an advisory firm is first established and gets touched on again when a consultant is brought in to manage growth problems. 

But any healthy business needs to place a continual emphasis on its core values; They should always be in front of you, guiding all of your decisions. 

When you lose sight of the values that you want at the center of your culture, your culture can easily slip. Once the culture slips, your employees become directionless and client service suffers. 

Thankfully, it’s a problem that you know how to solve. Continually returning to your core values provides a sense of direction and purpose and allows you to be deliberate about your growth.

The second question — what can I do better? — can be answered in different ways for every firm. 

The key here is that once you’ve reestablished your focus, it’s time to look over your key business metrics to see where your trend lines are faltering instead of growing. As you identify the areas that aren’t up to par, you want to tie what you’re doing back to your vision and values. 

If you aren’t succeeding in a particular area, it’s likely because there’s a lack of focus relative to your firm’s goals. Be intentional about why that part of your business matters and take immediate steps to give it the importance it deserves.  

Resets Can Happen at Any Time

We often think of these types of business planning questions as seasonal. It’s natural to use the end of the year as a planning period to reset your focus for the year ahead.

It may not seem natural to reset your business plan in the middle of the summer, but right now is a perfect time to evaluate your successes and opportunities. Humans can only maintain focus for so long before we need to remind ourselves what we’re pursuing. 

Now that we’re in the middle of the year, your attention and focus has likely waned from when you set out your 2021 goals in December or January. Take a fresh look at your values and improvement areas, and you’ll find you have a higher capacity to deal with issues both inside and outside your organization’s four walls.