When is the last time you looked up from your work and noticed what was going on around you? If you are on Facebook, you have seen plenty of first-day school pictures over the last few weeks. You may have also noticed some school buses lumbering down your streets. Living near a few colleges, I have noticed packs of students walking to and from restaurants, bagel shops, and local bars. In case you missed the memo, summer is over, and fall is almost here. It’s time to assess how your year is going.

Advisors typically look at lots of metrics to assess how they are doing, with growth in assets under management (AUM) being the easiest. But with the Dow and S&P 500 up in double digits for the year (as of today), is that truly the best measure of your firm’s success? New clients may be another measure, however, that’s a lagging indicator of success; you already have those clients. What about the ones you’ll get in the months ahead? In fact, I would argue that most metrics advisors use have little bearing on the future. 

“Leading” you to a better fourth quarter

With summer over and our collective mindset 100% focused on the business, there are a few growth items that need your attention. Try calculating these indicators of success to come:

  • Prospects. How many prospects are receiving info from you and what is your process to convert them? Do you have a plan? 
  • Content in the queue. What content is scheduled to go out and when? Is it segmented by client type? Are there workflows involved? 
  • Client activity dates on the calendar. Client appreciation, workshops, face-to-face or virtual — what client-facing activities do you have planned? How many clients/prospects will you see and interact with?
  • Strategic planning sessions are scheduled. Bringing the staff, key stakeholders, and centers of influence (COIs) into a session to discuss 2022.

Looking at AUM and new clients can be a good way to review what has happened, but you may help yourself more by taking a full view of the year as it will turn out. Adding in some leading indicators can help you finish strong and set you up for an even stronger 2022. 

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