The Importance of Setting an Advisory Service Mission (And How to Do it)
It may sound like some cheesy, business school mumbo jumbo, but setting a mission for your advisory service offering is as important as it is for any business. After all, this isn’t just a piece of marketing fluff, you’re looking to build a real profit center in your advisory offering.
In beginning to think about offering advisory services to clients, it's important to clearly identify what sets your services apart from the crowd. Why are you the best person to advise on a specific business or niche?
Use the answer to this question to arrive at your new business line’s mission statement. This mission statement will eventually drive everything about your advisory business.
It will illustrate how value is added when you talk about your business, how advisory work fits your financial and personal goals, and help bring clarity in decision making as your business grows. Imagine your mission as the single statement painted on your office wall. What will motivate your team everyday?
How to Set Your Mission and Goals
Much of our framework for setting a business mission, annual and quarterly objectives, and holding advisory meetings stems from a management framework we adopted at Malartu called the Entrepreneurial Operating System, or EOS.
We recommend using the Vision, Traction, and Organization portion from EOS to set your vision and long term goals, then move backwards to your annual and quarterly goals. You can find a free download of this framework at the end of this post.
Vision Traction Organization: VTO
The VTO is integral to building a commitment culture within your firm (more on commitment culture in this post). Your advisory firm’s culture will be the key to your success, as your culture will permeate throughout your relationship with your clients.
The purpose of a commitment culture is to build a team that drives forward with a cohesive purpose and passion to achieve their mission. This starts with establishing a clear vision.
According to the EOS framework, a company’s vision is a combination of core values and the company’s core focus. These core values and focus should be understood by every person in the organization, if they aren’t, the team won’t share that purpose and passion. Plain and simple.
Once you have clearly articulated your vision, create a ten-year plan that outlines the lofty, pie-in-the-sky goal you're trying to reach through adding advisory services. This is an illustration of your vision. If you stay the course and really solve the problem for clients you've set out to solve, what does that look like in 10 years? How many employees will you add? How much is the company making with these services? What does your benefits package look like?
Then, you set your three-year plan, which describes the strategies you’ll need to put in place to accomplish that lofty ten-year goal.
From the three year plan we narrow down to a one year plan, and from there quarterly goals.
Setting your marketing strategy
Finally, to round out the vision, you need to establish your unique marketing strategy.
This is crucial to building a solid advisory business because your advisory needs to focus on a specific niche. What is something that is unique to your expertise that wins over a specific market segment? This needs to be a niche that everyone in your company understands and is proud to drive toward.
Your niche may evolve over time, but it must always be specific and unique
Setting Clear Quarterly Goals
In your quarterly meeting everyone on the team lists their respective things to accomplish next quarter that will put the company on its path to reach your one year, three year, and ten-year vision. Take this list and whittle it down to the 3 to 7 most important things you must accomplish in the next ninety days.
These will be your quarterly goals.
EOS quarterly goals are different from other objective frameworks in that they’re specific, attainable that quarter, and measurable. They’re also called “Rocks,” so if you see this come up, don’t be confused. Rocks = quarterly goals.
For example, a Rock for your head of marketing may be to land 10 new qualified advisory leads this quarter. This Rock is obviously made up of many smaller tasks but it has a binary outcome and clear deliverable before next quarter's meeting.
Assign each Rock to a person on your leadership team who will be in charge of realizing that goal. Only one person can own each Rock, since splitting the responsibility inevitably leaves no one accountable.
And accountability is in your job title, but I digress.
Goals empower teams to land new business and keep customers happy
Each member of the leadership team should share these goals with their department and direct reports along with reporting on last quarter’s goals.
From here, those departments can set their own underlying goals that lead to accomplishing the company-wide ones. Having these top-level rocks and rock reviews empowers each team member to understand how their work impacts the whole organization.
If you’ve ever managed a high-performer, you know this level of empowerment is huge.