How to Plan for Growth in 2018

by | Jan 25, 2018 | Blog

Ah, another year is coming to an end! Did you accomplish all that you set out to do? If you didn’t have a business plan for 2017, you likely wouldn’t know the answer to this question. Formalizing a business plan is essential if you want to keep your independent practice thriving and competitive, your staff informed and motivated, and everyone reaching new milestones year after year.

While creating a written business plan may seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of free resources online to help you document your goals, and just by putting them in writing increases the odds you’ll achieve them by close to 50%!

For most financial advisors, the obvious place to start is to identify a percentage of growth you want to achieve for the number of clients, gross revenue and assets under management for the next year, three years and five years. Here are some other areas you may want to focus on which contribute to increased growth too:

  • Increase efficiency
  • Expand services
  • Improve client communication
  • Increase client retention
  • Continue the professional development of the team
  • Implement new technology

Whichever goals you select, be sure not to take on too many and that they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely (SMART). After you’ve formulated your goals for the new year, the next step is to identify the actions you, your team, or an outsourced resource will be responsible for accomplishing each quarter. Your staff has only so much time available after their regular responsibilities to take on more responsibility, so make sure the actions are achievable and realistic.  Your list of action items does not have to be extensive; up to six a quarter is plenty!

As business development consultants, we work extensively with advisors to help formalize plans for the year and stay on course each quarter to complete actions. It’s helpful to have someone working side-by-side with you to help you stay committed and strategic.

Here is an example of one of my client’s goals for 2018 and the actions we have identified each of us will take each quarter of the new year.

Goal 1: Establish social media presence to attract prospects and communicate with clients and friends of the firm.

  • One Year – Attain the following: 150 Facebook Likes, 50 Twitter Followers, 250 LinkedIn Connections.
  • Three Year – Attain the following (20% annual increase): 216 Facebook Likes, 72 Twitter Followers, 360 LinkedIn Connections.
  • Five Year – Attain the following (25% annual increase): 324 Facebook Likes, 113 Twitter Followers, 563 LinkedIn Connections.


  • Quarter One:
    • Create Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn sites and receive compliance approval. Responsible Party: Assistant or Virtual Marketing Assistant.
    • Have google tracking implemented on your website. Responsible Party: Virtual Marketing Assistant or Website Administrator
    • Identify and learn about content resources available. Responsible Party: Business Development Consultant
    • Post content, at least once a week. Responsible Party: Assistant
    • Send an email announcement to all clients to like, follow, and connect. Responsible Party: Virtual Assistant
  • Quarter Two:
    • Post content, at least once a week. Responsible Party: Assistant
    • Add blog tab to your website. Responsible Party: Virtual Marketing Assistant or Website Administrator
    • Write blog posts, at least once a month. Responsible Party: Advisor or Virtual Marketing Assistant
    • Post each blog post to website and share via social media. Responsible Party: Virtual Marketing Assistant or Website Administrator
    • Track website traffic coming from social sites after each blog post.

Quarters three and four include many of the same actions with some additional ones added.

As you can see by this example, having knowledgeable, outsourced resources to rely on can make planning for the future a bit easier.

If you have any questions about business planning, give us a call. Our team of business development consultants would be happy to get to know more about your practice and business goals for the future.