10 Things Advisors Can Learn From This Old House

While I still miss Bob Villa, I’ve continued to watch This Old House from its inception. The program (and all old home books I purchased) gave me the confidence, at age 25, to redesign, help gut, and become a general contractor for a beach bungalow turned into my first home some years ago. Mistakes, I made plenty and I’m sure they cost me about 5K. But I sure did have a lot of fun! As I watch This Old House today, I continue to learn more home building and business tips. Here are 10 strategies that advisors can learn from, too. 1. Pay attention to the foundation of your firm. If you find yourself burnt out or working 50+ hours a week, there are leaks in your business foundation. 2. Learn something new every day. Upgrades to the technology and tolls you use are happening daily, keep up with the changes by putting aside “x” time a day for learning. 3. Upgrade when possible. Yah, it cost money to upgrade but 9 out of 10 times, the result is more productivity and time. 4. Planning for the future is essential. Have you seen how the program is now creating its successors? Be it Next Generation program, children of the current leaders, getting involved in nonprofits who work with a younger audience, just do it! Create your successors and legacy before you need it! 5. Sometimes decisions a boss make are wrong. They just are. Be honest and

2017-11-04T14:57:48-04:00November 4th, 2017|Leadership|0 Comments

Simple Ways To Build Trust With New Clients

Before someone trusts you, it’s first necessary to become known and liked. Developing trust takes time. Stop Talking About Yourself Yes, your credentials, knowledge, and what you can do for clients is important. But people who recently met you really don’t care about you or your services. Think about it. When you meet a stranger it’s about WII-FM (what’s in it for me) and how can you make their lives better (the results). They will pay you to achieve a result or many results. While they may not know all the outcomes they want, they’re talking to you because they’re somehow struggling, and they believe that you’re the person who will help them become unstuck. So, stop talking about yourself! Focus instead on them — on where they are and where they want to be. Learn about their problems, challenges, goals, and what needs to be done about their finances so that they’ll sleep better at night. Communicate how you can deliver the results they are hoping for and they’re bound to start seeing you as an expert they know and like. Teach Them Something Important Give clients value from the get go by teaching them something that will take them one step closer to the end result they’re seeking. After all, if you can show them you can help them right away, they’ll realize that you know your stuff. That will help them gain clarity or move forward a bit, and that may be all they

2017-11-04T01:21:04-04:00October 16th, 2017|Leadership|0 Comments

Do You Use These Advisor Success S.Y.S.T.E.M.S.?

While systems are meant to automate certain mundane aspects of business, they can also be used strategically, to leverage the talents of your staff and achieve more business growth. Systems also: • Help advisors identify the bottlenecks in their workflow. • Make new employee training more efficient. • Improve the implementation and effectiveness of new procedures. • Allow others to find inefficiencies that you don’t see in a process. • Leverage your time and help your business run like a well-oiled machine. Creating systems changes the way you do business for the better! While a Wall Street trader, I became tired of repeatedly dealing with the same operational problems. So, I followed each problem from its inception to its end. I discovered the holes in a process and recommended fixes. That gave me (and many others) more time for other important tasks, while saving the firm millions of dollars a year. Systems come in many shapes and sizes. They can be: 1. written instructions 2. videotapes 3. checklists 4. assessments, exercises 5. rituals 6. formulas 7. lists of questions 8. templates 9. manuals 10. plans 11. mind maps 12. workflows 13. scripts 14. computerized reports A Note About Banishing Burnout First You are the center of your firm. If you are burnt-out, aren’t sure if you’re in the right business, are in debt, have primary relationship problems, don’t say “no” enough, have poorer health than you want, find that you often lower your standards, etc.—those issues need

2017-11-04T01:21:06-04:00September 19th, 2017|Leadership|0 Comments

LinkedIn Group for Financial Advisors Leaders

RIA Financial Advisor Leaders Community    https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4624383   This is a community for Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs), Financial Advisors, Financial Planners, Wealth Managers, and Investment advisors to share and discuss best practices, trends, industry news and your firsthand experiences. If you have a question about business growth – either on the managing or marketing side – this group is for you. Are you researching ideas for your next marketing campaign? Found a resource you want to share? Looking to see how others solved a problem you’re facing? Want the best marketing and management articles, resources or events from around the Internet? We provide a spam-free environment where our members feel safe to ask for advice, resources, suggestions or to just read what others are saying about business growth. Join our group today at https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4624383   This group is moderated and run by Coach Maria Marsala of Elevating Your Business      

2017-04-13T12:23:39-04:00April 13th, 2017|Leadership|0 Comments

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

2017-11-04T01:21:42-04:00April 21st, 2016|Leadership|0 Comments

Advisors: #1 Reason to Create an Exit Plan

Your clients and future clients want you to have an exit plan. None 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

2017-11-04T01:23:06-04:00January 30th, 2016|Leadership|0 Comments

Research magazine’s Advisor Hall of Fame (Summary)

Dear {FIRSTNAME} I was reading an article this morning, on ThinkAdvisor.com  about "Research magazine's Advisor Hall of Fame, now in its 25th year" Three advisors have been added to their Hall of Fame. Here's the article: http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2015/11/30/2015-advisor-hall-of-fame (there is a link on the page to see the article "in full" and if you're not a member of the site, you can join for free. Here's what I, as someone who helps my clients grow their firms, found interesting to read. Niches They all have developed niches.  Some around AUM, some around the people they work with (single women).  Over the years, the AUM of their niche has grown.  At least one company is openly picky about who they take on as clients.   That, to me, is the best way to niche.  Know who you can help the most and stick to it! Passion Their love for the business and the clients they're working with shines through, even in the printed word. Age You can restart a business at any age and be very successful. Hurdles Everyone has hurdles to overcome in life. The secret is not letting the hurdles overcome you. Technology They have adapted to change and social networking. Some Ways They Market Weekly or monthly enewsletter Scheduled luncheon seminars for their clients with guest speakers Calling clients (phone and Skype) Sending articles of interest to client's Doing things that get the whole family involved with the firm Teach clients/families about money and finances One

2017-11-04T01:23:09-04:00November 30th, 2015|Leadership|0 Comments

FAs: It’s time to shift and get off the pot

13 Key Steps for More Business Growth in 2016 If your game plan for 2016 includes shifting into high gear, you’re in for a big surprise! Growing is NOT about the next "bling” or even about spending time on social networking sites. To grow your firm, you need to grow yourself! To grow your firm, it's helpful to tweak and refocus your firm’s foundation and make it super- strong. Want more clients or more referrals from your clients? Not having enough are  symptoms of a weak, inconsistent, and crumbling business foundation that often doesn’t have a niche, ideal client profile, or a plan to guide your activities. Working too many hours a week? Productivity down? That’s a sign that you aren’t following a strategic plan.   Which shift are you stuck in? Moving from being a solo advisor to a growing a firm with a first employee. Lowering the number of hours you work each week to 30! Hiring your first production staff; be it a service advisor, paraplanner, or whoever. Moving from advisor to the manager (yes, some advisors realize that they enjoy managing more than advising, and of course, some advisors prefer advising!). Hiring a manager to run the business. Dissolving a partnership that doesn’t work for you any longer (or trying to save it). Putting your contingency/succession plan into action. If you seek to substantially grow, improve, or evolve your business in 2016, it's possible, even probable, that you don't need to add more

2017-11-04T01:23:10-04:00November 27th, 2015|Leadership|0 Comments

RIAs: Can you help me… please?

I'd really appreciate your help with this... I'm working on some new and exciting projects... aimed at helping advisors improve and scale their practices. And I want to make sure that I address what's most important to you and your business. So would you please do me a big favor by taking a couple of minutes to answer 3 questions? Just (anonymously) tell me your single biggest challenge that you're struggling with in your financial business, it would really help me out. And more importantly, your response will help me focus my upcoming emails, new video series, and a summit I'm hosting to the topics you specifically want to know about, too. CLICK HERE for my super-quick survey NOTE: there's absolutely nothing for sale at that link or as part of this survey. I just really want to know what content I should create in 2016 and what speakers should be at the 2016 Count on Success Summit. I'm very grateful for your help and as a token of my thanks, there a gift for you to immediately download on the Thank You Page that follows the Submission button.  No email or other contact information is asked for - you can just download an audio where I was interviews on "Marketing Smarter: Niching Your Firm" Upwards and onwards, Maria Marsala Financial Advisors' Operations Marketing Manager P.S. The survey is really quick... please let me know how I can serve you better financial advisors in 2016. Click here to go

2017-11-04T01:23:10-04:00November 3rd, 2015|Leadership|0 Comments
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