This article is based on the webinar “How a Coach Can Help You Ramp Up Growth For Your Advisory Firm.” To watch the webinar in its entirety, fill out the form here.
Athletes aren’t lone wolves. Even those who compete in individual sports or who are at the top of their game need a coach if they want to improve and reach their potential. They need someone who’ll provide a level of accountability and a fresh perspective.
Financial advisors aren’t lone wolves, either. Even those whose practice spans decades and boasts a sizeable AUM can benefit from working with a business coach. A coach is a second set of eyes and a guiding pair of hands that’ll keep you on the path toward success when you’re stuck in a routine.
Running your own firm involves hiring talent, creating a vision and executing on a strategy, all alongside the normal advisor duties of working with existing clients and cultivating new client relationships. Acting as CEO doesn’t come naturally to every advisor. You can learn the skills and mindset required to conquer the role through executive business coaching.
Let’s talk through five key ways professional coaches can help advisors achieve their goals and take their firms to new heights.
1. Countering complacency
Complacency is one of the most frequent hurdles to growth that advisors face. One of the biggest benefits of a coach is their ability to squash complacency. Your business might be growing, but does your growth rely only on existing clients?
According to Charles Schwab’s 2019 Benchmarking Study, the median RIA with $250 million or more under management increased assets by 17.1% while organic growth increased 5.5% in 2017. The next year, the same RIA’s AUM decreased almost 1% while organic growth sat around 4.1%.
The firm put all their eggs into the market, so when the market drastically fluctuated, the firm’s AUM took the brunt of the hit. Don’t rely on the market to grow your business, because it has a proven success record and requires less effort – for now.
To take your firm to new heights, you have to seek out new assets from current and prospective clients. A coach will help you uncover the hunger you had early in your career and remind you of your business development skills.
2. Strategic thought partner
Many advisors succeed through hard work and hustle. But when “CEO” is attached to your name, you have to shift your mindset. Strategic thinking or “top-down” thinking is a must.
What do you want your firm to look like in one year? Five years?
Imagine you’re paying workers to build your house. You wouldn’t tell them to keep busy for five months and be happy with the finished product. You’d lay out a clear blueprint – a vision – for what the house should look like. What do you want to build? What goals will get you there? What strategies will help you achieve them?
A clear vision informs future business decisions such as who you hire, where you concentrate your focus and what your client service model looks like. What you want your firm to look like in the future drives everything you do.
A coach can play the role of your strategic thought partner. As crucial as following your vision is to the success of your practice, you can get lost in the weeds of daily demands and CEO duties. Coaches help pull you back onto your path whenever you fall off.
3. Eliminating execution error
Cultivating a vision and establishing a strategy is half the battle. A successful strategy also requires execution.
A coach has likely been in the trenches before, either as an advisor or working with advisors. They know the right moves to make and the potential mistakes to avoid.
With a slew of responsibilities comes a great deal of opportunities for advisors to misfire: running client meetings, growing human capital, implementing bonus plans, establishing an advisory council, etc. Improper execution can be more detrimental to your overall business goals than no execution. A coach will help you do the right things in the right way.
4. Holding advisors accountable
Advisors need to be held accountable, and self-accountability isn’t very effective. Sometimes we all need a swift kick to get us going in the right direction.
Advisors don’t work with coaches to “survive” in the industry. They rely on coaches to help them reach unprecedented heights. This usually requires implementing new systems or ideas, which can be challenging for an advisor to execute if they’re bogged down by other day-to-day duties.
5. Sustaining success
Coaches want to help you not just achieve in the now, but set you up for success well into the future. They help you turn the corner from attaining success to sustaining success. It’s easier to grow fast when you’re a small firm. It’s a lot harder to chip away at a larger AUM the bigger you get.
Growth doesn’t mean consistent yearly growth – and it doesn’t always mean revenue growth either. It could mean growing in human capital, systems or technology.
Coaches also help you approach growth holistically. If you want to set up your firm for long-term success, you need to balance your work life with other areas outside your business – family, health, spiritual, etc. Success doesn’t lead to fulfillment, fulfillment leads to success. Advisors can run a successful practice and still not feel fulfilled in business or in life.
No matter where you’re at in AUM or experience, working with a coach can be beneficial. If you’re just starting out, a coach can help define your vision and establish the path you need to take to reach it. If you’ve been in the industry for awhile, a coach can help nix the complacent attitude crippling your growth. A coach is a partner in your quest for growth.
You can watch our on-demand webinar for more on how coaches can help you develop better ideas, smarter strategies and great accountability. Click here to check it out.