As we accelerate into the second half of 2023, it’s an opportune time to glean insights from recurring obstacles that hinder well-intentioned advisors from moving forward and achieving their desired business outcomes.
Many advisors express a sincere desire for a particular type of practice; whether they are seeking scale, growth, or a lifestyle practice, certain entrenched business practices often create a roadblock that prevents them from reaching their goals.
Considering these challenges, here are some of the most common roadblocks faced by successful advisors:
1. Lack of commitment to creating a high-level plan:
Real change requires crafting a comprehensive plan and dedicating time to this essential task. In our discussions with successful advisors, we often find that their busy schedules prevent them from devoting the necessary time to design a high-level plan. Consequently, this lack of commitment hampers their ability to make significant changes and progress toward their goals.
2. An inadequate grasp of the big picture due to a lack of helpful technology or other tools:
Advisors may need help to locate all their assets, understand revenue generation sources, or identify unprofitable clients. The difficulty in generating reports with this vital information exacerbates the problem. This challenge may be due to insufficient knowledge or limited time to harness technology effectively, or it may stem from a need for more suitable tools to streamline reporting, customer relationship management (CRM), billing, and other crucial processes.
3. Absence of documented processes:
Tightly documented processes are essential for business analysis and compliance. Advisors who maintain assets in various locations or utilize different investments for different clients must have thorough documentation to explain these decisions. Firms need to document their selection, ongoing research processes, and their rationale for investing in specific options for some clients while omitting them for others. Establishing a true, repeatable, documented investment philosophy and process can lead to a highly efficient and scalable practice, which advisors can facilitate using model portfolios.
4. Reliance on outdated business models that no longer serve their needs:
Many advisors continue operating in ways established years ago, despite recognizing that these methods are no longer beneficial or aligned with their current business requirements. For example, advisors may persist in sending quarterly reports or holding quarterly client meetings, even when such routines no longer prove necessary or advantageous. Similarly, fee structures established at the onset of client relationships may remain unchanged, leading advisors to absorb higher costs without clients even realizing it. Transitioning clients or accounts from commission to fee-based business models may be a desired goal, but without proper planning, it remains unrealized, resulting in a fragmented business structure.
5. Unwillingness to relinquish control to competent staff or providers:
Although advisors acknowledge that their plates are overloaded, many find it challenging to delegate or relinquish control to capable employees or outsourced providers. This reluctance prevents them from effectively streamlining their workflow and optimizing productivity.
6. Employment of individuals who may not be the right fit for their roles:
Advisors sometimes retain employees who could be more suited for their current positions out of a sense of obligation or force of habit. Recognizing this discrepancy, advisors can redefine job descriptions or roles to align with employees’ strengths and skills, resulting in a more efficient and harmonious team.
By addressing and overcoming these common roadblocks, advisors can pave the way for future success, growth, and fulfillment in their practices. As we speed through to year-end, embrace the valuable lessons learned by successful advisors and embark on a journey towards a more prosperous and rewarding future. Our practice development team is ready to walk beside you to create a plan that you can execute to achieve your goals and create the business and lifestyle you truly desire. Reach out to us today and let’s talk about your unique situation.