14 Questions Firm Owners Should Ask Themselves Once They’re Past the Startup Phase

Launching a business from the ground up is stressful — but it’s also exhilarating. Sometimes it’s that adrenaline alone that can sustain you through late nights and long weekends and marathon calls with your team, COIs, and prospective clients.

But after you’re done powering through those startup years and can take a breather, it’s easy to get gripped with new anxieties. You wonder, “What now? What should be my game plan for year 3 and beyond?”

As two financial planners who’ve also gone through this phase (Katie Burke launched her firm Method Financial Planning in 2015 and I founded my firm WealthChoice in 2016), we’d like to share some prompts that can help you reassess and redefine your firm’s mission and long-term plan. These questions address both the logistical and the emotional aspects of running a business.

We hope these questions spark discussion within your team and get you excited for the next phase of your business!

 

  1. What are the goals I have for my practice? What do I want to accomplish in the next year? 3 years? 5 years?
  2. Is the practice on track for me to reach those goals, and if not, what has to change?
  3. What resources do I need to get my business where I want it be — both from a quality of life and compensation standpoint?
  4. What resources are available to me to make my business run better (coaches, support networks, more efficient technology, etc.)?
  5. What tasks aren’t an efficient use of my time? Can I outsource them?
  6. Do I want to grow my practice, or scale down?
  7. Do I want to sign on a partner or hire a new team member?
  8. What is my mission and vision for my practice? What is my “why”? How has it changed when I first started out?
  9. Do I feel fulfilled in my work life? If not, how can I change this? Could I do pro bono work, get more involved in the industry, volunteer?
  10. How do I want to make an impact in the financial planning profession?
  11. What clients do I want to serve? What is my ideal client profile?
  12. What type of planning do I want to offer?
  13. If I had extra time in the workweek, what would I want to learn? (e.g. financial planning skills through a certification course, leadership training, etc.)
  14. Do I have a succession plan in place?

 

I (Bridget Venus Grimes) have been focused on these questions for all of 2020 for my firm WealthChoice. I set out this year to review every facet of my business from who I serve to how; reviewed all resources, messages, and goals; and ultimately made a tremendous amount of change in the business. It started with the questions, “What is my ideal practice? What do I want my business to look like?” And then got a really good coach to help me through this. It was expensive and time-consuming — but invaluable. My business is now positioned to scale with purpose.

Ultimately, you define your success. Try to ignore the outside influences and pressure to grow for just growth’s sake. Right now, with the startup years behind you, you can plan and grow more strategically and intentionally.

Equita Financial Network provides a wealth of resources and support for new and experienced firm owners. Reach out to our team today to learn more.

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