The Advisor Institute: Coach's Corner
Is your practice 'crisis-proof'?

Practical messages intended to help you elevate the success of your practice.

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      By David GordonDirector, Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

      The economic challenges ushered in by the pandemic — employee layoffs, sales slumps, supply chain issues and customer flight — may be affecting you as a business owner. Whether you are part of a large firm or an independent practitioner, you have probably had to make many adjustments to the way you work with your team and connect with clients.

      How you handle your business challenges is not purely an administrative matter because many of your clients face similar challenges. Your response to business challenges, therefore, might be of interest to existing and prospective clients alike.

      • What is our succession plan? Multigenerational teams have a longevity advantage over single-generation teams and can benefit from a broader range of perspectives, skill sets and interests. The longevity comes from staggering the anticipated retirement dates of team members (by years, not weeks) to maximize continuity, while breadth of skills can enhance your team's public profile on multiple fronts simultaneously.
      • How are we "crisis-proofing" our practice? Expanding your team's capabilities during the pandemic is an excellent way to ensure your team prospers through the crisis. It may be a long time before we return to face-to-face meetings in branch offices, but members of your team might have hidden talents that are just right for these unprecedented times. Show that you are adapting to change by cultivating new ways of staying connected with clients.
      • How do we plan to grow in the face of adversity? Protecting the client relationships you have is not enough because client attrition is a fact. You need a plan for attracting new clients, whether you are their first advisor or their latest. Although your instinct might tell you to keep your head down until the storm passes, this is actually an excellent time to be discovered. Make sure clients and prospects know how your team is different from other advisors.
      • How are we weathering current storms? Take care of your own well-being and ensure your team members do the same. Encourage one another to grow and learn with the extra time you no longer spend commuting. Fostering personal and team wellness can be infectious and inspiring, not just for teammates but also for clients and prospects.

      Crisis-proofing your business can inspire clients, attract prospects and ensure the long-term success of your team and your relationships.

      Bottom line: Lead by example during challenging times by crisis-proofing your practice. Your teammates, clients and prospects are watching.