Advisors who suspect they may have issues or challenges that are negatively impacting the growth of the business, the quality of their service model or operational experience will benefit from performing a “gap analysis”. While it may seem time consuming, it’s actually highly achievable – and effective – by organizing your thought process into these 3 key steps.
Step 1: Finding the Gap
While you suspect that things aren’t perfect, you may not have gone through the necessary exercise of removing yourself from the day-to-day management of your book, stepping back and objectively looking to identify any gaps between where the business is today and where you want to take it. Ask yourself what you are hoping to achieve for your clients and for your team. Is it possible to accomplish your goals by staying the course? If you discover that there is not a delta, there’s no need to continue this exercise and you can return to business as usual, confident that you tested the status quo and have reconfirmed that, for now, you’re on the right path.
Step 2: Quantifying the Impact
For those who discover that gaps do indeed exist, the next step is crucial before a decision is made to launch into problem solving mode. It’s necessary to define the real impact of what you find lacking. For example, does the gap translate into lost revenue or opportunities and what does this mean to your bottom line? How much less efficient do these challenges make you or your staff and how much less time does this leave you to do what you value most.
Step 3: What You’re Willing to do
If you do conclude that there are gaps that are impacting your business in a meaningful way, the final step requires some serious and honest introspection. How hard are you willing to work at fixing the shortcomings? How much energy, time, and thought are you willing to invest in solving for the frustrations — now that you’ve uncovered them? For some, the discovery that there are issues preventing them from reaching certain goals propels them to take action. Others may be willing to live with the “pain” because it simply isn’t worth the hassle of doing something about it.
Taking the time to conduct a gap analysis is a useful and effective process that allows you to test your appetite for making changes and protects you from jumping into action prematurely or unnecessarily. You’re likely to uncover truths that will change your business – and life – in ways you never considered.