Top Advisors Share Business Goals for 2022
With a new year comes new possibilities, so for this week’s Big Q column, Barron’s Advisor asked wealth management leaders to describe their key business goals for 2022. Some, we found, have dramatic plans, like buying firms and hiring overseas staff. For others, 2022 will be about fine-tuning the client experience and crafting post-pandemic approaches to client engagement. All these advisors share the same, perennial goal, however: They want to grow.
Shannon Eusey, CEO, Beacon Pointe Advisors: With 31 offices across the country as the result of several acquisitions, one of our goals is to streamline processes. We’re also implementing better analytics tools across the organization so that our advisors have better access to client information. And as we continue to onboard employees—we went from 100 to north of 300 over the past couple years—we need to make sure we have the appropriate learning and development system in place. We’re looking at how we onboard not just employees, but new offices, so that they hit the ground running and are as productive as they can be when they join the organization.
Something else that’s very important to the organization is having an AI system, both for helping our existing clients and prospecting for new clients. We’re working on something internally that I think will be unique to the industry. I also want us to better showcase what we do as an organization. We already have a great focus on women, but we need to make sure the nation knows that we are the place where female clients can come to get advice, because we’ve got so many female advisors and so much in terms of female leadership. We also need to make sure the marketplace knows that we’ve got estate attorneys on staff. We’ve got folks that understand taxes on staff, we’ve got a whole suite of services that we think are really important for the marketplace to understand.
Business Performance/ Strategies
Business performance and strategies for 2022 are primarily focused on sales and profitability, capital spending and mergers and acquisitions (M&A). A hot topic for the coming year will likely be around M&A. We continue to see much activity in the M&A space across industries, especially with our clients in the technology and healthcare sectors.
Sales & Profitability Strategies
The top strategy for profitability revealed in our survey was improving productivity and efficiency, followed closely by decreasing operating expenses and technology improvements. It’s common to see business leaders focus on the things they can control and offer less risk. Therefore, it’s no surprise these are at the top of the list.
At the beginning of 2021, executives were more interested in selling existing products to existing markets, confirming a lower risk strategy. With increased confidence in 2022, this could present a great opportunity for companies should they want to shift the risk from low to high and get into those new markets or offer new services to existing markets.
Many of our clients are learning to do the same thing in new ways, bringing increased focus to existing markets and customers, whether that’s by location, how they connect or how they deliver their services. Some of these shifts were out of necessity, such as new telehealth services that many of our healthcare clients have implemented. Telehealth allows physicians to serve patients through voice or video calls instead of the traditional in office face-to-face visits. This strategy focuses on existing markets and customers with the same outcomes, but with a different way to connect and deliver services.
Sales Strategies During 2021
The largest driver of business capital spending is economic growth, with additional impacts from high labor costs and low interest rates. Companies are being pushed into expanding their investments in 2022 due to supply chain demands and labor shortages. Companies are looking to spend, with many of them having plenty of cash on hand resulting from Payment Protection Program (PPP) funds or CARES Act advances and forgiveness.
Many of our clients were being conservative with funds through the pandemic. Supply chain demands and long lead times potentially restrained spending. However, as we enter 2022 with these funds being forgiven, businesses are looking to spend their cash in more effective and efficient ways. Many of them have labor shortages which are driving them to invest in more computers, technology and machinery to automate processes and enhance efficiencies.
We’ve also seen more companies purchasing equipment in an effort to repatriate manufacturing and supply chain demands. One example could be that the business has a product that’s 98% complete, but they are missing one piece, such as a computer chip. We see businesses proactively regaining some control by bringing that last piece onshore to navigate the supply chain issues making shortages, transportation issues, or shutdowns from other countries irrelevant.
High Growth versus No Growth
It’s not a surprise that high growth companies are leading the way in capital spending. What is surprising is that in these difficult times, marketing is top of list just ahead of acquiring new locations and/or new facilities. While marketing was more likely to be cut from the budget in the past, brand awareness has become very important for high growth businesses today. By cutting marketing and public relations, these companies run the risk of potentially damaging the demand for their products and services.
We have seen this firsthand as a high growth accounting and consulting firm. In the last few years, we have been very intentional about enhancing our marketing spend to elevate our specific marketing technology efforts as well as go to market segment needs. We’ve also been purposeful with a keen focus on building brand trust with both clients/prospects and talent needs with the expansion of our Corporate Brand and Employer Brand initiatives.
Areas in Which Increased Capital Spend is Anticipated
Mergers & Acquisitions
Stock prices have been strong, financing has been cheap, and corporate balance sheets have ample cash from PPPs and CARES Acts funding. These factors have set the stage for profitability strategies and capital spending to be highly focused on expanding business. This has mostly come by way of merging with or acquiring a company or a portion of a company.
Key Business Topics
Staffing challenges and solutions are top of mind in 2022, because relying on our old habits and techniques aren’t working anymore. LBMC has made enhancements and implemented multiple changes to how we approach staffing and sourcing talent. We brought in a Chief People Officer a few years ago, expanded our talent team with targeted recruiters, enhanced our technology so our process is more talent friendly, improved the interview to hire process to ensure we acquire top talent prospects, and revamped our Learning and Development offerings with a keen focus on personal and professional growth opportunities.
The talent war has never been greater within our clients and our own business, and the demand for
top performers has never been higher. Good, strong, contributing employees are hard to find. There is a long list of good opportunities, both for contract and full-time positions. LBMC is making sure we’ve got the right people in the right seats at the right time.
“Flexibility in the workplace opens another exciting opportunity for companies worldwide—hiring employees who do not live within driving distance. Now that employees can more easily work from wherever they choose, companies can hire top talent without having location restrictions, while also saving on possible relocation costs. This change also opens the opportunity for your current employees to relocate without leaving your company, reducing turnover, and allowing you to continue nurturing the talented people already on your team.”
SHARON POWLUS, PRESIDENT/CEO, EMPLOYMENT PARTNERS
Top strategies for managing technology include improving existing systems and adding existing systems. At LBMC, we are closely examining our existing technologies, looking at the functions we are not using and implementing those new functions to improve efficiencies. If we need a function not offered in existing technology, we explore adding new systems that have that capability or we innovate to create them. That’s been our approach for some time and is shared by many of our clients, so the results of our survey showing higher priorities in these areas was expected. At LBMC, these investments are already paying off with our latest onboarding class of 60 new hires in January 2022.
It’s interesting to note that no growth companies focused more on replacing existing systems than high growth companies as they entered 2021. When the pandemic hit, the traditional methods of working 9 to 5 on-site drastically changed with shut down mandates and forced social distancing. During this time, businesses that didn’t have their technology up-to-date were forced to spend to get where they needed to be in order to do business. The pandemic really narrowed the technology gap between companies that made regular upgrades and those with outdated systems.
“The pandemic has shed light on businesses’ technology infrastructure shortcomings. No growth companies appear to be behind the technology curve, and their outdated systems are no longer cutting it. On the other hand, businesses that have kept pace with new technology are racing ahead, adding new systems to their technology stack and harnessing the added efficiency and power to generate higher growth and revenue.”
STACY SCHUETTLER, PRESIDENT, TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS
Technologies That Businesses Plan to Invest in During the Upcoming Year
Technology allows businesses to pull together data and build dashboards to quickly provide a picture of their organization. In addition, technology helps businesses increase profitability and keep the talent they have.
Another hot trend in the technology space as we enter 2022 is digital transformation. Supporting the technical and digital side of business rests largely on the shoulders of IT leaders. These leaders have an opportunity to embrace force multiplying innovations to accelerate growth and strategically drive organizations forward. These innovations will deliver trusted digital connections for teams, solutions to rapidly scale digital creativity, and innovation capabilities to accelerate business growth beyond today.
Technologies That Businesses Plan to Invest
Long-term Business Goals:
Now that we have shed light upon what short-term goals mean and their necessity, let us move on to what Long-term goals mean.
Long-term business goals are targets set that the organization plans on achieving about three to five years into the future. These goals are extremely crucial for any entrepreneur as it provides a sense of clarity by helping you take the necessary steps and give a kickstart to the business.
How do you define business goals?
Business goals are set based on the organization’s vision and mission. These goals can be short-term and long-term. These goals get aligned to the department’s and individual’s goals.
What are the types of business goals?
How do you write a business goal?
What are long term business goals?
To create a short-term goal it is essential to have a long-term goal. Long-term goals that are aligned with the organization’s vision and mission will help teams to break that into shorter team and individual goals to achieve the results.
Why Do We Need Business Goals?
For starters, let us not forget those goals are completely subjective and best results are always seen when these goals are created with one’s capacities and resources in mind. However, factors like these should never be a barrier to massive dreams but instead, allow you to have realistic and achievable dreams.
With that being said, we shall now plunge into some Long-term business goal examples.
Ways to set Long-term Business Goals:
Business Goals and Objective Examples
1. Examples of Financial Goals
2. Examples of Personal Goals
With all the necessary information and aid laid out for Business Goal setting, it is extremely crucial to identify what kind of goal setting formats work for your type of business because what works for one industry may not work for another. Hence, picking out and drafting objectives that suit your goals and aspirations is a pivotal step towards the right direction.
Each goal you influence each other. So, ensure that your corporate goals and strategies are flexible. Whether you are a small business or already an ace in your field, persistently critiquing your work, increasing your work standards, and making your goal-list bigger and bigger is the way to go.
Constantly ask yourself these questions: “Where do I wish to be 5 years down the line?” “What should I do differently to achieve this?” etc.
Accessing yourself helps you draft significant Business goals, objectives as well as Action Plans. In addition to that, it also motivates one. Do not forget to constantly take risks and challenge yourself with tasks that get your heart racing! To quote Bill Gates, the founder of the trillion-dollar company, Microsoft, “To win big, you sometimes have to take big risks”.
However, setting your goals is just the first step. Active implementation of these goals is the more important role that needs to be carried out here. On that account, once you have strongly established your goals and objectives, select a goal-setting tool like OKRs that will stimulate the growth of your organization as it will help track progress, make more informed decisions, increase productivity, achieve transparency, and significantly more. Although, merits and profits are important, learning along the way is as important as the former. Cultivating qualities that help you become a successful businessperson should also be a key goal. These qualities might include leadership traits, building positive customer relationships, ability to forecast, determination, and courage.
As they say, there are no shortcuts to success and that the road to success is always under construction. Working smart by implementing these goal-setting examples to your business will substantially help accelerate and smoothen your journey towards success. Make sure to use these goal-setting strategies to expand your business in 2021 and the forthcoming years.
Datalligence helps organizations in setting Goals and Objectives through our platform and measures progress constantly. The Objectives are aligned to the company objectives which makes organizations more focused and aligned. Our CFR (conversation, feedback, and recognition) module, which is a sibling to the OKR module, keeps the conversations around the OKR. Key initiatives can be shared and recognized. To know more,