Systems Create Space To Grow

Routines make life easier and more predictable. Creating routines in your business do that and so much more. Below are some benefits advisors gain when they create systems within their business.

  1. Keeps you on track to reach your business goals.
  2. Measures your successes or look for ways to improve.
  3. Shows you where you’re leaking profit!
  4. Enables you to be more productive and get more work done without distraction or if there is a distraction to more quickly refocus!
  5. Helps your team to define their roles and set better goals and priorities.
  6. Catch work that is falling through the cracks.
  7. Enables you to maintain growth.
  8. Improves the value of your firm.
  9. Substantially saves new employee training time.
  10. Creates a fun atmosphere for your team, colleagues and of course, your clients.
  11. Attracts more clients with consistent marketing messages.
  12. Allows the consultants you hire to get their work done more efficiently.
  13. Allows an owner to build a business that easily operates without you!

Systems become habit and gives your staff time to do other work. When you create a new system give it a 2-3 word name as that will help make it more memorable.

(c) 2016 Elevating Your Business.

Beware of this scammer! Note: Microsoft does not call you out of the blue!

ID-10060832-2I received a call today that I’ve received a few times before… from a scammer who wants to hack computers or worse, have you pay to remove something from it that isn’t broken — before they hack you!

According to what I’ve read online, they make many calls to the same people, all over the country, and they don’t stop even if you tell them to.

The caller says they are from Microsoft and asked for me by name.

He said that my computer has a problem. He knows about the problem because Microsoft monitors my programs (note, they do not unless you give them permission to do so).

Once he calls you he asks if you’re in front or your computer or if you’ll get in front of your computer.

Since I know my way around computers, (I’ve used one since my first job at Merrill Lynch in 1973) the first time he called, I went through with almost everything he told me to do. Most of it wasn’t a problem or anything sinister.

Then he “finds” the problem. Some files need to be fixed (etc.) at a cost of bla, bla, bla.

Sometimes they actually tell you that they’ll fix the problem if you give them access to your computer and pay them to do it!

What he found wrong with my computer really isn’t a problem.

BUT if you get him to fix things you’ll be hacked.

So be aware.

The hacker does give you his phone number which was the same number on the ID: 727-498-0504 but it’s to an unused phone number.

Remember Microsoft never will call you back if you’ve made a service call. Or since I’m on their usability team, I’ll get a call — but it’s most often from a contractor who works with MS.

Advisors: #1 Reason to Create an Exit Plan

Your clients and future clients want you to have an exit plan.

Fotolia_63269304_Subscription_XXL200None of us can guarantee that we’ll be here tomorrow.

None of us can guarantee that our business will be here or that “mother nature” won’t destroy our firms.

Because I work with advisors, individuals always ask me for tips and recommendations on hiring an advisor.   During many conversations, they’ll often tell me that they’re afraid to hire a solo-owner or small firms, mostly because of continuity issues.

When you work for a firm and leave, chances are that  clients will become their clients.  (Hopefully, until they find you).   If you were to die tomorrow, someone at the firm will help them.  So succession isn’t a top of mind question for your clients. They know that someone will take care of them.

When you own your firm, your clients wonder what would happen if something happened to you. This is more “top of mind” if you’re a small company.  It’s often the elephant in the room.  (Hint: It’s up to you to have that conversation with them and give them your succession plan!).

So if you don’t have a succession plan because you’re too busy, it isn’t important, you’re too young, or your part of the financial industry doesn’t force you to have one via regulation, think again.  A succession plan is one of  the essential pieces of a solid and comprehensive business foundation.  Create a succession plan because your clients want you to have it! (even if they don’t say it)

There is nothing more important than your client’s or prospect’s peace of mind…

Consider your clients and create one in February.  If nothing else, start the exit plan process by creating a vision of how you’ll be ending your business and how your clients will seamlessly be taken care of.

(c) 2016 Elevating Your Business.  Maria Marsala, owner, and writer on this Marketing With Integrity Blog.

Don’t have a succession vision?  Create yours this month at a short online workshop. Learn more and sign up here



Does the state or federal government owe you money?

You, your family members, and clients may have unclaimed money from a state or the federal government

It never ceases to amaze me which state or government owes me my own money!  The amazing part is that 95% of the time that I’ve found this money, I’m still living at the same address as stated on the unclaimed property file.

So, start the year off checking for your “found money”.

Even if you’ve lived at the same address for “a zillion years”, check the “missing money” websites for any state you’ve ever lived in.

Most of the money I’ve found is from insurance companies, health companies, electric companies and department stores – I’m perplexed as to why! I still live at the same address.

Happened this year again.   And yes, Google… I have not moved!

Every year, I also search on behalf of my relatives, friends, and clients.  Just today, I  sent 6 of them messages that a state is holding their money.

So far, no one has found more than a few hundred dollars… but that’s found money that can go to investments.  Every dollar does count!

Here’s the links to use and share:

All states:

Federal Gov:


Savings bonds   and


(c) 2016 Elevating Your Business,  Helping financial advisors simplify businesses so they can advise more and live a better life.  Are you a financial advisor?  Attend our free conference in January 2016 —


Found money?  Have a comment on this article?  Let us know below.


How advisors can earn more in 2016

There really are no magic bullets to growing a firm, but below are a few possible goals and strategies to get you started on the road to be more successful in 2016 than you were in 2015*.

A few goals to get you thinking about growing:

  • Increase the number of clients from ___ to _____ by ____(date).
  • Add ___ new paid services by ____ (date).
  • Increase the value of the average transaction per client from ____ to ____by ____(date).
  • Increase the number of transactions per client from ___ to ____by ____(date).
  • Decrease expenses from ___ to ____per client by ____(date).
  • Decrease the number of ways we market from ___ ways to ____ ways by ____(date).
  • Hire ___ new employees/contractors/outsourcers by ___ (date).

Here are some strategies to consider

  • Determne a better long-term business model (one that meets my personal goals) by _____(date).
  • Become known for _________________________________.
  • Hire ____ , ____ and ____.
  • Create _________, _______ and _______ for current our ideal clients and their friends.
  • Create a niche, ideal client system, and strategic/comprehensive plan to attract better prospects.
  • Conduct ____  trainings to update staff on industry trends, keep on top of new technology, and cross-train on various administrative duties.

Ok, we’ve given you a few ideas to get you started!

*If your practice currently doesn’t have a clearly defined niche, ideal client profile, clear visions (for 12 months, 5 years, and your exit)  and a stategic/comprehensive plan, chances are that IF you put these systems into place, you’ll grow faster.   That’s what we’ve seen our ideal clients do.

Now it’s up to you take some action and create the right goals and strategies for your firm. Let us help you successfully grow your firm.


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