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Why a business plan is vital

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What can you do differently to fuel practice growth in 2019? For many advisors, the answer is building an annual business plan. A proven, established planning process should involve:

· Properly positioning your practice in the marketplace
· Segmenting clients effectively
· Identifying the optimal prospects
· Delivering the right advice

A comprehensive plan can boost your confidence and renew your sense of purpose while growing your practice. And when done right, you can go back to it again and again throughout the year.

“Our data is conclusive,” says Michael Lawson, Regional Vice President at Ameriprise Financial. “Advisors who create an annual plan through our firm's Ideal Practice Model process grow at a faster rate than those who don't.”1

So, when exploring your options for an annual business planning model, look for one that does the following:

Demonstrate results.

Most importantly, make sure you're engaging with a firm and methodology that are proven to work for other advisors. Approach one-offs and sudden startups with caution.

“Don't settle for just self-serve. Work with a proficient and experienced resource that can provide real, live human help catered to your specific practice needs. We have this down to a science, with more than 60 trained professionals dedicated solely to practice development,” says Mike Greene, Senior Vice President, Financial Advice and Advisor Business Development Group at Ameriprise Financial.

Offer tools that are customizable.

One size doesn't fit all. Professional development and practice planning shouldn't mean sitting through generic slide presentations in a hotel ballroom.

“One thing I really value about the Ameriprise Ideal Practice Model is that it's modular and easy to customize,” says Audree Begay, a Houston-based Ameriprise Financial advisor. “Every year, the process points me to the components that have the most impact on where I want my business to go.”

Begay mentions the 10–15-member Ameriprise advisor champion meetings and one-on-one coaching opportunities as highly valuable, interactive and well suited to her growing practice.

Increase user efficiency.

It's key to have an annual business planning model that works, but it's just as important to have one that works efficiently. Time is money, and you need to get back to serving clients and running your operations, plan in hand. “Our business planning model is both simple and comprehensive,” says Lawson. “There are no fees, and it has a very defined engagement lifecycle — with anytime access to online dashboards for our advisors.”

Leverage outside inputs.

DIY planning tools can be efficient, but peer learning and outside coaching are key to providing deep insights, proven strategies and lasting empowerment.

Do you receive routine peer support and learning? Are you getting coached in ways that help you professionally develop? Do you have access to operational models that will help you evolve to meet your projected growth rate?

Does your firm have the right value proposition? Do you have a client retention plan? What are your growth strategies? And how are you coaching your team members to help you achieve those goals?

If you're looking to grow your practice this year, these are just a few of the questions you can answer in the first step of the Ameriprise Financial Ideal Practice Model program: Lead Your Practice.

Find out more about how to fuel growth for your practice at joinameriprise.com or call 1.866.806.9984.

1Company Data Results 2016-2018

Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC.
© 2019 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.

Find out more about how to fuel growth for your practice at joinameriprise.com or call 1.866.806.9984.

Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC.
© 2019 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.

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