5 New Year’s resolutions for financial advisors


Brent Willeford, Director – Internal Practice Development

Great Practice Solutions

It’s been said that ancient Babylonians were the first to make New Year’s resolutions some 4,000 years ago to hold themselves accountable for returning borrowed objects and paying their debts. Sounds like the Babylonians were on to an elementary version of financial planning. The premise of a New Year’s resolution is a basic one – a promise to improve one’s life. As an advisor with an abundance of commitments to others, perhaps it’s time to make one for yourself.

One of these New Year’s resolutions for financial advisors may help make 2020 your best year ever.

  1. Schedule time for yourself…now!

Schedule time off for vacations, long weekends, holidays, spa getaways, family commitments and mental health days. Make personal time a priority as the benefits are measurable and proven to help with productivity, mental clarity, work-life balance, focus and relationships. You can also look forward to other benefits like improved sleep and increased creativity. Who couldn’t use more of that?

  1. Make strategic planning a priority

This often-overlooked organizational management exercise provides a compass for business decisions and represents the foundation of your practice. It’s a place where you envision, identify and set key foundational elements – such as mission, vision and culture – and commit to pursuing them and upholding their integrity.

It becomes tangible within your business plan, where you’ll define how you want to do business and identify programs, timelines and milestones for your practice.

  1. Track your expenses

How do you know how your practice is doing if you don’t know what money is going out the door? Spending is a key component to your revenue and earnings goals. Make it a priority in 2020 by using a tool that tracks budget and expenses.

  1. Hope for the best, plan for the worst

You’ve put an immeasurable amount of time and effort into building a successful business. Take the time to draft a succession plan that outlines how to hand off your business to another advisor in an orderly fashion, not only upon your planned exit, but also in case of unexpected death or disability. A death & disability plan identifies benefits for beneficiaries in the case of a triggering event and helps maintain the continuity of the business; it also puts clients at ease knowing you’ve considered their best interest in the case of an unforeseen life event.

  1. Know your business

How well do you know the demographics of your clients, the breakdown of commissions by category, and what percentage of your revenue is recurring? Knowing and understanding the data of your practice is an obvious way to uncover opportunities within your current client base. Growth and improved efficiency could be right under your nose. Commit to learning and utilizing this critical data in your day-to-day operations and make sound business decisions based more on facts and less on speculation.

Resolve to enhance your business.

Our Great Practice Solutions program can help you explore opportunities for your new year.

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