How to Effectively Set Goals for Your Business
As a new year begins, it’s natural that you’d want to spend time reflecting on the progress you made toward reaching your goals over the previous year. Did you achieve most of these goals? Half of them? Was it a successful year?
Most advisors think of a successful year in terms of client acquisition, GDC, or AUM growth. When in fact, what you personally set out to achieve the prior year determines the success measurement. Are you proud of the goals you’ve achieved and the business you’ve created? In 2018, the Kestra Financial Business Consulting team helped our advisors establish almost 400 goals that ranged from succession planning, Mergers and Acquisitions, digital presence, operational efficiency, and client acquisition.
Many advisors have indicated to our consultants that they’ve never created a business plan and don’t have any plans to in the future. Generally, advisors have a fixed amount of time and energy. Focusing on where you can have the greatest impact on your business, versus the quantity of goals established, can save you time and frustration.
Here are a few tips to effectively set goals for your practice:
- Focus on the most important: Most advisors are very ambitious people who want to accomplish more, not less. You may be wired to say yes to too many great ideas and greatly strive to see those ideas come to fruition. When trying to accomplish too many things you may feel overwhelmed and become paralyzed, therefore accomplishing less than originally intended. While setting goals for your business, challenge yourself to focus on a few specific goals that will move your practice further down the line in the coming year. A noteworthy best practice would be to write down your goals and reference them throughout the year.
- Make your goals SMART:
When establishing goals, advisors have a tendency to be vague and ambiguous. These tendencies can make it more difficult to stay on track. Goals should be the WAZE/GPS to where you want to be at the end of the year. You need to be very specific on what you want to achieve by making sure your goals are SMART: specific, measurable and attainable in a realistic timeframe.
- Hold yourself accountable to others: In general, individuals can struggle with being accountable to ourselves, but instead feel responsible to others. However, if you have an accountability partner, there’s a higher probability you’ll follow through on your common goals. This comes naturally, as humans instinctively don’t want to let others down. Make yourself accountable to your team, partners, or anyone who has taken risks on you. Clearly communicate the business goals and review them regularly throughout the year with your accountability partners.
Going forward, use these tips to have your best year yet by setting smarter, more achievable goals.