Achieving the wisdom that allows an advisor to see that a well-managed firm is as good for his clients as it is for himself usually comes only after the principal has spent at least a few years wrestling with the challenges of running a small, but growing, business.

Other milestones in the business education of a successful independent advisor include:

  • Getting buried in the workload from new clients;
  • Having profits gobbled up by too much staff;
  • Constantly retraining a highly turning over professional staff;
  • Recruiting the wrong people into the wrong jobs;
  • Becoming burned out by trying to do too much yourself;
  • Working harder for the same or less money;
  • Losing clients due to poor service or simply inattention;
  • Finding you don’t like the job you’ve ended up with.

The bottom line is that it can take years to realize that successful advisory practices–especially one that you’ll be happy with–don’t happen by accident. They are consciously built using sound business strategies, and a good business plan. The sooner you start building your business, the easier it will be to build, and the greater the likelihood that it will exceed your expectations.