How to make the leap from “financial professional” to “business owner” is a question we hear from a lot of financial professionals. Hiring a team means you can accomplish more than you could as a sole practitioner — you can service more clients, offload tasks you just don’t enjoy doing, and work with other high-performing professionals to provide more robust offerings and advice.
But successfully transitioning from a one-person shop to a full-fledged business requires more than just a desire to make it happen.
It’s not always clear where to get started, but here are our biggest tips for any sole practitioner looking to grow a team and start a business.
- Do your research. You can learn a lot from business owners who have come before you. Sit down with an old boss, friends or family, or take a look at what great entrepreneurs did to get their businesses off the ground. Study how they got there, what mistakes they made, and the opportunities they capitalized on to grow.
- Get the right mindset. Before getting started, you want to get clear on your “why.” What is pushing you to start a business? What are you hoping to accomplish that you can’t get done as a sole practitioner? Know what your goals are for the company you’re hoping to create.
- Identify your strengths — and your weaknesses. As a sole practitioner, you’re usually responsible for every element of your practice. But when you start a company, you get to decide who you hire and what tasks you offload onto someone else. Identify what business areas you’re good at (or the tasks you want to keep doing) and what you don’t want to waste your time on (or what you’ll hire someone else to do).
- Know your clients’ needs. More and more, clients are looking to maintain one financial relationship with a team that can handle it all. They don’t want an insurance person, a tax person, and an investment person — they want one person (or team of people) that can handle all their needs. Knowing what those needs are will be crucial when the time comes to assemble your team.
- Focus on bite-sized pieces. You’re not going to grow a multi-million dollar business overnight — but that’s okay. Reverse engineering (just as you do with financial planning) can help you break down your business tasks into manageable tasks that progressively move you forward. Stay consistent with the small steps and your business will grow.
There is a lot that goes into starting and growing a business, and we know how overwhelming it can be. If you’re interested in diving deeper into what it takes to go from sole practitioner into a full-fledged business, listen to our BluePrint Podcast episode, How to Go From A “Financial Professional” to “Business Owner” with Billy Hopkins.