Your charitable giving plans usually are set at your fiscal year end. But if your business is in a location hard hit by weather catastrophes, like the Gulf Coast, the East Coast or the Mountain West, you may have been making small ad hoc donations to local charities. As Thanksgiving draws closer, re-evaluating your charitable giving to ensure your plans still meet your goals of being a community partner might be necessary.
Fall is the time when most financial advisors begin preparing their clients for the end of the year. Advisors may be compiling lists of things for their clients to begin collecting, thinking of, and sorting through. But with advisors seeing higher than normal numbers of new clients, and with client engagement hitting new highs, advisors may do well to follow their own advice. So what do you need to do to get yourself sorted for year end? Here are four things to include in your year end planning.
Review Your Staff’s Major Plans. Your business relies on customer service, and your staff is the frontline of that effort. Review what major plans they have in their lives, for vacations, school, and potential health concerns so that you might be able to plan around those events. While most staff can’t, or won’t, commit to requesting vacation days seasons ahead of the actual vacation, informal discussions with staff over the Fall can give you a sense of who might be traveling for college graduations, celebrating major milestones of marriage with special anniversaries, or who might be on the cusp of retirement. If you have staff whose partners or spouses are in graduate school, make sure to note when those folks finish school, as sometimes relocation follows graduation. This can cut down any surprise staff departures and ensure smooth client relations transitions. Strong succession planning starts with advanced knowledge.
Review Your Charitable Giving. Your charitable giving plans usually are set at your fiscal year end. But if your business is in a location hard hit by weather catastrophes, like the Gulf Coast, the East Coast or the Mountain West, you may have been making small ad hoc donations to local charities. Your staff may also have been thinking deeply about their own giving. As Thanksgiving draws closer, re-evaluating your charitable giving to ensure your plans still meet your goals of being a community partner might be necessary. This may be especially true if your business makes one large donation at a specific time of year, and then feels frustrated by not being able to donate to the community as needs arise.
Review Upcoming Speedbumps. Each member of your staff will have an event, deadline, or potential problem on the horizon that could increase their work. Gathering staff together to evaluate and create a comprehensive calendar will help ensure you have the staffing you need. This could be as simple as a bagel breakfast or as complicated as multiple rounds of edits to a google sheet. Whichever it is, make sure at the end all of your staff, and advisors, are literally on the same page by publishing that calendar somewhere internal and visible.
Evaluate Your Own Advisors. One last year end topic that may seem small is to evaluate your own advisors, attorneys, and vendors. You may already have ideas on which vendor needs to be replaced. Your staff may be wishing and hoping for your IT vendor’s best rep to go out on his own. Each call to your lawyers’ office may be answered by a different, younger attorney, a sure sign of too much turnover. Whatever it is, gather all of that information into one place and make decisions about those vendors before their contracts expire. Otherwise, you may be renewing vendors out of exhaustion rather than choice.
These articles are prepared for general purposes and are not intended to provide advice or encourage specific behavior. Before taking any action, Advisors and Plan Sponsors should consult with their compliance, finance and legal teams.
Before leaping into the unknown, we recommend a thorough examination of your plan. Because we are experts in the field, we know the marketplace and know what your existing vendor is capable of offering. Through this examination, we can help you optimize the service you receive.get xpress proposal