10 Reason For Advisors To Niche

Niching. YUCK! I’ll miss out on clients, right? I’ll have to give up some of my current clients! I’ll get bored. I won’t be challenged. Advisors have plenty of reasons why they won’t niche. Their fears often beat out the important reasons TO niche!

Here are 10 reasons you want to choose and market to a target market:

1. According to CEG Worldwide research, 70 percent of top financial advisors—those earning at least $1 million annually—focus on a particular niche.

2. It’s much less expensive to create marketing materials geared to a particular subset of the population.

3. Generate more awareness for your brand, which brings prospects to you.

4. Word of mouth more easily builds your reputation in your specialization because you’re making a segment of the population special. (WII-FM–What’s In It For Me)

5. You will become known as the obvious choice and go-to expert for that niche area.

6. When people hear about who you help and what it is you do, the person listening gains an idea of who they could refer to you.

7. With clients who have similar investment and planning requirements, you’ll be able to streamline your operations, deliver customized services to them, and provide a higher level of customer service.

8. Save time by developing services and products specifically for one audience while building a more scalable business model.

9. Work with people you genuinely enjoy being around.

10. Business will be simpler!

(c) 2016 ElevatingYourBusiness.com

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

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, or mindset. Sometimes, they aren’t comfortable with stepping outside their comfort zone 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 perspective coaches 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. If it occurred to you to even take the quiz, you might be closer than you think. So don’t give up on your growth!

Take The Quiz to See if You’re Coachable

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.

You’re Coachable and 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.




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”?