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Building a great financial planning practice – Part 1

01 August 2020 Myra Knoesen

How can fledgling financial planners successfully roll out a financial advisory practice? Asks freelance writer, Brian O’Connell, in an article on Investopedia.

“By planning ahead and prioritizing five key elements of a solid practice: financing, team-building, technology, sales and marketing,” he says.
 
Streamline and improve practices

“The real risk for financial advisers, however, is accepting the status quo, and doing nothing at all to streamline and improve their practices. Financial planners cannot afford that risk, given the growing size of the industry competition,” continues O’Connell.
 
“Consider this - according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) - the number of U.S.-based personal financial advisers will grow 32% from 2010 to 2020, which the BLS says is much faster than the average for all occupations,” emphasizes O’Connell.
 
“This pending growth is attributed to burgeoning demand from Baby Boomers for retirement advice as they grow closer to their Golden Years. To stand out from all that competition, financial advisers need to consider their businesses as dynamic ones - i.e., businesses that need to grow and improve all the time,” he says.

What is the best way to accomplish that imposing task? O’Connell suggests you try these tips from advisers who have years of experience in the field - and who have learned via trial and error what works and what does not work in the financial planning industry:
 
Specialise and stand out

Pamela Plick, a financial planner says planners should find a niche and dominate it. "As financial planners, we cannot be all things to all people. By targeting a niche, you become an expert in the providing solutions for this particular group," she says.

For example, Plick says you can choose to work with female entrepreneurs, widows or dentists, or the niche can also be based on location. "Or, you could target retirees in a certain gated community or country club," she says.

Be a delegator
Plick also advises focusing on what is important and what you are good at - and either delegate or outsource the rest. "Focus on important tasks like marketing, networking and meeting with clients. If you can, outsource the administrative tasks," she advises.

Customize and connect with the client
Leonard Wright, a financial planner, says a client has a specific mission, vision, values and goals, and the good planners get to know what these expectations are.

"While they may not know them specifically, it is our job to bring them out. If the planning and advice related to the planning does not connect to the client's mission, vision, values and goals, the client will migrate away. If the client does not understand why the adviser makes recommendations for their benefit, they will wonder why the adviser does what they recommend and have an instinctive emotional reaction to seek someone that understands them,” he says.

In part two, we uncover more tips.

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