Many financial advisors, even those with a large amount of assets under management (AUM), are struggling to achieve the kind of growth that they desire in their practices. For example, if your practice consists of mostly older clients, your AUM may be shrinking because of the high level of distributions that your client are taking. Or you may struggle with issues such as time management or implementing an effective marketing plan.
For your financial planning practice to thrive, it is imperative that you grow your client base over time. Here are some ideas that can help you to fine-tune your practice and reach the next level. (For related reading, see: Fiduciary Rule Grandfathering Gray Area for FAs.)
Evaluating Your Service
If your practice isn’t growing the way you’d like it to, then you may be experiencing a shortage of capacity. This factor can be determined by gauging your ability to provide adequate, timely service to all of your clients on a consistent basis. If there is a substantial discrepancy in the services that you provide some clients versus others, then you are lacking in this area. If this is a problem for you, then you may want to consider focusing on a narrower segment of clientele, such as those who work in a specific field or share some other common demographic trait. It is important to note that while many advisors specialize in working with high-net worth clients, wealth is not a niche in and of itself. In fact, the high-net worth segment of clients is among the most diversified groups of people in terms of their investment objectives and needs. Focusing on a more specific group of clients can help you to develop a more standard set of procedures and provide a level of advice that is more customized for your clients.
You may also want to add another staff member or two that can help you to streamline your workflow, so that you don’t have to do everything yourself. If these solutions aren’t palatable, then you may need to simply reduce the overall level of service that you provide in order to free up time to find new business. (For related reading, see: Mobile Investing: What Investors Want.)
When it comes to business development, many advisors struggle to find partners who are able to consistently bring in new business. If you are facing this issue, then don’t be too quick to chalk this up to lack of effort or motivation. Many advisory firms are still trying to figure out how to adapt to the new business paradigm in today’s marketplace.
If you don’t have a strong digital presence, then you may be seriously handicapping your business and overlooking an important avenue that can generate new clients for you. The staff and other producers that you hire should also complement your own skill set. For example, if you are an introverted analyst by nature, then you should probably look to hire some extroverted employees who have great people skills.
It is also vitally important that you be able to tell people exactly why clients come to you and why they choose to stay. You need to have clear and concise reasons for this that you can spell out when the opportunity arises. An effective marketing plan will provide a clear display of what you and your firm can provide and why you choose the approach that you take.
The Bottom Line
Running growing, thriving financial practice demands constant time and effort. By using the strategies described above, you can accomplish your duties more efficiently and streamline your business so that you have more time to find new clients. Knowing exactly who you wish to serve and why will provide a solid foundation for future growth and success. (For related reading, see: Why Advisors Leave Wirehouses, Go Independent.)