Marketing Plan or Business Plan, Which Do You Need?

ideaplanaction14627091_lMost financial advisors start out with the same basic dilemma: they have neither a business plan nor a marketing plan. Instead, they’re winging it!

Needless to say, this isn’t the most efficient or effective way to run a financial firm. It’s
also a good way to consistently work 50+ hour weeks, suffer from the constant nag of stress, and end up with a dreadful case of burnout!

Do you know the difference between a business plan and a marketing plan? A business plan is not a marketing plan. Having a marketing plan without a business plan leads to churning through a lot of money fast. So what’s the difference and which one do you need? I’m glad you asked.

Business Plans for Financial Advisors

Your business plan is the foundation of your firm. It should include the answers to questions such as:

• Why does your business exist?
• What are your services and products?
• How much money do you want to make?
• What does your SWOT analysis reveal? (Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats)
• What makes your company unique?
• What sets you apart from other companies doing similar things? (comparison)
• What do you bring to your clients that is unique?
• What are your company’s values?
• Who is on your management team?

Marketing Plans for Financial Advisors

Your marketing strategies are informed by the answers to the questions above in your business plan.

Your marketing plan starts with your niche and ideal client profile. You want to manage your marketing for the best results versus what I call “spaghetti marketing”. You can’t decide what to spend your time on, marketing-wise, if you don’t know who you are marketing to!

If you don’t have an ideal client profile, start the process by reading these articles.

Here are some of the questions a marketing plan should answer:

• What do I have to do to remind others I’m here to help them?
• What are my pricing strategies?
• How do I distribute what I’m offering?
• What can I do to reach a large number of my ideal clients, in the least amount of time, and get the biggest bang for my buck?
• What does my marketing funnel look like? (You may have two — one for online prospects and one for in-person prospects.)

Your business plan, ideal client profile, and marketing plan now become systems that you monitor. They can be on paper, in Excel, or online. The main thing is that you define and create them, and use them daily to help you set better priorities.

Why?

With a system that monitors your business and marketing plan — be it a performance management system, dashboard, or spreadsheet — whatever you want to call it, you’ll catch what’s working and what’s not working. And you’ll be able to tweak your strategies and actions sooner, before they turn into very costly mistakes. More importantly, doing the business part of business will be easier to accomplish, you’ll spend more time with clients, and you’ll earn more! And isn’t that what business is about?

Putting a Business Plan and a Marketing Plan Together

Business plans and marketing plans have distinct purposes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put them together into one comprehensive plan. Doing this makes your practice management more enjoyable, more productive, and more profitable.

To learn about the planning system I recommend that combines your business and marketing plan into just one page that helps you stay on track, visit http://www.BusinessAndMarketingPlan.com

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
You can do business without all the fundamental best practices that this article talks about. But it’s better to do yourself a favor (which is probably going to also be a big favor to your team, significant other, and family). Put aside 5 days a year to do the planning necessary to give your business a better chance of more success.

If you want your clients to “do” their plans, do yours first.

©2008, Updated 2016. Elevating Your Business.

Are you ready to accelerate the growth of your firm? Ready to streamline your firm's operations? Build a bigger, better business. Get it all done before you know it when you work with me personally along with other advisors. Get feedback, guidance, and accountability! Read about BAR! Our Business Accelerator Roundtable is a very affordable and comprehensive consultative-coaching program. Read more...

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