Avoid Business Burnout: 7 Critical Planning Areas

Avoid Business BurnoutAdvisors experiencing business burnout would do well to view how their firm stacks up in 7 critical and essential areas of business success.

Business burnout doesn’t happen overnight, but once it strikes, it can make you miserable. Everywhere you look, there’s a fire to put out. And by the time you’ve extinguished it, another day of productivity went up in flames. There is a way to increase your energy, effectiveness, and efficiency–and banish business burnout for good. When you evaluate 7 critical areas in your business (and their related activities), you can create standards and processes to help you run your firm proactively.

How many of the following areas in your financial firm need an overhaul? Use these descriptions to think through and establish your time- and money-saving processes. Addressing each of these areas protects you from the overwhelm of business burnout. And leaves the firefighting to the firefighters.

1. Core Competencies: Built-In Business Burnout Protection

This is about building a strong company foundation. Defining these items helps you think like the CEO of your company. It gives you a wider perspective and helps cut down on knee-jerk decisions. With your core competencies in place, you’ll cut down on frantic decision-making and (you guessed it) business burnout!

Your firm’s core competencies include your company name, value proposition, ideal client profile, Go/No Go Matrix (a tool that helps in the onboarding decision-making process), SWOT analysis, strengths of the owner(s), and the features/benefits of your services. It also includes your business growth and marketing plan comprised of: your 1-year vision, exit vision, a date-in-between vision, mission statement, goals, strategies, action plans, and to-do list. Add your pricing sheet, hours of operation, and a business snapshot (or elevator pitch). As you organize around your core competencies, you’ll also address: designing your office, time management, productivity, creating the right business model with the right number of staff, and succession planning.

2. Branding: Two Business Burnout Busters

With your core foundation intact, you can have your outer brand created. Through branding, the inner brand you created with your core foundation is brought to the forefront. It is represented by your logo, printed marketing materials (business cards, stationery, flyers, postcards, brochures) and online marketing (website, blog, social networking, etc.). When you define your company’s identity visually, you save time explaining who you are and who your ideal clients are. Another tip: don’t try to do this yourself! Hire a graphic artist and website developer. Give these experts your ideal client profile and business and marketing plan to help them bring your brand to life. Creating your authentic brand boosts confidence…and definitely busts business burnout.

3. Client Engagement: Daily Business Burnout Prevention

New client acquisition includes a host of topics that turn strangers into prospects and then into clients (if they are your ideal clients). Working with the right clients alleviates a lot of stress for three reasons: 1) you are working with people who bring a smile to your face, 2) you are not working with people who drive you crazy, a.k.a, clients from hell, and 3) these lovely people know more lovely people they can refer to you, which makes your job easier. (Can you see how this area prevents business burnout daily?)

Tools to develop this area include: Go/No Go chart, client segmentation chart, client segmentation activity list, intake process, referral packets, thank you letters, turndown letters, meeting reminder forms, welcome kit, and transfer forms. Client appreciation/loyalty processes help you retain clients and keep them for the long term. They include: portfolio management systems, greeting clients, thank you ideas, articles, address changes, appointment sheets, annual interview and surveying, and client appreciation events. Client exit includes a process for "firing" a client and a checklist for when a client wants to leave, a leaving survey, and transfer forms.

Don’t Despair! It Does Get Easier.

At this point, you may be thinking, “Whoa, I don’t have time for all this! I’m getting burned out just reading about burnout!” Yes, this is a lot of work. That’s why people don’t do it. But it’s one of those paradigms where you really don’t have time NOT to do it. My coaching experience with hundreds of business owners has proven if you put these processes in place, you WILL experience MUCH less business burnout. And guess what? Once you have done the work, you only need three hours per year to update everything. So tackle one section at a time. Some of them overlap! That’s why when you’re done, your firm will run like a well-oiled machine!
— Maria

4. Marketing and Sales: Generate Buzz, Not Business Burnout

Your branding extends to both your online and offline marketing and sales plan. Every firm requires processes for managing referrals, networking and follow-up, and strategic alliances. This way, you are not re-inventing the wheel each time you must follow up with leads or partners. You’ll also need an editorial calendar and a marketing calendar so that you don’t have to stress about topics you want to concentrate on when you’re educating your prospects through your marketing efforts. If an opportunity pops up to submit an expert article, you’ll be prepared! Don’t forget to create a list of the ways you’ll touch different client segments throughout the year, including personal meetings, phone calls, client appreciation events, and social media efforts. Most of the items on this list can be done by an assistant! Save your "personal touch" efforts for your AAA clients.

5. Administration: Reduce Business Burnout from People Problems

It is essential to address how you interact, communicate, and work with your team and vendors. This includes the following items for each part-time, full-time and consulting position: job description, want ads, goals, interview questions and/or tests, an evaluation process, offer letter template, background checks, pay levels, operations manual, bonus compensation process and firing process. On the vendor side, you must decide how you choose vendors, how you work and negotiate with vendors, and how you fire vendors. You approach subjects such as teamwork, communications, mindset, focus, accountability, innovation, and improvement. You can’t avoid all "people problems", but you can prevent some by being proactive and being clear about your policies.

6. Operations: Using Systems and Processes to Banish Burnout

Every system used to run your firm, by its very nature, helps keep burnout at bay. This includes all written systems, processes, and templates, as well as computer databases, reports, and automation systems. Of course, there will be overlap with systems used in the Core Foundation, Branding, Client Services, Marketing/Sales, and Administration of your firm.

7. Last, But Not Least, YOU!

When your business reflects your personal and professional values and visions, you truly have it all! Even though I list this area last, undergoing some life coaching usually precedes the formulation of your firm’s Core Competencies. This way, the business you create is truly based on YOUR values and vision.

My clients choose from important topics we prioritize together, which can include: yearly theme, dream board, zapping tolerations, simplifying your life, reorienting around your values, WOW list, your mission, your vision, your values, clearing the past, becoming a problem-free zone, restoring your integrity, your life plan, creating new daily habits, getting your needs met, budgeting/handling money, your health, organizing your office or home, setting boundaries, reaffirming your standards, creating a reserve and super reserve, life snapshot, strengthen your family, deepening your community, 28 principles of attraction, being well-protected, choosing your work, improving your communications skills and attitude, and investing in your life.

Many business owners experience burnout when their original intentions of creating their "dream" firm disintegrate with the constant battle of putting out fires. If you’re not walking into your company fired up because you’re battling business burnout, chances are many of the areas above need work. Choose one, dig in, and see how quickly you can turn things around.

© 2013, updated 2016 Elevating Your Business, Maria Marsala, Strategic Business Coach

Get Back On Target To Meet & Exceed Your 2016 Goals

WHAT IF “WHAT YOU DID THIS SUMMER” PUTS YOU BACK ON TARGET TO MEET AND EXCEED YOUR 2016 GOALS?

It’s almost halfway through the year. Are you almost halfway to your 2016 goals?

In January, you set goals to increase your revenue, lower your expenses, work fewer hours, and spend more time at home . . . how are you doing with those?

Maria, time flies, doesn’t it? Before you know it, you get sidetracked and end up bogged down in paperwork. And those resolutions seem far, far away. It’s natural to just do the things you’re comfortable with for the sake of time and sanity. But doing the same things won’t get you to your goals!

If you’re REALLY serious about hitting your goals this year, you have time . . . 6 months is a lot of time, but you must act NOW! Don’t let another holiday season take you by surprise. Come December, do you want to put your feet up by the fire while the snow is flying? Or hustle and bustle to the bitter end of the year?

HOW YOU CAN MEET AND EXCEED YOUR GOALS IN THE NEXT 6 MONTHS

GrowthMany of our clients say that coaching along with training and lots of feedback and brainstorming allows them to accomplish more in 3 months than they did the entire year (or more) before. Is this the kind of solution you need?  If you’ve decided to do things differently, we have a very affordable program to supply you with accountability, focus, and plenty of business building tools. It’s designed around proven ways to fast-track your goals in 2016.

Apply

Business Accelerator is for you if . . .
. . . you thought you couldn’t afford coaching.
. . . you’re ready to refine your niche and create a plan for the growth of your firm.

. . . you want to simplify your business processes while advising more.

. . . you will put aside the time to do the work.

. . . you prefer a short-term coaching commitment.

It’s time to complete important business fundamentals fast and at affordable rates. Create or refine your firm’s niche and ideal client profile, business operations and marketing plan, and get help implementing your marketing strategies.

 

SAVE on the Business Accelerator Roundtable A Simplified Business PROGRAM TO MEET YOUR 2016 GOALS

Early Bird Specials: Join the Fun Before July 5

Join the fun before July 5 and get a certificate for a free 60-minute 1:1 session with me, Maria.  Use it to meet with me privately anytime during the program.

Program begins in July 15. . . the clock is ticking and we want you to use all 6 months to our advantage!

 

SUBSCRIBER ONLY Early Bird Special

Now, you won’t see this Early Bird Special advertised on my website.  Why?  Because it’s only for you my long-time subscribers like you!

Enroll before July 5 and I’ll critique (in writing) any page of your website or one page of your marketing material or bio.

See everything you get with this program . . . and why this program is a steal. Apply

Then complete the application and schedule a no-obligation Interview with me to talk about the option you’re considering.

One more thing . . . this offer is limited to the next 8 business owners and financial professionals who sign up!  I have limited space available next month, and this program won’t be offered again until 2017!

So it’s first come, first served! Then I’ll start a waiting list.

This is the best offer I’ve made on these programs all year, and I won’t offer them again at these rates in 2016.

If you know that the time is NOW to review all you get and follow the steps to schedule your no-obligation Discovery Interview.  Start here http://www.elevatingyourbusiness.com/BAR/

 

Don’t let another 6 months of struggling to expand your practice go by. There’s a better, much easier way to achieve your goals –with these prices there are no excuses left, and best of all, you don’t have to do business alone anymore! Enroll today and let’s get you out of this cycle for good.

Fill in the application form now to schedule your Discovery Interview and let’s chat about what’s the best option for your firm’s growth. http://www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com/BAR

Upwards and onwards,

Maria Marsala Logo

 

 

P.S. You’ve heard it before – if you’re failing to plan, you’re planning to fail. View our Business Accelerator Roundtable curriculum now and request a meeting with me today!

P.P.S. Want a sneak peak of this program?  Create your business vision is a no-cost workshop I’m offering on June 30 or July 7 register today!

Are You Coachable?

All people are coachable, but they’re not always coachable at every point in time. Sometimes, people want to experience change, but they’re not currently open to adjusting their beliefs, behaviors, mindset, and taking action.

For the coaching relationship to be successful it takes much dedication, honesty, openness, and effort on your part, as the coachee. It also involves introspection, a willingness to try on new things (even for just 7 days), and to make your life and business a “no excuses” zone.

Part of the coaching relationship involves you interviewing the perspective coach to see if they’re a good fit with what you’re looking for and if they have the right personality style and knowledge. Coaching is a collaboration.

The coaching relationship, whether you apply private or group coaching, starts with a greater understanding of oneself and continues with business/career growth.

Take the quiz and you’ll discover how coachable you are — RIGHT NOW — or not! If you’re not ready at this time, try again in six months.

Take The Quiz
Your answers are 200% private! As you see, we don’t ask you for your name, email, etc. Our system will add your score for you and give you your Coachability Index. Take the quiz now.

Ready for coaching?
Discover powerful, practical, yet simple principles of 6 figure client creation. Learn how to grow your business — on your terms — while focusing on what you love to do most. Learn more about BAR at www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com/BAR

Not Ready for coaching?
Discover ways to grow your business more simply. Get assessments, tips, and attend a free workshop, and more here

Get three essential business tools

Get 3 no-cost essential business tools to start the move from having your business run your life by default to you running it by design!

The two assessments fall under the first important step of any client aquisition system — Reflection (ergo: Assessing Where You Are Right Now).

The webinar falls under the step of — Exploring (as in actively looking at the possibilities for next year, your exit and somewhere in between).

These no-cost assessments continue to be available to you and (hopefully) will become a part of your firm’s yearly “business planning week”, too.

They give you, the owner, access to these essential foundational business growth tools that help you look at your business from a proactive “birds eye view” instead of the emotional, reactive place owners (yes all of us) often come from. (We call this doing business by default instead of design)

Don’t delay. Do them today!

For even more insights and different perspectives, ask your team members to do them. too.

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Business Check Up: Quickly take a snapshot of all the areas of your firm and where you stand. Helps you answer the question “What should I spend my time on this now?” A $149 value. Download http://www.CoachMaria.com

Business Vision Workshop: Free class helps you set better priorities and design a 2 sentence vision statement for your firm. Looks at the question “What do I want to be celebrating a year from now?” A $47 value. Sign up here: http://actnowseminars.com/new/index.php/businessvisionstatement/

Target Marketing Assessment: Before determining where your time and dollars will be spent marketing, comes managing your firm’s niche. Questions to answer: Who are the clients you can help the most? What’s the best niche for our firm to work with? A 149 value. Download http://www.CoachMaria.com

Upwards and onwards,

Your Coach Maria

P.S. Do you know others who could benefit from being a member of the Elevating Your Business Family…. send them to http://www.CoachMaria.com where they can get their very own weekly business tips newsletter delivered to their inbox, downloads, invites to special events and templates from time to time.

Financial Industry — In the Beginning Quiz

There had to be a different way to start a practice management workshop for financial advisors, I thought to myself.

Then I picked up the book I was reading, a book that was recommended by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates — “Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street”.

And right there was the answer.

Enjoying US history as I do, I decided to compile a list of questions I can pick and choose from and have my audience answer.

I thought that others might enjoy answering these questions, and created a quiz about the beginnings of the industry I grew up in, have enjoyed thoroughly, continue to participate in, and have enjoyed watching morph in the past 40+ years.

Here it is! How many questions can you answer without “googling”?