How do you deal with change as an independent business owner?

Posted by Prospera Financial on May 17, 2017

Easy. Accept it. Evolve. Adapt. Move on.

How many readers did I just lose? Sorry to hit you over the head with it, but complaining about change or talking about the “good ole days” gets us nowhere. This nostalgia is a wistful yearning for the past, a desire to have the world unchanged and constant as it once used to be. It’s an emotion most of us feel for different things – but that can be deadly and dangerous for an independent business owner to feel about their company or industry. (I’ll admit it- guilty big time right here.)

Why so dangerous? Because business is always changing- and most of the time it is out of your control.

Stable businesses are sometimes reluctant to change the systems and operations that made them so successful to begin with. That’s understandable, but we also need to change and grow in order to compete – who doesn’t? Word of caution here though, don’t change just to change; a trap many business owners fall into because we are so entrepreneurial, is that we get bored easily and want to chase the next shiny object. DON’T. 1) Once it’s a shiny object, it’s too late and 2) Stability is king- there are enough changes to make that are thought out or shoved upon you… don’t change just to change. Be deliberate about it. Let me say that word again- DELIBERATE. Don’t run around like a chicken with your head cut off all the time (sorry about the graphic).

Being willing, even eager, to embrace and adapt to change is a serious competitive edge for any business owner. Welcoming trend shifts, positioning yourself to stay on top of them, and striving to remain ahead of your competition are all functions of such readiness to change.

The changes you’re forced to face, accept and adapt to may be big or small. Take our industry for example. Regulatory changes are both big and plentiful. They impact our everyday business, whether through how we interact with clients or how our broker-dealer or platform providers interact with us. Costs may need to go up, fees to clients may need to come down and the way we look at the nuances of our business may change. BUT, if you look at it with a clear lens, is the core of your business really changing that much? Has your purpose changed? We just need a refined way to ‘do’ things really.

Yes, someone is potentially ramming something down your throat that you don’t appreciate because you treat your clients with respect and have their best interest at heart already. As a business owner, you don’t want someone telling you how to run your business. I GET it. If there was ever a time to be an independent business owner rather than a captive advisor, boy is now the time- but I digress. That’s a story for another time…

The fact of the matter is, not everyone does have their clients’ interests at the core of what they do. They just don’t- and that’s a reality of life. Clients must be protected from THOSE monsters and we all have to do our part. It is never a bad thing to have transparency and take a fresh look at how we do business. I remain a firm believer that as long as we have our clients’ best interests at heart, we will find a way to not only survive, but thrive through the changes that occur in our industry. We may not be able to do it exactly how we want, but with a little compromise and making the best of an evolving situation, we will come out on top. And what an opportunity to be there when others just can’t or won’t go with the flow.

If you haven’t read our paper on The Year of the Client, I have attached it below. It outlines some ways that we can all be prepared to weather the shifts and unpredictability in our industry. If it’s not DOL, it will be something else. If only we had a crystal ball…

And one key thought before you read the paper: People often miss important information when they employ selective perception, habit, and thoughts to keep themselves from being exposed to ideas they might not want to hear. When you talk to your clients as is specified in the attached whitepaper, you will have a distinct advantage over those who tend to isolate themselves and only hear what they want to hear.

And remember, when you recognize the possibilities created by change, you will find change as not something to fear, but as something to welcome and turn to your own advantage.





Talk to you soon,

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A business that is not evolving is dying…