How To Grow When Resources Are Scarce

September 6, 2016

by Beverly Flaxington

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

How To Grow When Resources Are Scarce
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
How To Grow When Resources Are Scarce

Dear Bev,

I like many of the recommendations you make especially about growing a firm, but I am one person. I don’t have the time or the expertise to focus on growth. A “client event” for me means taking a client to lunch. I send a newsletter once a quarter, but how do I do more than this when the regular work needs my attention?

Brendan K.

Dear Brendan,

Do you need to grow? Can you handle growth in your firm? Are you set up to take in new clients? While I have devoted my career to the growth side of the equation, I have also run businesses so I understand what the internal “processing” side looks like. When a firm depends on one person, you want to be careful about how much of anything you take on without the necessary infrastructure to handle it! The worst scenario would be that you find new business and are buried trying to offer the high level of client service you are probably known for giving.

If you do believe you are ready and want some ideas you could implement as only a one-man band, here are a number of recommendations:

  1. Talk with your custodian or fund provider. Our firm has created many programs for these organizations, and I know firsthand that they stand ready to offer support in the form of consulting and training or workshops. These are often given free to their advisor clients. You might get some ideas and then be able to leverage a resource at these firms for support.
  2. Hire an outside consultant or marketing person for strategy development and/or implementation. There are firms who do everything, including making the actual calls (appointment setting firms), creating direct mailers and posting on social media. Many great resources write for Advisor Perspectives, so you can likely find some contact names here.
  3. Utilize a resource such as guru.com, elance.com or fiverr.com. These platforms advertise people with the skills you need, and you can find the exact support you seek. The pricing is usually very good too. We’ve had a number of our clients build their entire sales program by putting together a number of these outside resources.
  4. Make sure you are focusing on highest and best use for your time. You actually might be the best person to run the growth efforts, but if you are bogged down with day-to-day stuff then you won’t be able to focus on it. Is there a possibility you can hire someone or outsource some of what you do each day?

While it is challenging when you are one person, there are loads of resources to help you but you have to manage your time effectively, too!

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