Making the transition to an independent business model or your own RIA is a big task which requires careful planning and commitment.
If you’re like most advisors, you’re highly trained, extremely skilled, enormously caring, and incredible passionate about providing a high quality experience for your clients. In order to create the most fulfilling business model and successful working relationship with your clients, having a sound business plan and a clear vision for your practice is crucial. But many advisors have been forced into a reactive mode, struggling to keep up with a seemingly endless stream of change—and grappling with how to redefine their practices. It’s tough to create the time to pay attention to larger goals when they can barely get through the workload on their desks.
We can help! Since 2005, FocusPoint Solutions has worked alongside dozens of advisors, guiding them along the path to independence—and gathering hands-on insight throughout many advisor transitions. The comment our team hears most often from advisors is, “I only wish I had done this sooner!”.
If you’re considering making a move, here are some tips to help you through the process. By keeping them in mind, we believe you’ll be helping yourself to ensure greater success in—and a smoother path to—your ideal business model.
- Spend time creating a solid plan—and commit to it within a realistic timeframe.
It’s not uncommon for advisors without a clear, solid plan to get stuck in transition. Speed and commitment on your part are imperative if you’re planning to make the switch to your own RIA.
- Be prepared to roll with the punches.
While having a solid plan is essential, there are many moving parts associated with transitioning to independence. Expect to experience at least a few small hurdles along the way.
- Get ready to delegate and be realistic about your revenue.
As you transition to independence, you’ll be a business owner who is newly responsible for many areas which may have been previously provided for you. No one can do it all. Choose your team and partners wisely. Check out providers like FocusPoint; our firm can offer you an experienced team and well-established systems and technology.
- Stay focused on your goals and the big picture.
With proper planning, you can anticipate a relatively smooth transition. But when things feel tough, remember that there were likely several variables that brought you to the point where you felt an extreme need to create a new—and better—situation.
- Get comfortable with and passionate about the (updated) message you’re sharing with clients.
Your clients look to you as their trusted advisor. If you are excited, passionate, confident, and communicative about your transition, it’s likely that your clients will mirror those positive feelings about your move.
- Create a support network of trusted professionals to walk with you through the process.
Look for an experienced partner (like FocusPoint) that will design a customized transition plan for you, handle the paperwork burden, and guide you along your plan timeframe. Seek out other like-minded advisors whose business models you’d like to emulate, or who have already reached the goals you’re seeking to achieve.
- Question your old business beliefs and practices.
Why do you do certain things today? Just because your current processes and practices made sense in the past doesn’t necessarily mean they still do now. Exploring outside your comfort zone can be uncomfortable at first, but pushing yourself can help you identify options that are much better suited to meet your current needs.