Financial Planning and Wealth Management SWOT
Most financial advisors are familiar with a Business Plan but few have heard of a SWOT Analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. By creating a SWOT Analysis you can understand your financial firm’s strategic position and how you can capitalize on your strengths.
Strengths are what grow a firm and contribute to your long term financial success, but looking your weaknesses straight in the face can be an eye opener. Who wants to willingly confront areas of their practice where they are weak?
Copy and paste the sections below into a word document and sit down on a Friday afternoon when you have several hours to really look at your business. The SWOT Analysis is a separate addendum to your Business Plan and Marketing Plan. In your SWOT you’ll be answering questions you may have never thought about before, so it helps if you have the time to delve deeply into your practice.
- What do you do better than most financial planners? Is it working directly with clients? In other words, are your client relationship skills the best thing about you?
- What is it about your team that works?
- Are you strong at managing your clients’ investment portfolios? Can this function be outsourced so that you can focus on working with clients?
- What is your market advantage? What is it about your skills that can you brand so that you stand out from the crowd? Can you brand your intake process? Or your financial planning process?
- What would your competitors say are your strengths?
List your Strengths here:
- Take a good look at your practice from clients’ point of view. If you were a potential client, would you want to sign on the dotted line?
- What can you improve upon in your business?
- Do you have the right team in place to fully service your clients’ needs?
- Are you lacking a client-focused Client Service Experience?
- Are you weak in prospecting for new clients?
- Are you weak in establishing a Brand for your practice? Many advisors lack a strong Branding strategy to stand out from the competition, therefore they pass up one of the best ways to attract new clients.
- Are your leadership skills lacking? What do you need to do to improve?
List your Weaknesses here:
- What are the opportunities that you are not taking advantage of? Be truthful. I have never met a financial planner who has leveraged all the key opportunities available to them.
- Have you used referrals to grow your practice?
- Have you created a Client Service Experience that wows your clients?
- Have you taken advantage of technology and workflow processes to decrease workload?
- Have you used Inbound Marketing to draw clients to you?
- Are you using your website as a prospecting tool?
- How is society changing and how does this apply to your firm?
List your Opportunities here:
- What obstacles do you face in this profession?
- How could government regulation harm you?
- Is your competition held to a different ethical standard than you?
- Do you have problem clients who don’t follow your advice? What are you doing to protect yourself?
- Is technology threatening your viability?
- Do you have one or more clients with large portfolios? What happens if they leave?
- Is it possible that some of your weaknesses could threaten your practice?
List your Threats here:
Create an Action Plan from the results of this analysis based on your firm’s priorities. Studies show that firms that focus on planning their success are those with founders and employees who experience the best life satisfaction, not to mention the best financial success.
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