Albert Einstein is not the only genius to acknowledge that whether the subject is something as vast as the universe or as microscopic as an atom, there is a process involved.
In order for something to work effectively it must be rooted in a foundation of a successful process. Your business is no different. In order for you to be effective in building, running and maintaining a successful business, you need to have well-thought-out systems. You can operate your business in one of two ways: leave your success up to chance, or map out your methods and procedures.
Successful planners know that mapping out a new system, method or procedure is a process in and of itself. Let’s take a look at specific steps to incorporate new stepping stones into your business future.
Step No. 1: Understanding Where You Are
As a professional development coach, I’ve said often that when it comes to your business you must be completely transparent with yourself. That’s why it is important to look at every aspect of your business and ask, “Where am I with this?” In other words, what is working, what is not working and why.
John D., a 20-year veteran financial planner who realized that most of what he was doing in his business was reactive in nature, in areas such as time management, client servicing, prospecting and even with his sales process—he didn’t have a systematic, step-wise approach to any of these aspects of his business.
Ironically, not having a process was his process, so when a client called with a question or request, he dropped everything and took care of it. When he did decide to prospect by asking for referrals, he’d typically say, “Who do you know that I could introduce myself to?” This was followed with the client replying, “I can’t think of anyone but if I do I will let you know.” It’s interesting to note that in this example he actually did have a process for asking for referrals. However, it was not at all effective.
Step No. 2: Understand Where You Want to Be
Sometimes it can be difficult for a planner to realize that they have been running a reactive business simply because they have never been taught any other way.
In John’s case, I simply explained that successful planners have a proactive business model because they have an effective and repeatable methodology for everything! As I went into the details John began to recognize that having this type of business was exactly what he wanted (and needed).
Step No. 3: Learn and Implement
Then it was time to map out and create a business systems manual for John to refer to any time he found himself wondering how to manage something. This is best done by taking each facet of your business finding a colleague or mentor who has an effective approach that you desire to emulate.
So as to not overwhelm John, we started with time management. I showed him tools and techniques for architecting structure for his day, a way to prioritize interruptions and make a game out of sticking to the steps with a daily reward and punishment incentive. It didn’t take him long to start feeling more in control of this time. Once John felt he had a handle on one business facet we went onto another one.
Why Running a Business like a Genius Works
Repurposing another’s successful systems means you don’t have to craft something from scratch—which can be overwhelming. You do have to implement and follow whatever steps you outline for yourself. Having a plan makes sense and you don’t have to be Einstein to know that.
If you would like a complimentary coaching session with me, please email Melissa Denham, director of client servicing.
Daniel C. Finley is the president and co-founder of Advisor Solutions, a business consulting and coaching service dedicated to helping advisers build a better business.