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Charting your course: getting scale in a financial planning firm.

The four stages of a financial planning firm's journey.

Building a thriving financial planning firm requires careful planning and strategic decisions. While many equate a firm's size with success, we advocate for a more nuanced perspective: valuing quality and operational efficacy above mere scale. Our experience dictates that firms typically navigate through four stages.


LEVEL ONE: THE SOLO PRACTITIONER

At this initial stage, solo practitioners might find the experience akin to a high-paying job rather than running a business. Operating independently or with a lean team, they enjoy autonomy and reduced management tasks. However, this model harbours risks, primarily due to its reliance on a single individual. The allure of simplicity and control can be misleading, as personal challenges can profoundly impact the business.


LEVEL TWO: HIGH PERFORMING SINGLE ADVISER FIRM

Transitioning to this stage involves expanding the firm's capacity to serve a broader client base and enhance profitability. Strategic investments in resources, like staff and technology, become imperative, freeing the adviser to focus on client engagement and business growth. Although this transition entails calculated risks, it can significantly boost the firm's profitability and resilience.


LEVEL THREE: HIGH PERFORMING 2 ADVISER FIRM

The evolution to a two-adviser firm strikes a balance between expanding revenue opportunities and the complexities of managing a larger team. Strategic staffing and targeted growth initiatives can potentially double turnover and markedly improve profit margins. This stage offers greater operational flexibility and reduces the risk associated with key person dependency, though it introduces new management and operational challenges.


LEVEL FOUR: HIGH PERFORMING, MULTI ADVISER, MULTI SHAREHOLDER FIRM

Progressing to a multi-adviser, multi-shareholder firm represents a considerable advancement. This stage requires sophisticated management and operational frameworks to support sustained growth. Despite its complexities, the rewards of reaching this level can be substantial.


CHARTING YOUR COURSE

Understanding your current position and deciding where you aim to be is crucial. Whether you're content as a solo practitioner or aspiring for growth, the essence lies in owning your decision and striving to excel in your chosen path. It's about intentional, informed progression, understanding the landscape, acknowledging the risks and rewards at each stage, and making choices that align with your business and personal goals. Download the recommended organisational chart structure plus real-life examples for each level here.

Getting scale in financial planning firms.

Download the recommended organisational chart structure plus real life examples for each level.

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MOVING UP THE SCALE

Moving up through the levels of business growth is an exercise in strategic foresight. The systems, processes, and personnel that facilitated your firm in getting to its current stage are unlikely to suffice for future growth. This transition often leads firms to a critical threshold, which we term "the valley of death". Read our article here for a more detailed exploration of navigating and emerging from the valley of death. If you're ready to take your business to the next level, book a complimentary Strategy Session with one of our Performance Specialists.

Are you ready to plan for your best?

Over two days of hands-on coaching with our expert team, you’ll walk away with an airtight business plan that will guide and motivate you to achieve more than you thought possible in your business and personal life.

Melbourne: 30 - 31 May

Brisbane: 6 - 7 June

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