Financial Advisor Checklist to Prep for the New Year

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Would you look at that, the year is coming to a close! How fast time flies.

Even though the proper end of the year is still a few months away, financial advisors are in a prime position to get started planning. The earlier and more robust your advisor planning, the better-prepared you’ll be for the year ahead.

But what do you need to plan? How do you need to plan? You can’t just blind fire into the new year with half-baked thoughts of “innovation,” “growth” and “synergy.” You need concrete ideas, clear steps and visible systems to keep you on track, both now and in the near future.

If you need a hand getting started on all this, read on, and get ready to supercharge the year ahead!

Thought Dictates the Future: Why Planning Matters

In planning, you’re deciding to work on yourself and your business. You’re committing to creating a better version of yourself, a more efficient version of your practice. The best financial advisors make habits out of particular behaviors; adopting them means adopting the best mindset. Addressing the small details in your planning ensures that the better version to come doesn’t just have good intentions — it’s actually better. Let’s look at the steps to make your planning work.

Creating the Plan

Step One is creation. What must financial advisors do to create the plan? What mindset should you have when first sitting down to plan? Here’s what you should be considering at the onset:

Reflect on Recent Years

It may seem obvious, but reflect on the past year to see what practices can be improved or what did not work for your business. Just like all New Year’s resolutions, avoiding repeated mistakes and adjusting current practices could revolutionize the way you work in the new year. If there was something you did that really improved business, try to focus on that.

Write It All Down

Taking a trip down memory lane can help you learn where you may have fallen short of your goals in previous years. Make a note of your big wins and losses and pay close attention to the actions and events leading up to them. What can you repeat as is? What should you adjust? What should you throw out entirely?

Physically visualizing your plan will help make it official, real, and obtainable. Whether it’s using pen and paper to draw out your ideas, a PowerPoint to present to yourself or staff, or even a calendar to ensure goals are met — all these options will provide a physical copy of your new year marketing plan. A visual of your goals will help you and your staff stay on track for the rest of the year.

Be Honest!

Let’s be honest: Not everyone achieves every single one of their goals. In fact, studies suggest that nearly 80% of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after only a few weeks. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you encounter roadblocks or need to scale back your goals. Setbacks don’t have to mean failure, and every challenge is a learning experience.

Prioritize Your Goals

Though all goals are ideals you strive to, some are larger and more comprehensive than others. It’s not efficient to simply have a huge list of abstract ideals for your practice to “aim for.” In fact, if you have too many free-floating on your company’s To Do list, you may find that you’re working on all of them at the same time, and not finishing a single one.

A goal like “host X seminars per quarter” is perhaps more relevant to your practice than “paint the walls.” Not that one goal is more important than the other! On the contrary, prioritizing makes sure you’re not dividing your attention and expending necessary resources.

Make It Public

An added layer of accountability never hurts for advisor planning. Discuss your forthcoming goals with friends, family, even clients. Knowing that someone’s watching can incentivize you to follow up on promises you’ve made with yourself.

If you have support staff, think about how you can utilize their skills to keep you on track for a successful year. Ask your staff to reflect on the past year and listen to their improvements for either their position or the business. Accept advice for what you can do for your staff. You can also see if there are certain activities you could delegate to other staff members to free time for yourself or others.

Action Dictates the Present: Start Your Planning

Now you’ve got your advisor planning on paper — all there in black and white, possibly color depending on your printer settings. Don’t shove it in a drawer, though! It’s time to act!

Perhaps the most important part of planning for financial advisors is starting — otherwise it’s just words, words, words. How to get going, then? What can help get your new year plan off the ground and into reality?

Tools From Impact!

Wouldn’t you know it, The Impact Partnership comes with several financial advisor training programs to help make your plans a reality. If you want to elevate your practice in the new year, these are some great resources to help you along:

Conversion Coach

Impact’s exclusive Conversion Coach program teaches financial advisors how to better convert potential prospects into long-time clients. Since new clients are the lifeblood of any thriving financial practice, finding the right prospects in the first place — as well as engaging them with effective and proven means — keeps your practice alive and well. Check out our series of videos and see what Conversion Coach can do for your practice. (Don’t forget to like and subscribe to Impact’s YouTube channel while you watch!)

Starting Social Media

Make it a habit to stay consistent on social media. If you don’t have a business profile for your financial practice or aren’t currently on most major platforms, put that New Year’s resolution at the top of your list!

With Impact’s Engage social media program, we post researched social media content and captivating imagery on your company pages to supplement your current social media presence. We also build and manage social media advertising through Facebook to increase awareness of your company brand and drive leads to your next event. It’s a great way to build your online presence in the new year.

Schedule a Visit to Impact

Impact provides the tools and tips all year-round that financial advisors need to plan for their futures. We understand, though, that seeing is believing. You can reach out to us here to talk about how we can help you meet and exceed your goals, and to schedule a visit to our headquarters in metro Atlanta!

Even with our help, though, it’s still up to you to follow the best practices and develop a winning mindset to elevate your practice to the next level. But we’re here to help every step of the way!

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Stephen Odom, CEO of The Impact Partnership


Chief Executive Officer

Stephen started in the insurance marketing business in 2001 as a new business consultant. In 2002 he was promoted to Director of Sales and built a 200 million book of business from scratch. By 2005, he was one of the top wholesalers in the country, working with some of the top financial advisors and insurance agents across the USA. In 2008, Stephen was promoted to Co-President of one of the largest IMOs in the country.

In 2011, Stephen continued his entrepreneurship path and co-founded The Impact Partnership, an INC 5000 company. Stephen is responsible for the strategic vision of Impact and is laser-focused on creating a culture of growth for both internal teammates and our amazing customers.

Stephen lives in Kennesaw, GA, with his wife of more than 20 years, Kendra. They are blessed with three beautiful children Katie, Tyler, Anna Brooke, and Laya, their German Shepherd and Luna, their BernieDoodle.