Advisor Today - July/August 2016 - (Page 48)
By Juli McNeely, CFP, CLU, LUTCF
Business Owners, Take Heed
Working "on" your business helps you improve the great business you have built.
ccording to the Harris
Interactive Business Owner
Survey 2015, "today, 68 percent
of business owners have never had
their business valued, and only 41
percent of growing businesses have an
exit or continuation plan in place. Of
the 41 percent with an exit plan, only
24 percent have a plan that protects
in the event of an owner's death.
And only 16 percent have a buy-sell
agreement that protects the owners in
the event of a disability."
Many advisors spend a significant
amount of time with their
small-business clients and assist them
with planning needs. We often become
a sounding board or a trusted advisor
in many aspects of their business, and
at times, our assistance falls outside
the financial-services area. In many
cases, our small-business clients
are excellent at their trade but not
necessarily great on the business side.
We attempt to assist them in working
"on" their business and not just "in"
their business. BUT do we do the same
with our own practices? Are you an
unprepared business owner?
Many advisors are so busy helping
their own clients from day to day
that they forget that they themselves
need to spend time "on" their own
business and not just working "in"
their business. We often don't listen
to our own advice and get so caught
up in what we do day to day that
we forget that our businesses need
Here are a few questions to get you
thinking about how you might spend
a little time "on" your business this
* Do you have a business plan that
projects your plans for your business
for the year and for three to five years
48 ADVISOR TODAY | July/August 2016
* Do you have a vision/mission that
guides your firm in all decisions?
* Do you have a marketing and publicrelations plan to continuously grow
* Do you have a budget, know where
you are spending money, and what
sources your revenue is being
* Have you ever had your business
valued? If you could sell it tomorrow,
what would it be worth?
* Do you have a succession plan
in place for death, disability and
retirement? Is the funding in order,
and are the legal agreements in place?
* Do you frequently take time to
brainstorm ideas to improve how
you market, serve and retain clients?
* Are you looking for efficiencies in
how you do business by considering
the integration of new software and
* Do you embrace the use of social
media and acknowledge that
demographics are changing as are
ways to reach clients and prospects?
* Are you looking for new ways to
deliver value that will set you apart
from your competition?
* Are you embracing cultural changes
as the consumer population
becomes increasingly more diverse?
* Are you continuing to learn about
innovative products and services
that are being developed?
* Do you have an assistant to assist
you with non-revenue-producing
activities or to handle tasks that
aren't your strong suit?
* Have you brought in another advisor
to begin a transition to a new
generation of advisors in your firm?
* Do you have a process in place
to provide feedback to your team
The more you work "on"
your business, the better
resource you will be for
your small-business clients.
members so they know where they
can grow or improve?
* Do you have open and frequent
team communication so that
everyone is on the same page?
* Have you segmented your clients
and determined service levels for
* Have you standardized processes
within your practice for things like
onboarding a new client, reviewing
existing clients, etc?
I realize this is a long list of
questions that may overwhelm you
at first; however, it is meant to spur
your thinking about how you can
continuously improve the great
business you have built. There are
loads of resources available on all
of these topics, and I would suggest
starting with www.naifa.org.
Another great way to start is to
convene a meeting of your entire
team and begin working through
some of these questions together.
Your team members have great
ideas on how to improve operations
or marketing efforts and sometimes
you just need to ask them. Taking
time monthly, quarterly and-at a
minimum-annually to work "on"
your business is a must. After all, the
more you work "on" your business,
the better resource you will be to
your small-business clients. I wish
you great success!
Juli McNeely, CFP, CLU, LUTCF, is
president of McNeely Financial Services,
NAIFA immediate past president and past
president of NAIFA Wisconsin. You can
reach her at email@example.com.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Advisor Today - July/August 2016
From the Editor
A Question of Ethics: Reflections on the Dol Fiduciary Rule
Getting the Wealthy Investor to Hire You
Positioning Whole Life for Success
Rewarding Clients for Engaging in Healthy Activities
Feel the Heat: Sizzling Strategies for Boosting Worksite Sales
The Challenges of Writing Business Insurance
A Lifetime of Success
Safeguarding Your Business Interests
NAIFA Presents Nominees for Election
What’s Behind Brand Magic?
Making an Effective Call Back
A Story for All Your Clients
Ideas to Expand Your Practice
Advisor Today - July/August 2016