How To Go Independent

An objective source to learn about independent business models

The absolutely critical pieces to have in place before you go independent -- CLIENTS

MiscellaneousSean KernanComment

There are an almost infinite number of details that you can work on when planning to establish your own business as an independent financial advisor. But I want to outline those critical few things that you absolutely must have when you make the move. In particular, I’m focused on the first ninety days of your new practice.

If you’re working in employee model (at a wirehouse etc)-- here is the eighth thing I think you need to think about (mostly in order) to set up your own practice.

If you would rather listen to this in audio, you can also listen to the entire list in episode 26 of our podcast by clicking HERE



Last, but most importantly, you need CLIENTS to establish your own practice. I've put it last on purpose because the other things have to be in place before you pull the trigger to have your own practice.

So really this is number one because without the clients the rest of this is pointless and I've seen people that spent a lot of time from number one through seven and messed up number eight and frankly it just didn't work -- they're out of business, out of the industry within a few years or doing a completely different thing than having their own independent practice.

So if you've done the homework to be prepared, you've got the mindset and belief system done, you've made the commitment, you've put together out your plan, you've found the right help, and then you've figured out the mechanics of the right phone and computer and place to work, I think the clients, if you've done the work you need to be doing over the years to service the folks you work with and develop those relationships, the clients will come along.

A lot of the mindset belief stuff, part of that is just telling people you're confident -- this is the right thing "so I've established my own practice, here's why.. I'd love you to join us or I'd love to keep working with you." If you say it the right way it won't sound overconfident but it certainly won't sound like you're begging for the business, like it tends to happen to newer advisors who will take anybody or sometimes come across a little bit desperate when we're new, at least some of us do (I think I did at times) or "eager" is the right word -- maybe not desperate but very eager.

So clients, I think, you know, for our best clients/the majority, the revenue that our practices generate, they work with us not with a particular brand name. And again I think that's well-established. Certainly there are benefits to some major firm names in some clients' minds but by enlarge if you do the job for your clients, have the relationships, they will go where you are.

So number eight -- make sure you have clients. It's hard to fix years of neglect or not servicing people or not developing relationships but if you've done that and you've got a solid foundation of relationships, the clients will realize (most of them) that they need to stick with you and you'll get them through the change and everyone can live happily ever after -- you'll take care of what they need and therefore they will take care of you.

So there you have it. There's my list of the eight things that I think are absolutely critical before you make the move to independence. And again you might hear that several of these things indicate you're not all by yourself (I think I said it in a blog post recently) you're not starting a new country -- this is not developing your constitution and going the war with the oppressing king.

This is settling up your own little piece of the world but there's lot of people out there that would love to help you and where the best place for you depends on a lot of things -- what you want, what you need, the size and character of your practice.

But these eight things I think are the critical things that you need to have in place before you pull the trigger on a move.

<<Go to No. 7: A place to work