If you were too busy dealing with the day-to-day minutiae and putting out fires instead of the mid-year distribution review, don’t worry. You still have time to kick start the year with a sound strategic plan to create or improve your growth strategy for the new year. Here’s what you need to focus on to get that done.
Evaluate the past and set goals for the future
You know what you have done well and not-so-well in the past. The key is emphasizing what has worked and either eliminating what hasn’t or adjusting your game plan to correct any miscues. By identifying those important items, you can develop a strategy that puts your best foot forward.
Develop a strategy to meet your goals within your budget
You don’t have to do everything on this list to still be better off at the end of the year. By understanding your budget not only monetarily but time-wise, you can make sure you don’t overextend your check book or your time (which can often-times have larger ramifications than a short-term hit to the bottom line.
Enhance Your Story
Make it better and different than the competition at both the firm and strategy level. If consultants and prospects often get confused on page 7 of your pitchbook, for example, fix it. It is important that all your executives tell the story the same way and that it is communicated well throughout your written communications, including your website, pitchbook and RFP, among others.
Is it time for you to develop new strategies that moving forward may meet the demands of investors and help diversify your business? Are there new markets that you should be expanding into? Are you missing out on smaller accounts because you don’t have an easy way to manage them? Perhaps you should consider launching a mutual fund or ETF that can help you grow your assets into the financial advisor channel. If you have a fledging mutual fund, maybe you should close it or find a partner to distribute it. They may want you to remain a subadvisor.
Upgrade sales and retention efforts
Do you have the internal resources to sustain a viable marketing and client service effort? Have you outgrown your current external relationships? Whatever tact you take, be sure to evaluate the databases you input your firm’s product data into, what systems you utilize and the processes in place for submitting RFPs. Technology can be your friend—particularly a customer relationship management system that allows you to know your customers.
Improve marketing to look the part
Your marketing infrastructure sets the stage for success. Ensure that your website, pitchbooks and factsheets are professional and informative. When it comes to marketing communications, having timely and informative content that can be distributed through email marketing and social media is imperative for both clients and non-clients. Be sure to use it during important investor events.
Do you have a strategy that gets your name and story out to your target audience through the news media, conferences and other avenues? Providing context in news articles, contributing bylined articles and speaking at relevant industry events are optimal ways to raise your stature, increase your visibility and your credibility.
Sales and marketing technology
Have you invested in the use of technology to support the sales and marketing process? If you are updating your client list manually or blasting out emails without knowing which specific advisors are engaging with your content, you may be behind. Technology exists to help you automatically track your investors in terms of sales and digital engagement. Using technology, you would know if a client stopped engaging digitally and be able to make a preemptive phone call to stop the redemption. Without the technology, you would likely lose the client.
Mergers and fund adoptions
While many firms are struggling to attract investors, increased regulation and stronger competition are opportunities of a lifetime to acquire assets and people. Whether your organizational strategy is working or not, a merger or acquisition can help deepen your bench, focus on managing money or purely just allow you to scale your business moving forward.
Dan Sondhelm is CEO of Sondhelm Partners, a firm that helps asset managers, mutual funds, ETFs, wealth managers and fintech companies grow through marketing, public relations and sales programs. Click to read Dan’s latest Insight articles and to schedule a complimentary consultation.