There’s Snow Time Like the Present to Plan for 2012

Oct 31, 2011

Three million people without power due to the freak snowstorm on the East Coast this weekend, and as usual, the Anderson family is part of that not-so-exclusive club. Although we live in suburban Philadelphia and not some remote location in the mountains or something, I know that every time the weather gets really bad, we’ll get hit with a few days of no power. However, with the small backup generator that we had installed a few years ago, we now have heat and running water — so we spent  Sunday getting organized and enjoying family time. A day without power is a day without the usual distractions.

It is a great day for focus time and a great day for planning.

Kind of like a snow day, think about the last time you had a client meeting cancel or some other major unplanned disruption in your day. Did you use the time in your business or on your business? In my experience, we never use these unplanned but golden times to their fullest extent. We get caught up with some little mundane task or even worse, we blow the free time by surfing the web or talking to co-workers and staff. If you have time blocked your calendar as “quality” time with clients or a strategic partner, why not use that time to its fullest?

Today is the day to look at 2012.

Although the snow is a bit early this year, the reminder is still valid. 2011 is almost over and we should begin focusing on our plans for 2012. I know I have said it before, but I truly believe that this is the best opportunity any of us will ever have to grow our practices. Investors are looking for advice and counsel; they are worried about their retirement plans or if they even can retire. Now is the time to put a plan in place to meet those investors. Ideally, you won’t wait until a client cancels, but even if you do, start planning as soon as possible. Ask yourself:

  • Did I achieve my 2011 goals?
  • What worked this year, what didn’t, and why?
  • What  are reasonable goals for 2012?
  • What tactics are am I going to execute in 2012 that will help me meet my objectives?
  • How am I going to involve my staff? (The plan can’t just rest in your mind only.)
  • How am I going to monitor the plan? (Regular update meetings are necessary so you can course correct.)
  • How am I going to incorporate strategic partners?
  • How am I going to judge success?

This is just the tip of a solid plan, but it’s a great start. I would suggest you block out some time over the next 60 days (yep, only 60 days left in 2011) to focus on how you are going to achieve your growth goals.

Also, mark your calendar for our next webinar, “Break Through in 2012,” on November 28th. It’s all about putting a plan in place to help you achieve your growth goals next year. Registration information will be posted soon.

John Anderson

John Anderson

John Anderson is the creator and lead author of Practically Speaking blog and Managing Director of Practice Management Solutions for the SEI Advisor Network.

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