What is Your Role?

What is Your Role?

Obviously, one must do some due diligence when starting a new job. Although I had previously collaborated with the partners and professional management at Diversified LLC, it had been a while and I wanted to check out the advisors and staff before I began my new position.

What stood out was the remarkable clarity and conciseness of each person when describing their function at the firm, they knew their role and its importance. Particularly intriguing was the advisor who succinctly stated, “My role is to be in front of as many clients and qualified prospects as possible – that is the way we help them achieve financial success.”  He went on to talk about all the things that many advisors do, that he does not.

“Championing Growth”

The response was consistent with an interview with Anne Mortera, from Private Advisor Group that I just read in Private Wealth.  When asked about the key components and considerations of growing an advisory firm, the first thing Anne stated was effective time management. To me, that means knowing what you do (and what adds the most value) and shedding anything that gets in the way of it. But that is the problem in most, especially smaller, advisory firms. Advisors in those firms (typically the founder) wear so many hats – HR, Investments, planning, compliance, technology integration, client management, and marketing just to name a few. The phrase, “jack of all trades, master of none” comes to mind when I think of those firms.

The reality for many firms is the struggle to balance numerous responsibilities.  Unfortunately, something must be given when you try to do it all. A desire to create memorable client events or maintain regular client outreach can be hampered by the need to manage other essential tasks that, frankly, the end client may not value.

Do what Patrick does.

There are options for firms in that situation. The short-term option lies in your 2024 business plan or in your next set of quarterly rocks.  I took the idea from an advisor I worked with years ago, Patrick. Each year he begins business planning, he and his staff begin with one question. He says to each, “before we discuss what we are going to do in 2024, what are we going to STOP doing? It is not practical to keep adding “to-dos” to the list without taking things away. 

The longer-term option is to review your business and assess its viability in the current model. As a former board member of a small bank, we did exactly that and concluded that our customers were better off if we merged/sold to a somewhat larger organization.  The sale allowed for fixed costs to spread over a larger base, it created clarity of roles for most of the staff and the new owners could pass the savings on to the customers in the form of better terms on savings and checking accounts as well as lower mortgage and loan rates. We carefully selected the buyer based on its culture and impact on the community to ease the transition.

As you step into 2024 – What is your role? What can you do to maximize that role? What resources are available to you to jettison everything that gets in the way? By adopting a strategic approach, you can streamline your focus, ensuring that every effort contributes to your overall objectives.

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