Hey everyone, welcome to this powerfully packed article on Creating A Financial Advisor Business Plan.
At the end of this article, we assure you of getting a comprehensive guide on the step-by-step procedure to write a great business plan to help you achieve your financial goals.
We will provide you with:
So let’s jump straight in.
In today’s article, we specifically look at creating a financial advisor business plan template.
It’s not something that any financial advisor should shy away from because as in all careers, business planning is critical if you want to be successful.
Sadly, it’s either often overlooked, or written once and never adapted.
In this article, we will cover how you can go about creating a simple business plan.
It can easily (and should) be adjusted as your business changes.
Why Do Financial Advisors Need A Business Action Plan?
Before we get into simple business plan outlines, let’s talk about why a financial advisor would need one?
Surely they know business plans inside out?
They probably have written numerous examples for clients or other businesses, right?
While that might be true, there is no doubt that doesn’t exclude them from writing a financial plan for their own business, no matter how much experience they have.
For example, take a financial advisor that has worked for a company but then decides to go alone and start their own small business.
A critical part of that process is coming up with their own business development plan, business action plan, business growth plan, marketing plan, or whatever it is you’d like to call it.
To understand what role a business plan can play in financial planning especially, let’s look at what it is.
In a nutshell, a business financial plan will help you with the direction and focus you need to adhere to reach your business and financial goals.
That’s the critical reason as to why you should draw one up.
And it’s not only important for your business and the financial services your offer but your prospective clients as well.
Generally, you should be aiming for a financial advisor business plan template of around one page.
Remember, a basic business plan is perfect first up.
And the best business plans are always changing, so writing something that’s pages and pages means you probably won’t ever get around to updating it.
The Core Element Of Any Startup Business Model
When drawing up a business plan for a new broker/dealer business for the coming year or whatever financial service you offer, this is what you need to consider.
Who is your target market?
Without a doubt, this is the most critical question you can ask yourself as a business owner.
And to some, starting a financial advisory business may seem like a stupid one.
That’s because, in their head, they think they know exactly who their target market is.
And yes, they might have a basic notion of who they want to serve.
But it’s critical to know exactly who your ideal client is when drawing up your business plan and defining your business goals for the first year.
How can you help them solve their problems?
Once you know what your ideal client looks like, try to find new clients that fit that picture.
For example, your financial planning firm might specialize in wealth management.
You aren’t then going to take on clients that need help with estate planning.
In other words, focus on the services you offer or your value proposition.
Potential clients need to know what your value proposition is as this will help them understand how you can help them with their specific needs.
How can you let potential clients know that your services are available?
All good business plans must include marketing strategies.
This is not only about reaching out to new potential clients and letting them know about your services either.
For example, by using a competitive analysis of your rivals, especially established ones, you can see what works and what doesn’t from a marketing perspective.
It can help you with pricing your services as well.
Marketing doesn’t need to be expensive advertising campaigns either.
You can start with social media which while relatively inexpensive can have a huge impact in finding new clients and targeting certain demographics.
A platform like Linkedin is invaluable too.
And don’t forget to include referrals in your marketing strategies either.
A client referral is just about the best marketing you can get and should be something you aim for at all times.
Why would someone choose you as their financial planner?
Don’t underestimate putting the shoe on the other foot and looking at your business from the outside in.
In other words, think about why a potential client would turn to you to help them.
It’s an extremely useful exercise to carry out as a business financial consultant or whatever sphere you practice in.
It’s not something that you should only do once either.
As you refocus on your business plan each year, you can easily incorporate this simple step as part of your overview.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with looking at your competitors either to see where their success might come from.
Are you using the same strategies?
Is there something you can learn from them?
Why do their clients choose them?
There is just so much you can find out by doing something as simple as this.
Steps To Follow To Create Your Financial Advisor Business Plan
So with all that we’ve covered above in mind, let’s take a step-by-step look at just how you can go about creating a business planning worksheet.
Remember, this is always highly adaptable and will never be perfect the first time up.
But that’s the beauty of it.
Once you have a business plan spreadsheet, you can easily adapt it whenever you need to.
And as a rule of thumb, you don’t want this to be pages and pages long.
It might be difficult to aim for a one-page strategic plan first up, but as you refine it over time, this should be your goal.
Below, you will find the details of a simple business plan example that you can follow to draw up your own.
This is the kind of thing that a business plan consultant will recommend you run through when starting out.
In reality, a company doesn’t need a business plan to have a mission statement drawn up.
That should automatically be part of the overall strategy right from the beginning.
But what does a mission statement do?
Well, there are three critical aspects it brings to the table:
- It helps to define what it is that the company does
- It helps to identify who the target market is
- It shows what benefits the target market will derive from using the services of the company
Without a doubt, writing up a strong mission statement is the perfect place to start when you begin your business plan.
Once you have a mission statement drawn up, it’s time to proceed to the vision statement, sometimes also called the executive summary.
This is a little different in the fact that it helps to provide a time frame for your business plan.
For example, a vision statement will:
- Guide where you want to business to be in the future, for example, the best investment management firm in the city, or perhaps even the state.
- Gives a time frame to achieve these goals
- Provide some insight as to how this is to be achieved
Drawing up a vision statement for a new business, in particular, can be difficult.
But as I’ve stressed all along, there isn’t anything to say that you cannot change this section (or any other) of your business plan.
This is all about focusing on your services and then showing potential clients just how they are going to be far better than anything that your competitors offer.
It’s easy to get carried away when drawing up a value proposition.
But just focus on the necessary and keep it as short as you possibly can.
Most importantly, with your value proposition, you need to show why your company is different from competitors and why clients should make use of your services.
When drawing up your value proposition, consider these critical factors:
- Your product or service offered
- Your message to inform potential clients as to why they should approach you over your competition
That’s as good a place to start and you can refine it from there.
You’ve probably heard of a SWOT analysis before but if you haven’t, let’s look at what the letters stand for.
I am sure you can see how identifying what these are must be part and parcel of any business plan, no matter what kind of startup you are planning.
For example, look at what your main advantage over a competitor is.
That’s a strength, for sure.
Or find barriers that will need to be overcome to make a success of your business in the first year.
That’s a threat.
These will be unique to each business, so you do need to take the time out to think about and identify them.
Drawing up analysis like this isn’t a once of either.
As your business develops over time, you will want to readdress the SWOT analysis, that’s for sure.
This step depends on what type of financial business you are running.
For example, if you are an independent RIA, there is no need for an organizational chart at all.
That’s because the buck starts and ends with you.
But maybe your startup is bigger than that and employs a few dozen people, or perhaps you grow from that one-person operation and start to employ staff.
That’s where an organizational chart should form part of your business plan.
You could even plan for the future, identifying positions that need to be filled before looking for the staff to fill them.
Simply list those positions on your chart as well as the task they would perform.
This not only helps you plan for the future but also identifies the correct time to get those experts in, such as someone to handle marketing, for example.
Services and pricing
While you may know all the services you are going to offer, it’s always a good thing to think them through thoroughly.
And then write them down as part of your business plan.
Noting all the services that clients can expect from you is just the start here, however.
You’ve also got to focus on the pricing aspect as well.
That’s not something you can take lightly at all.
Again, you need to consider your competitors when it comes to pricing.
See what they charge for similar services you plan to offer.
You don’t want to charge more than they do because, no matter how good the service you offer, people are looking to save money.
Note that pricing also should include how you will charge clients, for example, do you offer a monthly retainer fee or will they be charged by the hour.
All of these things are worth considering as you formulate your business plan.
In our modern world, marketing is not something that can be overlooked, even if you have a top-notch product or service.
That’s why your marketing strategy is part of your business plan.
Consider everything here, from advertising to the use of social media.
That includes things like websites, blogging, video content, and using other platforms.
As part of your marketing strategy, also consider sales avenues for your products or services as well as how to drive traffic through social media.
What we’ve covered above is the perfect start for your business plan but remember, you will be adapting it over time.
Or at least you should be.
Other Factors To Consider When Drawing Up A Business Plan
Here are a few tips that you can consider while you go through the process.
It’s not a static document
This has been mentioned a few times already but if you are going to treat your business plan as a static document, you might as well not do one.
Your business will change over time so why wouldn’t your business plan.
It’s something that you should look at every financial year, at least.
Also, it shouldn’t look too far ahead either.
So keep your goals short-term, for the most part, and as you reach them, adapt them accordingly or come up with new ones.
Consider staff in your business plan
While you might start small, it’s wise to consider expansion in the future should you reach your goals.
This might not be in the first business plan you write but at some point, you might be hiring.
And having a good idea of what you would need staff-wise in that regard is never a bad thing.
This can be covered under the organizational chart we spoke about earlier.
Keep it simple
It’s so easy to get carried away when drawing up a business plan, that’s for sure.
Rather keep it as simple as you possibly can.
There is no need to go into great amounts of detail with a plan like this.
If you’ve got a decent framework, you’ve made the right start.
And I am not saying don’t add to that framework, but don’t get too carried away in trying to fill in all the details.
It’s not necessary.
You could follow the template we covered above and fill in the relative details for your own business or draw up your own.
There are no hard and fast rules.
Research is critical
Part of your business plan is going to involve some research
I’ve mentioned aspects of that already, for example, what services do your clients want or who are they exactly?
Doing some research before writing your business plan will help the process flow so much better.
Stick to realistic projections
While you might want to make $5 million in your first year, is that realistic?
Rather stick to realistic projections when it comes to things like business plan financial projections, including cash flow, for example.
Check out the competition
Know your enemy!
Well, that’s probably a little over the top but understanding who your competitors are and what they do is invaluable.
It’s a critical part of running any successful business.
Thanks for taking the time to read through this article about business plans.
They can be a daunting thing, especially if you’ve never written up one before.
But we’ve included some excellent advice that you can follow to help you draw up your own.
Two things are critical when drawing up your business plan:
- You will change it often and should be looking to do that as your business changes
- Keep it as simple as possible
If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.