I hope you had a great Thanksgiving yesterday!

Whether you spend today scoring the best deals, surfing the web for what you’ll purchase come Cyber Monday, or simply enjoying an extra slice of pie, I hope you get some quality time with friends and family this weekend.

Here’s what I’m talking about in this week’s version of Connected.

What It Takes to Formulate a Clear, Actionable Strategy in 2024

The Blueprint for Growing a Wealth Management Firm – Matt Reiner 🎧

Innovation Office Hours: Alternatives

Snoop Dogg’s Partnership With Solo Stove

Milemarker on the Road

Let’s get right on into it.

Crafting a Clear and Actionable Strategy in 2024

In my work, I interact with numerous exceptional wealth management firms, setting new standards nationwide. A common theme that has emerged among many of these firms is the tendency to get so engrossed in daily operations that their overarching strategic vision often gets lost, falling short of the founders’ aspirations.

While many of the founders I work with have established successful businesses, they often express dissatisfaction with their current state due to a disconnect between reality and their expectations. While managing clients, teams, and to-do lists, leaders often prioritize immediate tasks over long-term strategic planning. While leaders must be involved in day-to-day operations, it’s equally important to maintain a clear strategic vision and effectively guide the organization toward its goals.

The success of any strategy hinges on its thorough integration into every aspect of the organization. Suppose the strategy remains confined to a select group of individuals and doesn’t permeate the day-to-day consciousness of the entire team. In that case, the likelihood of successful execution is significantly reduced.

While periodic presentations that outline the broad strategic direction are valuable, it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to fully grasp the nuances of a strategy from a single presentation delivered once a quarter or once a year.

2024 represents a pivotal year – a year where we transition from unintentionally fostering a lack of understanding to committing to implementing strategies that are carefully considered, well-communicated, and widely understood. The challenges faced by OpenAI due to communication breakdowns serve as a stark reminder of the critical role that clear communication and alignment on strategy play in organizational success.

With the lingering effects of the pandemic still impacting many organizations, leaders are reassessing their company’s identity and purpose, determining how work should be structured, and defining accountability within their teams.

So, as a leader, what steps are you taking to establish a clear strategy for your firm in 2024?

Key Aspects to Consider When Formulating a Strategy

Crafting a comprehensive and effective strategy requires a thorough understanding of your business’s current state, challenges, and potential for growth. By addressing the following key aspects, you can better understand your strategic direction and develop a plan to achieve your goals.

1. Identify Key Stakeholders

Determine the individuals or groups interested in your business’s success. These stakeholders may include customers, employees, investors, partners, and regulatory bodies. Understanding their needs, expectations, and potential influence will guide your strategic decision-making.

2. Assess the Current State of Business

Conduct a thorough evaluation of your business’s internal and external environment. Analyze your financial performance, operational efficiency, market position, competitive landscape, and industry trends. Identify areas of strength and weakness to inform your strategic priorities.

3. Define Current Challenges and Opportunities

Pinpoint the obstacles that hinder your business’s growth and profitability. These challenges may stem from internal factors, such as outdated technology or inefficient processes, or external factors, such as shifting market dynamics or emerging competitors. Simultaneously, identify untapped opportunities that can drive growth and innovation.

4. Outline Your Operating Model

Describe the fundamental structure and processes that underpin your business operations. This includes your organizational structure, supply chain management, customer relationship management, and product development processes. Understanding your operating model will reveal areas for improvement and optimization.

5. Identify Profit Centers and Value Propositions

Determine the specific products, services, or activities that generate revenue and contribute to your profitability. Analyze the value proposition of each offering to ensure it aligns with customer needs and market demand.

6. Evaluate Offer Integration and Synergy

Assess how your various offerings complement and reinforce each other. Consider cross-selling and upselling opportunities to maximize customer lifetime value and explore potential synergies to enhance your overall business proposition.

7. Review Current Sales Strategy and Identify Evolution Needs

Critically evaluate your current sales processes, channels, and tactics. Determine their effectiveness in reaching target customers, generating leads, and closing deals. Identify areas for improvement and explore potential innovations to adapt to evolving market conditions and customer expectations.

8. Assess Current Marketing Efforts and Future Aspirations

Evaluate your current marketing strategies, including branding, messaging, and channels used. Determine their effectiveness in generating brand awareness, attracting leads, and nurturing customer relationships. Identify areas for improvement and outline your vision for future marketing efforts to achieve your strategic goals.

9. Align Collateral with Reality

Review your marketing materials, website content, and sales pitches to ensure they accurately reflect the value you deliver to customers. Address any discrepancies between your messaging and your actual offerings.

10. Evaluate Technology’s Impact and Strategic Decisions

Analyze the role of technology in your business operations. Assess whether your technology infrastructure supports your current needs and future growth aspirations. Identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions regarding technology investments and upgrades.

11. Envision 10x Growth and Define Strategic Pathways

Project how your business would look and operate if you achieved a 10x increase in size and revenue over the next few years. This exercise will help you identify strategic priorities, explore new opportunities, and develop a roadmap for achieving ambitious growth goals.

As we move into 2024, the time for inaction is over. It’s time to look clearly at our businesses, identify our challenges and opportunities, and develop strategies to propel us forward. By embracing the key aspects of strategic planning and taking action on our plans, we can create a brighter future for ourselves, our teams, and our organizations.

Are you ready?

Are you ready to take the first step towards a more strategic future? I’d love to hear what your vision is for the future. Shoot me a note at jud@milemarker.co and we can grab some time.

On the Pod

The Blueprint for Growing a Wealth Management Firm with Matt Reiner

Episode 021: In this week’s Connected Podcast episode, Kyle sits down with Matt Reiner, Managing Partner at Capital Investment Advisors and CEO at Wela Strategies.

They discuss how delegation, innovation, and recognition of financial advisors’ unique value drive growth in wealth management.

A few key takeaways from this week’s ep:

Delegation is a skill that requires self-awareness and the ability to let go of perfectionism.

Innovation is not just about technology but also about mindset, process, and technology.

The true value of financial advisors extends far beyond investment management.

The episode is available now on your favorite podcast platform as well as a video version on YouTube. While there, please don’t forget to Download, Like, and Subscribe.

You’re Invited: Navigating Alternative Investments as a Strategy for Growth

Join us for an exclusive online event on Wednesday, December 6th at 12pm EST: Navigating Alternative Investments as a Strategy for Growth.

Shana Sissel, Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer at Banrion Capital Management, Steve Zuschin, Chief Revenue Officer at Mammoth Technology, and I will answer your top questions about how and why advisors should integrate alts into their investing strategies.

Save your seat now.

Snoop Dogg’s Partnership With Solo Stove and the Need to More Clever Campaigns

It’s officially firepit season, and Solo Stove has announced a new partnership with Snoop Dogg, designating the rapper as it’s official “smokesman.” The collaboration follows a viral social media post from last Thursday, where Snoop Dogg teased that he was “giving up smoke.”

I’m giving up smoke.

— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg)
Nov 16, 2023

Contrary to expectations related to his renowned cannabis usage, the post served as a clever prelude to his association with Solo Stove’s smokeless fire pit.

The campaign marks Solo Stove’s first large-scale national marketing effort, featuring a 30-second broadcast spot and an extensive presence across social, podcast, out-of-home, and digital platforms.

This is a brilliant ad due to the way to plays on reputation, timing and brand promise.

Check it out below:

I’m done with smoke. I’m going smokeless with @SoloStove. #ad

— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg)
Nov 20, 2023

Milemarker on the Road

While travel is slowing down with the holidays and the end of 2023, our team has one final official trip before we call it a wrap. Catch us in Dallas, Texas on December 7.

If you’re around DFW and want to arrange a meeting time, reply to this email, and we’ll get something on the calendar.

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Happy Thanksgiving once again! See you next week.

Written by Jud Mackrill

Edited by Amy Simpson