You’ve taken the plunge to go into business for yourself. Congratulations! This will be an incredible adventure—one filled with ups, downs, and everything in between.
While there are so many amazing aspects to owning your own business, there are also some important changes to be aware of. In your old office, you probably had an array of coworkers and peers to help form a community. When you are in business for yourself, that community seems to evaporate overnight.
A strong sense of community is an essential component for a successful business owner. But how can you find community when you go into business for yourself? What tools and resources can help you build lasting relationships that will, in turn, make both you and your business prosper?
We will explore all of this and more with you here today.
Join financial planning-focused membership organizations
Membership organizations are among the most important resources for new and seasoned advisors alike. These organizations not only provide a community of like-minded advisors but also a plethora of tools and resources to help jumpstart, launch, and level-up your firm.
Here at ACP, our members enjoy many benefits, chief among them being the training and understanding of our unique retainer-based fee model, including a fee calculator to help advisors figure out how and why to charge what they are worth in this ever-changing financial landscape.
Something that many of our members find integral to their daily processes is the emphasis we have on setting you up for success especially in the way you structure your fee and service model. Advisor PJ Wallin featured on our podcast, even said that the resources ACP provided, namely the fee calculator, helped him to see the unintended bias in his former AUM (assets under management) model and structure his fees in a way that made sense for his business and the clients he was serving.
ACP also provides templates to navigate these difficult financial conversations with clear, jargon-free explanations that demonstrate the inherent and added value of the services you can and will provide for clients. These initial prospect meetings are always difficult to navigate, which is why we provide our members with a step-by-step guide for having these talks with prospective clients.
An organization like ACP also gives advisors the ability to illustrate their value proposition and clearly express that value for clients, a component integral for building a successful business.
Consider a dual membership
So many of our ACP advisors thrive in our community but are also enthusiastic about other membership opportunities in the financial planning sphere. There are so many organizations to choose from, but one of the ones a lot of our members have decided on is XYPN.
XYPN helps advisors cater to a different demographic: people with a range of liquid and investable assets, most often targeting Gen X and Gen Y. So often in the financial planning world, we as advisors are on the hunt for clients with $500,000 to 1 million in investable assets, but that limits the scope of our potential market so much. That is where XYPN comes into play. This organization is also passionate about being fee-only and an advisor’s commitment to putting the client’s interests above their own.
Holding a dual membership can broaden your perspective and get you thinking about and talking with new people who may be serving a different audience than you are. These experiences can expand the scope of the work that you do while giving your own practice more depth and enrichment.
If you are considering multiple memberships, look out for organizations that are different but complementary. While ACP and XYPN are both passionate about fee-only, fiduciary work, we also have many differences that can benefit advisors in a variety of ways.
The most important thing to know is that you don’t have to operate in the exact same way as each advisor does in your group. For example, even though ACP prides itself on our tax focus, you don’t have to prepare taxes to be a member; that isn’t a requirement. The same is true of XYPN; even though their primary client demographic is Gen X and Gen Y, you don’t have to serve that clientele to get an immense benefit from the organization.
Some other organizations to keep in mind are:
- Fee-only network
Be sure you look at your business and your clients to determine which group(s) might be a good fit for you.
Form a mastermind group
A mastermind group is a peer-to-peer mentoring concept that allows members to engage with each other about industry questions, business growth, personal development, and more. This is a space for you to gather with peers for mentorship, education, accountability, and problem-solving. By engaging in a group like this, you are committing to yourself and others to grow yourself and your practice.
A mastermind group can help you hone in on your goals and give advice on how to get there. This is a great way to maintain accountability in your goals while connecting with and offering a helping hand to other advisors in the same position.
Most of your financial planning networks have local as well as national chapters. Get involved in your local chapter by volunteering, coordinating, or speaking at an event. This is a great way to get to know the other local members in your area and get your name out there.
Alongside your local chapter, you should also get out into the community at large. Engaging with your community is not only an incredible way to give back but also an excellent opportunity to meet and connect with new people, some of whom may be prospective clients.
Since so much of the work you do with other advisors is virtual, take some time to make an effort to get involved in the local branches.
When you are looking to form a community, take initiative to get together with a team of advisors. You can work together on a special project, create an important piece of literature or prominent study, or even give a presentation for a chapter meeting.
These activities can stimulate your mind while also giving you the space to meet and connect with other professionals in your field. This will get you outside of your comfort zone while also connecting you with like-minded folks who have a similar end goal.
Connect with ACP
Our goal at ACP is to create a space that helps advisors build a new practice or transform an existing one in a way that prioritizes the value and services you as an advisor provide to your clients.
ACP is passionate about the fiduciary standard and our retainer-based fee model and has helped many advisors create a meaningful, profitable financial planning practice. Interested in learning more about a membership with us? Get in touch today.