Starting your own firm is no small undertaking, but with a few tips, you can limit the overwhelm. Here are seven pointers from seven advisers on what they’d do if they were starting out.
Amyr Rocha Lima, Chartered & Certified Financial Planner, and Chair of the Financial Planning Committee at the CISI
Embrace your uniqueness and don't be afraid to stand out. Create a distinctive personal brand that reflects your values, expertise and personality, and use it to attract clients who share your vision and goals.
This will not only set you apart from the competition, but it will also allow you to work with clients who appreciate and value your distinct point of view and approach.
Tom Skinner, Financial Planning Director, Barnaby Cecil
Our biggest leap forward was to turn financial planning into a product. We have three – WealthMap, Navigate and Momentum. This has enabled us to explain what we do, and what people will get, much better.
It also helps clients to think more specifically about what they want to do with their lives – sometimes goal setting is too big and abstract a topic for people when they’re worried about the mortgage going up, or getting their children into their favourite school. Providing them with three different examples gives them ‘permission’ to then think of their own.
Andrew Moore, Managing Director, Goodmans FP
I wish I’d been taught how to put the client’s life at the centre of the advice, and how doing that leads to lots of referrals. Clients who've been through the process naturally exude optimism and confidence in their future; their friends see that and want the same.
Knowing this would have saved those early years chasing for clients and trying to butter up lawyers and accountants.
Alan Smith, CEO, Capital Asset Management
When I was younger, I wasn’t much of a reader, but eventually I learned that reading books is a cheat code for life. I would advise anyone early in their career to develop a regular habit of reading - about our profession, about entrepreneurship, but also outside of it - sport, art, politics, technology and biographies of the great people of history.
Set yourself a goal of reading (or listening to on audible) one book a month. Then identify three key lessons and one thing you will do differently as a result. The compound effect of reading 120 books over the next 10 years will change the entire trajectory of your career.
Kathryn Knowles, Managing Director, Cura Financial Services
My piece of advice would be to give yourself time to settle into your role, get a feeler about what you do and don’t enjoy.
Know your roles and responsibilities. Successful advisers recognise their limits and outsource to other experts before they reach overwhelm.
That way you can also find what you excel at - and you're more likely to discover an area you would never have thought would be ‘you’.
Garry Hale, Managing Director, HK Wealth
I had very good advice and mentors early in my career, so I would suggest seeking out a mentor or mentors. Also build your personal profile and brand. And get involved in professional communities, for example the Personal Finance Society, Octo and NextGen Planners.
Ruth Sturkey, Non-Executive Director, Podcaster and Business Coach
Financial planning is a truly rewarding career because you can aspire to be whatever you chose to be. Believe in yourself, and if you sniff an opportunity, grab it with both hands. Keep growing and stretching yourself, but don’t think you need to channel others to succeed. I guess that comes with confidence - but it also makes life a lot easier!