There are two main reasons why business plans fail to become useful business tools. The first is the types of goals that advisors are asked to set—usually described as SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound).

There’s nothing wrong with using SMART to set goals. What does go wrong is the type of goal the advisor is setting. Most often advisors set destination goals as the root of their plan. A destination goal, the most common type, measures a key indicator of success. The indicator is located at a specific point in time— typically a year in the future. For advisors, destination goals are usually associated with revenue, assets under management or total clients served.

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