By Guest Blogger Michael E. Kitces, MSFS, MTAX, CFP | Pinnacle Advisory Group
In a world where most advisory firms are relatively small businesses, having a formal business plan is a remarkably rare occurrence. For most advisers, they “keep track” of the business in their head, making the process of creating a formal business plan on paper seem unnecessary.
The reality is that crafting a business plan is about more than just setting business goals. Like financial planning, the process of thinking through the plan is valuable, regardless of whether the final document at the end gets put to use. In fact, for many advisory firms, a simple “one-page” financial adviser business plan may be the best output of the business planning process – a single-page document with concrete goals to which the adviser can hold himself or herself accountable.
So, what should the one-page financial adviser business plan cover?
There are six key areas to define for the business:
- Who will it serve?
- What will you do for them?
- How will you reach them?
- How will you know if it’s working?
- Where will you focus your time?
- What must you do to strengthen (or build) the foundation to make it possible?
Click here to download the One-Page Financial Adviser Plan Template.
Ideally, this should be accompanied by a second page to the business plan, which includes a budget or financial projection of the key revenue and expense areas of the business. This will affirm that it is a financially viable plan.
Because one of the virtues of a financial adviser business plan is the accountability it can create, advisers should not only craft the plan, but share it with coaches and colleagues, and even with prospective or current clients. Doing so becomes an opportunity to get feedback and constructive criticism about the goals. In the process of articulating a clear plan, this vetting process can also be a means to talk about the business and who it will serve, creating referral opportunities in the process.
Read the original blog and full content as published by Kitces here.
Michael E. Kitces, MSFS, MTAX, CFP is a partner and director of planning research at Pinnacle Advisory Group in Columbia, Maryland.