– Happy Wednesday, everybody. So I usually record a business planning session at the end of the year or towards the end of the quarter. But, this planning has come up so much organically in conversations the past two weeks that I figured, I’d do a video addressing the business plan, and the business planning process broadly today. By the way, I sort of get the feeling that, it’s come up so often because advisors and leaders just sort of wanna fast forward to December, and forget this fourth quarter and get going with 2021, and I totally agree by the way, and I understand that sentiment. My other comment before I sort of talk you through the way I think about business planning is that, and this is a similar theme to other videos I’ve done but I sort of feel like as coaches and consultants, we haven’t really done a good job of training advisors on how to plan, how to conduct the business planning for two reasons. The first is, and this is something that is true, if you grew up in a transactional sort of sales culture, but advisors are incredibly, destination not journey focused. In other words, you ask them to recite, and to be fair advisor, some of you can struggle with this piece sometimes, but, number of new households I wanna bring in, number of assets, if you’re in the insurance Midi channel, number of lives, I wanna bring in. But, immediately being able to make the connection between, the quantitative number they just gave, and the journey, so the gaps that exist, the tweaks and adjustments that need to be made along the way, the capital investments that likely would have to be made in order to hit that goal, that’s a really challenging part for advisors, and you may be thinking to yourself, yeah, that’s why we do a business plan. But, what I want to challenge advisors and the industry to do better is, teach advisors how to do that thinking, and really, it’s having the ability to strategically and tactically think at the same time, on an ongoing basis. In other words, you don’t need a pen and paper, you don’t need to analyze numbers and metrics to really have a good understanding of planning as a whole for your business. In other words, at any given time, you can roughly talk about, the long term goal for the business, and at a high level, what needs to change, stay the same and adjust. And it’s that piece, it’s that muscle, that part of the brain, that we really don’t help advisors exercise, right? We tell them, you have to have the right, perfect business planning template, every coaching and consulting firm has their own, or you have to go to this breakout session at this conference or workshop to be able to you know, to really be proficient in business planning. And newsflash, the more we tell advisors that there’s always something sort of better that they should be doing, or that they just should attend this, if they wanna get really good at you know, this area of practice management. The only people that’s helping is, you know, the coaches and consultants because it keeps them in business, it’s not helpful to advisors. And so, my objective today is to give you a framework, through which you can think about, the business plan, but planning for your business more broadly. And so, I’m gonna list out a couple things, and you know, my clients hear me say this all the time, there’s no single right template. You could… Some advisors like having a blank sheet of paper, and really like to sort of create. Some people, I’m pointing to a whiteboard here that you can’t see, but some people like to whiteboard, some advisors like to have sort of a guided experience where maybe they’re checking off some things, filling in you know, a template, and that really gets the wheels spinning for them. Know your learning style, that’s sort of first and foremost, my precursor to the first thing, right? I always give you a precursor. Know your learning style and what works best for you. Secondly, and I just sort of alluded to this, business planning is not a single activity that you do for two hours at the end of the year. Use this framework, to start training yourself to think about, this list I’m gonna give you on an ongoing basis, meaning quarterly, monthly, maybe even weekly, as you continue to sort of adjust and tweak this throughout the year. Okay, so here we go. First thing, and I’m gonna give you four sort of general topics, but the first thing, is mission. I always advise, advisors and their teams to begin a business planning exercise with, Roman numeral one, the reminder of the collective mission, collective meaning we’re all working together to achieve that. This is actually really interesting because I often ask this question, when I’m quizzing advisors about their business plan for the following year, and I’ll start with, okay, just remind me of the mission, that should be at the top of the business plan, guiding our thoughts and comments throughout this session, and even some of the best in the business freeze up at that exact moment. Or say something and sort of flub through an answer, because they don’t have a succinct way to describe the mission. And as you all know, I’m pretty critical about mission statement exercises, and sort of hope-key language, but you do have to come up with a way in which, even if it’s a word, if it’s a phrase that you’re really comfortable with, and feels sort of power around, you have to get comfortable with language that’s reflective of your mission. So our mission is purpose, purpose for our clients, helping them live purposeful lives, helping them be purposeful about their money, maybe that’s your mission, whatever it is, but having a word or set of words that you can really sort of play around with in language. So that’s the first thing remind you of collective mission super, super important to begin a business plan with. Number two, stating clearly and succinctly, your quantitative goals for the year. There are some advisors, we work with many of them who actually don’t like to do this. And there’s a couple reasons why, one reason for folks who are thinking to themselves, that’s me. You know, one reason is, and I see this less with the more successful advisors that we work with, but fear, fear of not hitting the goals, fear of making something feel real, and then having to sort of live up to it, but the most more common reason why I see people feeling reluctant about setting quantitative goals is simply because of personality traits, people who tend to score, and this is anecdotal, but as high as D’s on a disc profile, right? The drivers, the folks who just get stuff done, incredibly results oriented, they don’t need to put a number down on a paper, they don’t need to have, you know, activity metrics and all these accountability structures in order to succeed. And so, what I would advise you if you’re an advisor, thinking like that, I totally hear you, and I wanna honor the way in which you succeed, but keep in mind that the members of your team will likely don’t share that communication, and personality profile is you. So quantitative goal’s incredibly important, a lot of times when I ask advisors about quantitative goals, they’ll give me you know, AUM, households, depending who I’m working with, sometimes premium on insurance, but, planning fees, I want you to start getting in the habit of thinking in terms of revenue and profitability. I said this on a webinar on your Wednesday wisdom, probably a couple months ago, always pretend as if, at any given time, you have to make a presentation to a private equity company about your business, because they are looking to put you know, maximum valuation on your company. And so understanding those numbers, if they will look at your business plan, then you need to understand revenue, recurring revenue, profitability, etc. So that’s the second thing. So we have mission and then quantitative goals. The third thing is something I call guardrails. In other words, what absolutely has to be there, in the business in order for those goals to be hit. So people may call these priorities or initiatives, but I like to think of them as forget what exists and what doesn’t exist right now. If you’re looking at growing 20% or 50%, year over year, what absolutely has to be there? List out all those things, and don’t make the list too lengthy, but remind yourself of remember that journey, the things that are gonna need to be tweaked and adjusted. So, this person, XYZ associated advisor, has to be completely managing, you know, XYZ group of clients, or we need to automate workflows within the CRM, or we need to institutionalize investment management and get that finished. So that’s the third piece guardrails. The fourth piece, the company’s objectives, and I’m gonna run up on time here, but feel free to go to our site, or go to our YouTube to watch the full video but company objectives, what do you wanna make sure that you are achieving? And what I always tell advisors is that, company objectives should not change dramatically on an annual basis. Meaning, what you aim to achieve as an organization, and a firm, shouldn’t generally be the same. Now, the key results that tie to those objectives, will change your after year. Company objectives are important. For me, they make the goals, you know those quantitative goals come to life. Quantitative goals don’t tell as much of a story about the firm, as objectives do. The second reason they’re important is because, when you have team members do individual, team member objectives, which I recommend, so what they’re trying to achieve in their role, they need to tie that back to something. And so as you’re coming up with your company objectives and key results, I want you to think about things like, objective number one, as an organization, we aim to deepen brand awareness, year after year, or deepen brand awareness this year. Key results how are you gonna know you’re achieving that? Maybe you’re ensuring that you’re meeting with a key COI, every quarter and making sure they bring you know, two quality referrals to your office. Or maybe you’re ensuring that you’re blogging on a weekly basis, and tracking the results in Magic. Other company objectives could be things like, you know, one objective is to, grow profitably and sustainably. How do we know we’re achieving that? Well, we know we’re achieving that, because what are we looking for next year, we’re looking for our expenses to either stay the same or, compress as a result of scale, and thus, we know that we’re hitting our objective of growing profitably and sustainably, and we have a key metric or marker, that we can track that with. And so, thinking about the business this way, not only helps keep you accountable to the things that you have to change and adjust, but also helps team members feel like, they’re part of this journey with you and clearly see their impact in helping you drive results. Okay, I know I went over two minutes, but I hope that was helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. Otherwise, I’ll see you next week, same place, same time. Take care.