2020 is well underway and everyone is hard at work to make this year your best year yet. Some advisers take a very structured approach to business planning, others prefer a bit more of a “seat of the pants” approach! The latter group give a bit of thought to the upcoming year, but sometimes find it difficult to capture meaningful goals.
So here goes with a few thoughts that will hopefully make the task a bit easier. We’ll take a look at constructing goals and also what areas of the business you might want to set goals for.
SMART Goals are effective goals
The first point to consider is what an effective goal looks like. Effective goals will help to drive effective behaviours, giving a better chance of better results. I don’t think that you can go far wrong if you check that each of the goals you set display SMART characteristics. SMART goals are ones that are:
- Specific – The goal must be clear and not ambiguous at all – it must be clearly understood what is expected to be achieved.
- Measurable – The goal must be capable of being measured so that you can clearly see the progress you are making in achieving the goal.
- Attainable – The goal must be realistic and fair. If it is completely unachievable, no-one will be motivated to achieve the goal.
- Relevant – The goal must make sense in terms of the “bigger picture”. There needs to be a clear purpose and reason behind the goal.
- Time-bound – There should be a specific time period (often the calendar year) in which the goal should be achieved. It can’t just be left open-ended.
So now you know how to set good goals, what are the areas within your business to measure? When you think about it, there are lots of them!
There is a range of measures that can be used to monitor the financial health of your business. Some of the key ones include:
- Overall income: Yes turnover can be just a vanity figure, if your costs are exceptionally high. However your turnover gives a sense of whether your business is capable of getting customer traction in your chosen markets.
- Profit after business expenses and remuneration: This figure is far more informative of your business health, as it takes account of your remuneration and all of the costs associated with running your business.
- % of income coming from trail / fee/ recurring income: The traditional method of valuing a Financial Broker is as a multiple of recurring income. This metric gives a clear sense of the value of your business.
However beyond the financial metrics, there are many other metrics that you can use. Here is a sample of some of them.
There is a range of metrics that can be used to measure the success of your client activities and also the success of individual advisers within the business. These include:
- Number of clients: this can be measured at an overall level and also within segments of your target client groups.
- Average revenue per client: This will give you a sense of whether you are building greater value into your propositions and whether you are reaching your ideal clients. Again this may be carried out at a segment level.
- Average recurring revenue per client: This will give you a good sense of the future health of your business.
- Average trail percentage: This will give you an indication of whether your ongoing service packages are delivering value to your clients, and whether they are willing to pay for this value.
- Number of new clients: Always a useful measure of whether you are growing as a business or not.
- Activity: This may be the number of new clients secured, first meetings secured, financial plans completed or indeed review meetings completed. It is always useful to get a good sense of the activity levels of each of your sales team.
- Client satisfaction: This will give you a sense of your likelihood to hang onto your clients into the future. Again this can be carried out at a segment level. The Net Promoter Score is a very simple but useful measure of client satisfaction.
- Risk register: Are there problem cases that need to be monitored? If so, a firm oversight needs to be maintained, both in relation to the number of cases and progress of these cases towards a solution.
Most marketing activities can actually be measured! Here are a few of the key ones that will help inform your marketing activities:
- Contact data quality: This might be as simple initially as tracking the number of client email addresses you have secured. Email offers you a no cost method of getting marketing messages out to your clients.
- Numbers and source of leads: Tracking the numbers and source of new lead is one of the best inputs into decision making around future marketing activities. If it worked before, it might be worth repeating!
- Website analytics: Google Analytics will give you a wealth of data in relation to your online marketing activities and can tell you the likes of;
- The number of people finding your website
- Where website visitors came from – Search terms, social media, directly accessing your website.
- The content that attracts people to your site…. and also drives them away.
- Social media interactions: Likes, comments, Retweets! These terms are “Double Dutch” to some people, highly valued endorsements of your content to others!
So there are many potential areas to measure. It’s a case of identifying the most relevant ones for your business, setting SMART goals around them and then getting stuck in and achieving those goals…