We’re officially half-way through 2013. And, for anyone who isn’t yet to the midpoint of reaching their annual goals, this can be a hard pill to swallow.

The enticing fun and sun of summer, although enjoyable, can make it even more challenging to stay focused on the goals you’ve set earlier in the year. It’s a time for a reflection of the first six months of the year and, if you’re falling short, for adjustments as needed. 

So, what can you do to ensure you have a fighting chance to accomplish your aggressive goals for 2013? The answer is simple: do the little things right and the big vision will take care of itself. As a pilot, I’ve learned the smallest adjustments, like changing your directional path in a flight plan by just one degree, can lead you to two totally different destinations. The same goes for your business. Be mindful of where you’re headed and develop an action plan defining the things you can do to get you there.

Whether you’re looking to maintain momentum or change course, here are three simple things you can do now to kick-start the second half of your year:

1. Execute a Half-Time Event

The mid-point of the year is an excellent time to host an educational event for clients and prospects.  Since most industry pundits release mid-year reports, it’s a perfect time to give clients a review of progress of the first half of the year and discuss what may happen for the remainder of the year. At Peak Advisor Alliance, we provide a ghost-written PowerPoint presentation, called the Half-Time Report, to our members. We consistently hear from our community this educational event is beneficial to helping them achieve their growth goals because it positions the firm’s expertise and competency, thus making them highly referable.

For a preview of this year’s Half-Time Event presentation, go to www.peakadvisoralliance.com, click on the Free Tools tab, and enter the code “Halftime.” As a member of Peak Advisor Alliance, you can access the full presentation with speaker’s notes, invitation templates, and an operational checklist for organizing and hosting the event.

2. Review and Improve Client Communication

In an industry where things like the markets and the economy are out of your control, client communication is most definitely within your control.  Research has shown us time and time again that advisors with a solid communication strategy have the best edge in growing their business and retaining clients. Here are a few tips to make your client and prospect communication more effective:

  • Send a Weekly Market Commentary Every Monda: A Weekly Market Commentary demonstrates to clients you have an understanding and awareness of the broad economic and market variables.  At Peak Advisor Alliance, we ghost-write two different versions for our members to send to clients and prospects, and we consistently hear that it’s a wonderful client-retention and business-building tool.
  • Mix It Up – Variety is the spice of life! Whether it’s an e-mail, birthday or anniversary call, client appreciation event, a client survey, or sending a personalized holiday card via mail, clients appreciate a mix of how they receive communication from you.

3. Refine Your Goals (It’s Okay)

Perhaps things have changed since you drafted your 2013 goals at the end of last year and some of them no longer make sense.  Don’t feel beholden to them; instead, regroup and revise if necessary.  In today’s fast-paced world, the best advisors remain nimble by adjusting their business goals as circumstances change.  So, take some time to do a six-month goal audit.  Keep working on those that still make sense, remove those that don’t, and revise those that require tweaking to make them meaningful to the growth of your personal and professional life.  

Remember, goal setting is an ongoing activity - not just a means to an end. Build in reminders to keep yourself on track, and set aside time to review your goals on a regular basis. Your end destination may the same over the long term, but the action plan you set for yourself along the way can change significantly.

I hope any one - or all three - of these actionable ideas make this time of year a little easier and helps you get off to a fast start for the second half of 2013. Remember, many times we fall short simply because of one crucial error: lack of implementation.  Finish this year stronger than you started. By doing just a few of the things mentioned, your practice will maintain momentum and your motivation will continue to stay strong.

Ron Carson is Founder and CEO of Carson Wealth Management Group, a comprehensive wealth planning firm, and Founder of Peak Advisor Alliance, the largest advisor coaching program in the country. He also co-authored the practice management book Tested in the Trenches: A 9-Step Plan for Building and Sustaining a Million-Dollar Financial Services Practice and its revised second edition Tested in the Trenches: A 9-Step Plan for Success as a New-Era Advisor.

Joe Steuter, Marketing and Communications Specialist at Peak Advisor Alliance, contributed to this article.

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