Opinion  

Keeping your resolutions

Alison Steed

Alison Steed

How many of your New Year’s resolutions are you still abiding by then? One? All of them? None of them?

When it comes to making changes to our personal or business lives, turning a New Year provides a nice, if arbitrary, point in time to reassess whether we are doing everything we need to as well as we could.

But in reality, it is nothing more than one day ending and another beginning.

Personally, I have an aversion to New Year’s resolutions per se. I might think again about what I would like to achieve the following year, but not to such an extent that I will change my behaviour completely from January 1, like giving up chocolate or beginning a crazy exercise regime.

This is mainly because if the reason you are doing this is down to the year changing over, it is entirely the wrong reason to do it.

Telling yourself you are going to do something does not make it happen. For the short term it might work, a regime of getting up early and going to the gym before work might last a week or so.

But if you want to make changes that stick, you have to make changes that you really believe in, really need, and really want. 

What I am saying is, there is no need to make a change specifically at New Year; you should make it whenever it is right for you and your business. But deciding what that is and when it should be applied takes time – something we all know most advisers are painfully short on.

So, let us say that you want to increase your client numbers for the year – I realise some advisers are so successful they are turning people away from their door or have a waiting list for advice that runs into years, but for those that do not, there are a number of things you can do to help boost your marketing capabilities.

First of all, you need to define your target market.

Who exactly do you want as a client? You may already specialise; armed forces personnel, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs and so on.

If you do, that will make your life easier and, most likely, you will have built up a number of channels over the years that you have found to be particularly successful in generating new clients.

Even so, you should still question how successful they remain for bringing new business through the door.

But I digress. If you are not specialising in advice to a particular group already, then define who it is you are looking to get on board.

You can do this in a number of ways: by income bracket, geographical spread, profession, leisure interest (golf, for example, is often played by those who are better off), and a number of other ways on top.