Strategy: Start with the end in mind

“Without strategy, execution is aimless. Without execution, strategy is useless”

Business exist because someone, maybe you, needs to make money. It is the number one driver of any business.

When a business stops making money, the doors close. And most business close because the business lacked a realistic strategy. No real understanding as to why they exist and worse, if they can survive long term or how they will exit into retirement.

Yet despite this, many business owners still fail to plan. Even the best financial advisers fail to plan their self-employed business adventure. I have witnessed their failures and seen their very financial demise due to a combination of bad planning and mismanagement, but mostly because they had no direction. A journey without an end goal is journey without ambition. All too often I witness this aimless journey for many new financial advice business owners. They tend to live in the short term ideology without consideration for the journey or the end. Their only consideration is:

  1. To have their own business name, logo and stationery
  2. To go into business with their family or financial adviser friends
  3. To make more money because they think they will
  4. To be their own boss because they think life will be better
  5. To do something else because they decide any change is progress

This is a front-end strategy with no consideration of how to grow, how to profit or to how to exit. This is not the strategy you need to adopt. IT serves no purpose to everyday activities, business measures, funding, growth plans, staffing costs, compliance functions, case checking and supervision, daily business costs etc. Put simply, not having a proper long-term business strategy is blind hope.

What is needed is a strategy that achieves an end goal. Start with the end in mind and make sure you are building a business with an exit plan. No matter if your structure is an individual lifestyle business or a larger multi-adviser business, the strategy to adopt must come from these three considerations:

  1. Where are you now? (What do you start with, your strengths and weaknesses)
  2. Where do you want to be? (In two years, five years, ten years and how to exit)
  3. How do you get there? (What needs to change to overcome barriers, improve and develop)