Blog Entries by Reid Stone, Founder, Chief Solutions Officer, AdvisoryQuest

Six Steps to Moving Your Advisory Firm to the Next Level

I recently had the opportunity to speak with two advisory firms and learn about the challenges they have encountered while trying to move their firms to the next level of success. The major challenge both firms seemed to be facing was getting started (and making progress) on projects they identified as being crucial to reaching this higher level, such as creating efficient processes and building scale into their business.

Here is a six step process advisory firms can follow to move past initial obstacles and to the next level of success:

Step 1) Create a strategic plan and continue using it to guide the firm. Include in the plan the mission and vision of the firm. Share it with your employees and make sure they understand where the firm is headed and why their role is important to the company reaching its goals.

Step 2) Assign the role of “Implementor.” The role of this person is to make sure the correct staff is in place, make sure progress toward longer-term goals is being made, and holding staff accountable. This could be the original founder of the firm, particularly when the firm is smaller. However, as the firm grows, the principal’s time becomes more consumed with client activities- servicing current clients and gathering new ones. Also consider hiring a COO or engaging a consultant to manage this role.

Step 3) Make sure you have the right staff in place to execute your strategy. If you don’t have the correct staff in place to move your firm to the next level you can: A) hire the correct person for the job, B) shift roles within the firm if the right people are there but are in the wrong roles, or C) hire an outside firm (consultant or outsourcer) to serve in the role on a short or long-term basis. 

Step 4) Focus on critical tasks and projects that move the firm toward longer-term goals. Assign priorities to the tasks needed to be completed. Clarify what needs to be accomplished today in order to reach your quarterly and yearly goals.

Step 5) Assign accountability for completing tasks that will move the firm closer to completing a project. Assign tasks or projects on a weekly/monthly/quarterly basis and make sure the correct person in your firm is handling the task or project and that each staff member is held accountable for completing the assigned tasks or project.

Step 6) Measure Your Progress. As you continue to make progress toward completing tasks and projects, monitor your progress and measure where you are at in terms of reaching longer-term goals. Assess your progress and reallocate or add resources if needed. Progress and success builds momentum as you move forward. 

AdvisoryQuest ( has solutions for building your optimal financial advisory business. Solution areas include: listing of technology and service providers, recent industry research, links to industry thought leaders, and how AQ can assist in building your financial advisory business.  

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