You have a passion for finance and want to make financial advisory your career. Many people have a desire to start their businesses. However, success as a business owner is easier said than done. Many businesses do not survive their first year.
It is so important to start strong and set yourself up for success. The best way is to begin on a solid foundation. No two businesses are the same and different industries require different preparation. If you want to have the best chance of success in your financial advisory business, these are the steps you can’t afford to skip.
Foundational E’s: Education and Experience
Before you can start a financial advisory business, there are a few important foundation elements. Education is key. You first need to earn your bachelor’s degree. Additionally, it is customary to have a strong background in economics, accounting, business, or finance. But education isn’t where it ends.
Once you have the knowledge and the degree, you need the experience. An internship is a great way to learn on the job and to prove yourself. You’ll have the opportunity to work with a Senior Financial Advisor and gain a wealth of knowledge.
Hopefully, your internship will lead to employment and the work experience you will need to set off on your own.
Get Down To Business
Like any business, having a solid plan is instrumental to your success moving forward. And for a financial advisor, it is crucial to have an iron-clad business plan.
As a financial advisory professional, your plan should address your goals and strategies. It should also include your analysis of the financial markets, and what will make your firm stand out. Having a clear map to follow is key to ensuring success.
Find Your People
Finding your specific base of clients is vital to your success as a financial advisor. Knowing who you are marketing to will help you to target them more effectively. Focusing on what you are offering, and how to offer it to your target audience, can lead to a better experience for your clients.
When figuring out who your client base should be, their gross income should not be at the top of the list. Instead, working to be the premier financial advisor to whatever group you target is a better approach. For example, if you know you want to focus on entertainment executives, it becomes easier to develop an effective strategy to become their go-to.
Discipline for Productivity
Running your own financial advisory business will be nothing if not time-consuming. You will have so much to do which can be very overwhelming. So don’t beat yourself up. But, do try to stack up some consistent high productivity days. Plan your goals and execute them.
Try making a list in preparation for your day with all the things you want to accomplish and then attack the list. Every day cannot be as productive as next, but if you have a plan of action to fall into, you can get more done.
Know Your Risk and Prepare
Having your own financial advisory business will come with inherent risk. This type of fiduciary responsibility does create the risk of liability for you. Your business must stay in proper compliance with local, state, and federal laws. And you must have the proper licensing for the financial services you offer.
With so much risk involved, obtaining the appropriate insurance to protect you is very important. Indemnity insurance is ideal for financial advisory professionals. Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance is crucial to help protect you from being sued for malpractice.
Make sure your protections are in place and you are in compliance to have the best chance for success.
Use Your Feelings
Running a business is a lot of work, and not always the work you thought you signed up for. There are so many administrative duties involved in running a business that it can be easy to lose sight of the passion that drove you to start it in the first place. But remembering those feelings is essential.
Recognizing the drive you have for advising others and helping them to secure their financial future is key to your success. The reasons that you were drawn to finance are what should shine through in the essence of your business and all of the outreach, marketing, and branding that you choose to represent your business.
If you can express the feelings that make financial advisory fulfilling for you, it will attract those who require your help. Also, stepping into your client’s shoes to truly understand them will help you to better serve them. Knowing and feeling their concerns, goals, and needs, will create a relationship of trust and insight which can help in your success in retaining clients.
Start Making Your Mark
You’ve acquired the education and experience in financial advisory and now it’s time to share your knowledge with those who seek it! Remember that planning is everything, especially if you intend to help others plan. Making sure that you have a complete and executable business plan is a great way to start your business with the best chance to succeed.
Make sure your marketing strategy is built to attract the clients you want and to focus on specific groups that will keep referring you to more clients in their field. Remember, you are going to be the person to help solve their specific problems and help them grow, so be disciplined in your own business goals and productivity.
Once you have your clients, you must make sure that your business sticks around. Make sure that you stay in legal compliance, that your licenses are current, and that you are insured. You can’t help others with their financial goals if your business is not in order.
And don’t forget to use your heart as well as your head to reach clients on a personal level and to help yourself to stay focused on why you decided to take this leap in the first place.
If you follow these tips, your financial advisory business will be in a great position to do well.