Preparing financial statements, setting goals, and developing plans lead us to this central element. We must implement the ideas we develop. In future writings we will discuss specific strategies in the various financial planning subject areas. Until then, follow these five steps to implement your plan.
Determine the next action.
Start by reviewing the plan. Check out what ideas have developed up to this point. Look at the list of items to accomplish. Determine the next action. If the next action takes one-to-two minutes, then do it now. If you estimate that it may take longer, then schedule a time to perform the task.
We live in a time like no other. Possibilities abound for implementing plans. Investigating opportunities involves research. The Internet and local public Librarians make research easy. We can identify possible sources of information with a computer and Internet connection or a library card and face-to-face discussions with the local Librarian.
Verify suitable solutions.
Now that you have implementation information, it’s time to determine suitable solutions. This can be easy with your SMART goal in mind. Some of the possibilities will easily eliminate themselves because they do not fit. Others may be similar. These are most likely the suitable solutions. Don’t worry about making a final decision yet. Choose the three to five choices that seem best for achieving your goal.
Make a decision.
Now that you have the three to five best opportunities, make a decision. This may require the guidance of a fiduciary. It might require cost-benefit analysis. After doing the work of narrowing down opportunities to a handful of choices, usually a few seem unsuitable. There usually remains two or three. From these options, make a decision. You could rank them by preference. However, sometimes it comes down to intuition. We intuitively know what is best at this step in the process. We have already done the work. Deciding is the fun part.
Execute the strategy.
Do it. That is as simple as it gets. There is no more deciding. It is time for action. Some strategies require the assistance of others. Write that letter. Make that phone call. Schedule that meeting. This is where the culmination of all preparation comes into place. Execute the strategy.
TIP: Later, we will discuss specific implementation strategies in relationship to various financial planning subject areas.
QUESTION: What financial planning subject area is most important to you?
Chris Bryant is an American financial advisor.