You can’t build an investment advisory business unless you define your firm’s processes and embed them in CRM software shared by a team. So the first thing you need to do right now is to decide whether you want to be a practice or a business in 2012?
To be clear, when I say a “business,” that’s something bigger than just you.
A business can sustain itself without you.
If your firm cannot be profitable without you, it’s a practice but not a real business.
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A practice is great, by the way. Nothing wrong with not creating a business.
Creating a business can be much more rewarding financially in the long run, however.
Many great professional practitioners have created great wealth management businesses. Names like Bill Carter, Harold Evensky, Joel Isaacson, and Andy Putterman. The list could go on and on. These are all professional wealth managers who were able to create enduring businesses.
Some advisors delude themselves into thinking they’re creating a business when, in fact, they are only running a practice.
One of the key steps in moving from a practice to a business is embedding your processes in a CRM.
If you hope to ever become a business, you must realize that the skills needed to succeed are totally different from being a practitioner. Being a professional advisor is not enough.
To transform a professional practice to a successful professional services business, you must be a good manager, marketer, technologist, and salesperson. That takes years.
One of the key crossing points in moving toward an enduring business is embedding your processes in your CRM.
Without doing that, you won’t ever be able to create a competitive business. Pretty much all of the top wealth management firms with $250 million or more AUM have figured that out, and you can be sure that they already have written processes and embedded them in their CRMs, or are in the process of getting this done.
Point is, if you are serious about creating a real business, then make 2012 the year that you start documenting your processes and embedding them in software systems your firm uses.
To help you do this, here’s a deal: I will create a database of advisor processes and make them available for free.
If you send me a process for client intake, prospecting, referrals, cash management or other workflows essential to running an advisory practice, I’ll send you a different process for free.
If I get enough processes, I’ll publish the database and make it free for all A4A members.
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