Looking to grow your practice? Cut through the smoke and start by focusing on these three basic questions.

As financial advisors, we are always striving to achieve more growth in our business. However, the best ways to grow can sometimes remain unclear.

Below, we explore the three essential questions every advisor should consider when trying to grow their practice. Write these down, so the next time you are thinking of growth strategies, you have them on hand!

1. How can I provide an amazing client experience?

When building a business, you should begin with service. Not only should the client experience be of the highest possible quality, but it should be constantly evolving to be better and better. There are many strategies that advisors can employ to ensure their client experience is up to snuff.

First, advisors need to really dig into the client experience, map it out, and solve problems as they arise. A good way to do this is to create an annual service calendar and deliver on it. This will ensure consistent delivery of your client experience goals throughout the year and will set clear expectations for your clients on what they can expect. Additionally, identifying a target market or niche will allow you to tailor your services to meet the specific needs and preferences of your clients, fostering deeper connections and trust.

Pro tip: Consider holding regular client events. Don’t be scared to get creative here. Client events will not only strengthen relationships, but also provide opportunities for education, networking, and enjoyment, enhancing overall client satisfaction.

2. How can I grow my business?

Providing a high-quality client experience will not only set you apart from the competition and help you retain clients, but it will also lead to more client referrals. Satisfied clients are more likely to refer their family, friends, neighbors, etc. to your business.

It’s not surprising though that one of the easiest places to start your growth strategy is with your current client base. Studies repeatedly cite client referrals as one of the biggest sources of growth for advisors, making them often the most reliable way to grow your firm. However, many advisors fail to take the necessary steps to acquire client referrals.

Advisors need to proactively reach out to their clients constantly to stay top of mind as well as actively requesting client referrals. To do so will require consistent communication. Advisors should leverage channels such as weekly newsletters, quarterly webinars, periodic announcements, and semi-annual meetings to keep clients informed and engaged. Additionally, don’t be shy! Ask for introductions from satisfied clients during meetings or through follow-up surveys. By being proactive and maintaining open lines of communication, you can enjoy growth by attracting new clients through both referrals and direct outreach efforts.

Pro tip: In your communications, whatever channel you are using, it is very important to communicate with transparency—clearly articulate fees, services, and investment strategies–to help build up trust and align with client expectations.

3. How can I leverage my team to help with retaining clients and growing the firm?

Understanding how to effectively leverage your team in your efforts to grow your firm is crucial. Advisors are too busy to do it all themselves. Hiring the top talent available is worth the money spent! Creating a rigorous and thoughtful interview process that aligns with your firm’s values and goals will help you to hire the right people.

Additionally, offering competitive benefits and compensation packages will help attract the best people while showing your team how much you appreciate and value them.

When analyzing your team and the needs of your business, make sure you are hiring in advance of your needs. This will allow time for new team members to onboard and integrate into their roles seamlessly. More importantly, you will have people to help you when things get a little crazy.

You want to ensure that your work and client experience never suffer just because things get a little hectic!

Just like you work to attract the best clients, you want to attract the best team.

Communicating your firm’s mission clearly and passionately will help you to sort out who believes in it as much as you. Every member of your team should be aligned with your firm’s goals. Hiring the right individuals and providing them with the necessary support and resources will make sure you always have a winning team behind you and your business!

Pro tip: It’s not just clients who enjoy events and experiences. Be sure to treat your team to fun team-bonding activities and educational opportunities. This will foster better connections between team members, provide moments for mentorship, and ensure your team is always learning and progressing.

Through continuously focusing on and improving the service model and client experience, it follows that growth will occur organically. Having the right people around you will help you as your business expands.

Make sure you are asking yourself these questions every year so you can achieve optimal growth and foster a strong community with your clients and employees.

By Debra Taylor, CPA/PFS, JD, CDFA -Horsesmouth 7/8/2024