Supercharge Your Growth The “Billion Dollar Baby” Way

by Shirley Hanson

The billion-dollar goal is increasingly within reach for your financial advisory practice.

According to the InvestmentNews annual benchmarking study, twenty percent of participating registered investment advisory firms in the annual study managed $1 billion or more in assets last year (2014). A decade ago that number was 2.5%.

The study reveals that the “billion-dollar babies” have increased revenue by 23% annually since the financial crisis, compared with 15% for all other firms in the recent study.

5 Powerful Ways to Grow Towards A Billion Dollar Firm . . . And Beyond

1 – Be Precise About Identifying Your Audiences

For many of the largest firms it can be higher net worth investors, but this category is vague. There are countless sub-categories that range by size of assets from around the $1 million threshold to the upper end of the scale for family offices.

And there are other productive sub-categories. Many firms don’t limit themselves and serve more than one specific niche.

The key question to ask is: Who am I most suited to serve?

Audiences include female executives, foundations and endowments, or multiple generations of a family. Or some billion-dollar firms provide multi-faceted advice to people going through transitions such as a divorce or trustees in estate resolution matters.

Another target audience is women early on in their career. For instance, Jane Williams CEO of Sand Hill Advisors (quoted in “Financial Advisor”) established a Women’s Wealth Network offering women “an inspiring and safe education and networking space where they can achieve financial confidence.”

Then, there are the outliers.

Abacus Wealth Partners does serve higher net worth audiences. At the same time, however, it encourages smaller accounts, which make up 80% of its 1,025 clients. These accounts keep less than $1 million with the firm. And the firm recently eliminated asset minimums.

2 – Act As If Your Financial Advisory Practice Is A Business

Christine Gaze, Director of Practice Management at TD Ameritrage Institutional (in a “Wall Street Journal” article “The Challenge of Becoming a Billion-Dollar Adviser”), warned:

“Every day we see advisors who can’t get out of their own way, failing to relinquish some of their responsibilities and let someone else perform those roles more effectively.”

As Gerry Klingman of Klingman & Associates (in the article about “Game Changers” in Investment News) warns, “You can no longer be the typical entrepreneur advisor who’s advising a client, handling investments, but also doing technology and compliance.”

3 – Delight Clients with Your Service

Joe Duran of United Capital (in the “Game Changers” article) cautions, “Serving the wealthy is a difficult task that is not getting any easier.” You can, though, set
yourself up for success by hiring people with enthusiasm for creating happy clients.

Don’t let operational issues hijack your attention. With the right people and a team approach you can exceed clients’ expectations for service.

My article shows how one advisory firm on the move multiplied its capabilities by unlocking the power of the team. The article is here:

4 – Narrow Your Focus and Become Highly Specialized

Become expert in the audiences you serve and the services you provide. Mark P. Hurley, investor in advisory firms, (in the “Game Changer” article) described that state of expertise like this:

“Be able to identify issues clients didn’t know they had.”

Specialization makes you a prime candidate for referrals. See Bob Hanson’s recent article, “The Surprising Benefit of Having a Target Market” — which unlocks the true potential of Center of Influence marketing.

The article about referrals is here

5 – Create your Unique Value Proposition for Your Market(s)

When you serve more than one audience, you will have a separate value proposition that speaks to each one.

It’s not unusual for advisors in the Billion-Dollar category to spend most of their time on marketing and business growth.

Discover our system for Growth Acceleration in our new book, “Marketing Power for Financial Advisors.” You can order your copy from:

Barnes & Noble

Yours for igniting momentum towards a billion-dollar business and beyond,

Shirley Hanson

About Shirley Hanson

Co-Author "Marketing Power for Financial Advisors"
In 1991 Shirley Hanson co-founded the Hanson Marketing Group, a direct marketing firm. Since 2005 she has focused her work on helping financial advisors take advantage of the same strategies and tactics that high-growth firms count on year after year. Advisors are able to attract more of their ideal clients, reach a Category of One, and raise their production. She collaborates with advisors to unlock their vision for their practice sooner with less hassle.

Contact Shirley
Phone: 215-753-2620 | Fax: 215-754-4165
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