By: Daniel C. Finley

Building A Balanced Business

Have you ever struggled with building balance in your business? If so, don’t be alarmed because most advisors/agents have this challenge at some point in their careers. They excel at only a few business facets such as client servicing or portfolio management at the expense of other business facets such as prospecting and sales.

It’s interesting to note that balance in your business is not something you magically find but it is something that you strategically create. How do you know if your business is balanced in the first place? How do you know if you have a challenge you might not be aware of?

I suggest you utilize a tool that I created called The Advisor’s Business Wheel which is a simple but effective exercise in understanding how you rank your current level of satisfaction in each of the eight fundamental facets of your business: time management, prospecting, sales, relationship building, client servicing, marketing, product knowledge and managing accounts.

Here is how it works.

Step #1 Draw a Pie Chart with 8 Pieces

The first step is the easiest. Draw a pie chart with eight pieces of the pie labeling one of the aforementioned facets for each piece. Make sure that you write your labels outside of the crust of the pie. You will understand in a minute.

Tom W. was a thirty five year veteran financial advisor who was not happy with the level of success that he was having in his business but he couldn’t articulate what his specific challenges were much less what facet of the business he needed to improve upon. So, I had him create a pie chart and label it Tom’s Business Wheel along with labeling each piece. 

Step #2 Rate Yourself in Each Facet

The second step is to rate yourself for each facet of the business. The best way to do this is to write each facet out below the pie chart. Next, record on a scale of 1-10, (1 being not satisfied to 10 being very satisfied) your level of satisfaction for each facet of your business. Remember, each ranking is independent of the others.

Once Tom had his business wheel created I explained the rating system and had him do the exercise. It was starting to become apparent to him that his business was not balanced because his highest rankings were in client servicing, product knowledge and managing accounts while his lowest rankings were on prospecting, sales and relationship building.

Step #3 Plot Your Ratings Points

The third step is to look at the pie chart you created with a horizontal line, vertical line and an “X” lines. Again, our pie chart should have 8 lines that intersect into the middle point. Take the middle point and move upward on the vertical line to the crust of the pie. If the middle point were a 0 and the crust of the pie were a 10, plot your number accordingly on that line. Outside of the pie chart, you would have labeled that line Time Management and continue this process for each of the 8 facets of your business.

I explained to Tom how to plot his ratings points and I asked him what he liked and disliked about the business. He said, “I like talking to my clients and helping them”. Then he paused and sheepishly admitted, “What I don’t like is trying to find additional clients after all of these years.

Step #4: Connect the Dots

The fourth step is to connect the points! This is what your Advisor’s Business Wheel looks like. Is your business balanced or round like a wheel? Is it shaped like a star? If it is a star, your business is out of balance!!!

Tom connected the dots and looked at his Advisor’s Business Wheel in silence. “Tom”, I curiously said, “If we walked out to the parking ramp at the end of the day and we looked at your driver side wheel what would you do if it looked like your Advisor’s Business Wheel?” He quickly lifted his head and said, “I’d change it. When do we begin?”

Why the Advisor’s Business Wheel Works

As you can see from this story, the Advisor’s Business Wheel works because it gives you a bird’s eye view of what your entire business looks like, in terms of your level of satisfaction with each facet of the business, while increasing your awareness of what areas you need to work on. It also helps you get motivated to make changes, just like Tom!

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