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October 31, 2023
How to Write a Business Plan Step-By-Step
October 31, 2023 • Block Advisors
- A business plan outlines your business’s goals, services, financing, and more.
- Business plans vary in length and complexity but should always include an explanation of what your business will do and how it will do it.
- Business plans serve as a guide for business owners and employees and are key to boosting investor confidence.
Whether you’re a serial entrepreneur or just getting your first small business idea off the ground, creating a business plan is an important step. Good business planning will help you clarify your goals and objectives, identify strategies, and note any potential issues or roadblocks you might face.
Not every business owner chooses to write a business plan, but many find it to be a valuable step to take when starting a business. Creating a business plan can seem daunting and confusing at first. But taking the time to plan and research can be very beneficial, especially for first-time small business owners.
If you want to learn how to create a business plan or if you feel you just need a little business plan help, read on!
What is a Business Plan?
A business plan serves as a comprehensive document that outlines your business’s goals, services, financing, leadership, and more details essential to its success. Think of the plan as the who, what, and why of your new business:
Who are the major players in your business?
What goods or services do you offer and why are they important?
Why are you in business and why should customers choose you?
Business plans can range in complexity and length, but, at their core, all plans explain what the business will do and how it will do it. A business plan serves as a guide for business owners and employees and should boost investor confidence. Some important advantages of business plans include:
- Shows investors you have an in-demand product or service, a solid team to achieve business goals, and the potential for growth and scalability.
- Increases the likelihood of securing a business loan, locking in investments, or raising capital. >>Read: A Guide to Raising Capital as a Small Business Founder
- Helps recognize partnership opportunities with other companies.
- Identifies and defines competitors within your given industry.
Looking for an examples of a successful business plan? Check out the SBA’s business plan page for walkthroughs of different business plan outlines.
How to Write a Business Plan: 10 Simple Steps
Starting with a blank page is undoubtedly intimidating. So, begin with a structured business plan template including the key elements for each section. Once your outline is complete, it’ll be time to fill in the details. Don’t worry, you’ll know how to write a business plan in no time. We’ve broken each section down to help you write a business plan in a few simple steps.
1. Brainstorm and Draft an Executive Summary for Your Business Plan
This will be the first page of your business plan. Think of it as your business’ written elevator pitch. In this high level summary, include a mission statement, a short description of the products or services you will be providing, and a summary of your financial and growth projections.
This section will be the first part people read, but you may find it easier to write it last. Writing it after building out the rest of your plan may help you condense the most important information into a concise statement. You’ll need to streamline your thoughts from the other sections into a one page or less summary.
2. Create a Business Description
In this next section, describe your business. Add more specific details than the executive summary. You should include your business’s registered name, the address of your business’s location, basic information about your business structure , and the names of key people involved in the business.
The company description should also answer these two questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you plan to do?
Explain why you’re in business. Show how you are different from competitors. Tell investors why they should finance your company. This section is often more inspirational and emotional. Make sure you grab the reader’s attention. The goal is to get them to believe in your vision as much as you do.
What business structure is right for my company?
Answer these six questions to help you find your fit
3. Outline Your Business Goals
This section should serve as an objective statement. Explain what you want to accomplish and your timeline. Business goals and objectives give you a clear focus. They drive your business to success, so dream big. Include objectives that will help you reach each goal. Don’t forget to make your goals and objectives SMART – that is, they should be:
S pecific | M easurable | A ttainable | R elevant | T ime-bound
4. Conduct and Summarize Market Research
Next, outline your ideal customer with some research. Do the math to estimate the potential size of your target market. Make sure you are choosing the right market for your product, one with plenty of customers who want and need your product. Define your customer’s pain points. Explain your expertise in relation to the market. Show how your product or service fills an important gap and brings value to your customers. Use your findings to build out a value proposition statement.
5. Conduct a Competitive Analysis
In a similar way, you’ll also want to conduct and include a competitive analysis. The purpose of this analysis is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of competitors in your market, strategies that will give you a competitive advantage, and how your company is different. Some people choose to conduct a competitive analysis using the SWOT method .
6. Outline Your Marketing and Sales Strategies
Your marketing sales strategy can make or break your business. Your marketing plan should outline your current sales decisions as well as future marketing strategies. In this section, you should reiterate your value proposition, target markets, and customer segments. Then, include details such as:
- A launch plan
- Growth tactics and strategies
- A customer retention plan
- Advertising and promotion channels (i.e. social media, print, search engines, etc.)
7. Describe Your Product or Service
By this point, your products or services have probably been mentioned in several areas of the business plan. But it’s still important to include a separate section that outlines their key details. Describe what you’re offering and how it fits in the current market. Also include details about the benefits, production process, and life cycle of your products. If you have any trademarks or patents, include them here. This is also a good time to ask yourself, “Should my plan include visual aids?”
[ Read More Must-Have Tips to Start Your Small Business ]
8. Compile Financial Plans
Financial health is crucial to the success of any business. If you’re just starting your business, you likely won’t have financial data yet. However, you still need to prepare a budget and financial plan. If you have them, include income statements , balance sheets , and cash flow statements . You can also include reporting metrics such as net income and your ratio of liquidity to debt repayment ability.
If you haven’t launched your business yet, include realistic projections of the same information. Set clear financial goals and include projected milestones. Share information about the budget. What are the business operations costs? Ensure you are comprehensive when considering what costs you may need to prepare for.
9. Build a Management and Operations Plan
Identify your team members. Highlight their expertise and qualifications. Outline roles that still need to be filled now to establish your company and later as the business grows. Read More: 8 tax steps to take when hiring employees >>
Include a section detailing your logistics and operations plan. Consider all parts of your operation. Create a plan that provides details on suppliers, production, equipment, shipment and fulfillment, and inventory. This shows how your business will get done.
10. Create an Appendix – A Place for Additional Information and Documents
Lastly, assemble an organized appendix. This section can contain any other relevant information a reader might need to enhance their understanding of other sections. If you feel like the appendix is getting long, consider adding a table of contents at the beginning of this section. Appendices often include documents such as:
- Licenses and permits
- Bank statements
- Resumes of key employees
- Equipment leases
How to Create a Business Plan: The Bottom Line
A business plan helps you identify clear goals and provides your business direction. Many small business plans are 10-20 pages in length. But as long as the essentials are covered, feel empowered to build a plan that works for you and your company’s needs. Creating a business plan will help you identify your market and target customers, define business aims, and foster long-term financial health.
We’re ready to help you get your business started on the right foot today, and help you find long-term satisfaction as you pursue your business dream. Writing a business plan can be exciting. But if the steps to starting your business are feeling overwhelming, Block Advisors is here to help. Make an appointment today – our experts can assist you with tax prep , bookkeeping , payroll , business formation , and more .
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Creating Your Financial Advisor Business Plan
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A business plan is a critical step to success as a financial advisor.
An effective financial advisor business plan includes:
- Services you provide
- Commitment and philosophy
- Your ideal client, marketing plan, business goals, and financial numbers
Sample Financial Advisor Business Plan for [Business Name]:
Our financial advisory business, [Business Name], is committed to providing to affluent women and couples and closely held businesses:
- Comprehensive financial planning
- Insurance, retirement, and tax planning
- Investment management services
We understand the importance of financial security. Our goal is to guide our clients in making informed decisions. As a result, they can achieve their short-term and long-term financial goals.
Creating Your Financial Planner Business Plan
[Business Name] is a full-service financial advisory firm located in [City, State].
Our team of experienced advisors offers personalized financial planning advice.
We also offer investment management, retirement planning, insurance planning, estate planning, and tax strategies to clients.
Our mission is to build deep meaningful relationships with our clients. We provide customized solutions that align with their financial goals and values.
Our firm will operate as a registered investment advisory firm, offering commission and fee-based services. We offer financial planning to closely held business owners and their family.
Our advisors will assess clients’ financial situations, create tailored financial plans, implement investment strategies, and provide ongoing monitoring and support.
The market for financial advisory services is continuing to grow. There is an increasing need for financial advice. Our target market comprises high-net-worth individuals, professionals, and closely held businesses in North America. We will continue to expand our reach and opportunities through online marketing, referral partnerships, and virtual consultations.
Financial Planning Services include:
1. Financial Planning
Our firm will offer a comprehensive evaluation of clients’ financial situation. The analysis will include our clients’ goals, cash flow analysis, budgeting, debt management, and risk assessment.
2. Investment Management
Our firm will create custom investment portfolios. The portfolios will include our clients’ risk tolerance, investment objectives, and time horizons.
3. Retirement Planning
We offer retirement income planning and projections. We analyze existing retirement accounts to help our clients maximize their retirement savings.
4. Insurance Planning
We provide insurance planning and analysis. Our review includes an assessment of the current insurance assessment and gaps in coverage.
5. Estate Planning
We assist with estate distribution, legacy planning, wealth preservation, and minimizing tax implications.
6. Tax Strategies
We provide guidance on tax-efficient investment strategies, tax planning, and coordination with clients’ tax professionals.
7. Generational Wealth Planning
We offer generational planning for our clients. As a result, our clients’ children and grandchildren have the tools and resources to create a bright financial future.
Marketing and Sales Strategy
To attract clients, we will implement the following marketing strategies:
1. Website Development
Our goal is to develop an informative and user-friendly website highlighting our services, team, and case studies. We provide weekly blog posts with relevant financial insights.
2. Social Media
We will create a presence on [Name of the social media platforms]. Our firm will consistently engage with our niche market of affluent clients and closely held businesses. We will share helpful financial tips, insight, and industry news.
We will join [name of the business organization], [name of the community events], and [name of online forums]. By doing so, we can build relationships, establish our credibility, and talk with prospective clients.
If you want more referrals, click here:
4. Referral Marketing
Our firm will thank current clients for their business and referrals. We will also communicate the value of receiving warm introductions.
We will continue to expand and grow our network of reciprocal referral partners. By growing our network, we connect with partners who are committed to giving and to getting referrals.
We will develop strategic partnerships with traditional referral partners, such as accountants or attorneys. We will also expand referral partnerships with non-traditional referral partners such as commercial lenders, business bankers, and business brokers.
5. Operations and Management
[Business Name] is managed by experienced financial advisors. Our services include financial planning and investment management.
Our firm will continue to improve our knowledge and skills. As a result, we will provide our clients with the most up-to-date financial solutions.
We leverage technology tools for efficient operations, data security, and streamline client communication.
6. Financial Projections
We will identify our annual revenue goal and then determine and monitor our daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly numbers.
Based on our actual numbers, we will adjust our financial advisor business plan.
By combining market research and conservative assumptions, we project the following financial performance over the next three years:
a) Year 1: Generate total revenues of $X and achieve a net profit margin of X%.
b) Year 3: Increase total revenue by X% and improve the net profit margin to X%.
c) Year 5: Continue revenue growth, reaching $X, and maintain a net profit margin of X%.
7. Risks and Challenges
The financial advisory industry is highly competitive. Gaining clients’ trust requires consistent performance and proven results.
Market uncertainty and regulatory changes can also impact our business. We will mitigate these risks through continuous professional development, staying informed about market trends, and adapting our strategies accordingly.
Conclusion – Financial Advisor Business Plan
Financial advisors and money coaches need a business plan. The plan should include a solid foundation, winning strategy, and consistent execution of your plan.
A well-crafted business plan provides a roadmap for success. It also helps you achieve their long-term objectives while navigating the ever-changing financial advisory industry.
Related: 11 Reasons Financial Advisors Fail
Creating A Financial Advisor Business Plan in 2023
Table of Contents
Hey everyone, welcome to this powerfully packed article on Creating A Financial Advisor Business Plan.
At the end of this article, we assure you of getting a comprehensive guide on the step-by-step procedure to write a great business plan to help you achieve your financial goals.
We will provide you with:
So let’s jump straight in.
In today’s article, we specifically look at creating a financial advisor business plan template.
It’s not something that any financial advisor should shy away from because as in all careers, business planning is critical if you want to be successful.
Sadly, it’s either often overlooked, or written once and never adapted.
In this article, we will cover how you can go about creating a simple business plan.
It can easily (and should) be adjusted as your business changes.
Why Do Financial Advisors Need A Business Action Plan?
Before we get into simple business plan outlines, let’s talk about why a financial advisor would need one?
Surely they know business plans inside out?
They probably have written numerous examples for clients or other businesses, right?
While that might be true, there is no doubt that doesn’t exclude them from writing a financial plan for their own business, no matter how much experience they have.
For example, take a financial advisor that has worked for a company but then decides to go alone and start their own small business.
A critical part of that process is coming up with their own business development plan, business action plan, business growth plan, marketing plan, or whatever it is you’d like to call it.
To understand what role a business plan can play in financial planning especially, let’s look at what it is.
In a nutshell, a business financial plan will help you with the direction and focus you need to adhere to reach your business and financial goals.
That’s the critical reason as to why you should draw one up.
And it’s not only important for your business and the financial services your offer but your prospective clients as well.
Generally, you should be aiming for a financial advisor business plan template of around one page.
Remember, a basic business plan is perfect first up.
And the best business plans are always changing, so writing something that’s pages and pages means you probably won’t ever get around to updating it.
The Core Element Of Any Startup Business Model
When drawing up a business plan for a new broker/dealer business for the coming year or whatever financial service you offer, this is what you need to consider.
Who is your target market?
Without a doubt, this is the most critical question you can ask yourself as a business owner.
And to some, starting a financial advisory business may seem like a stupid one.
That’s because, in their head, they think they know exactly who their target market is.
And yes, they might have a basic notion of who they want to serve.
But it’s critical to know exactly who your ideal client is when drawing up your business plan and defining your business goals for the first year.
How can you help them solve their problems?
Once you know what your ideal client looks like, try to find new clients that fit that picture.
For example, your financial planning firm might specialize in wealth management.
You aren’t then going to take on clients that need help with estate planning.
In other words, focus on the services you offer or your value proposition.
Potential clients need to know what your value proposition is as this will help them understand how you can help them with their specific needs.
How can you let potential clients know that your services are available?
All good business plans must include marketing strategies.
This is not only about reaching out to new potential clients and letting them know about your services either.
For example, by using a competitive analysis of your rivals, especially established ones, you can see what works and what doesn’t from a marketing perspective.
It can help you with pricing your services as well.
Marketing doesn’t need to be expensive advertising campaigns either.
You can start with social media which while relatively inexpensive can have a huge impact in finding new clients and targeting certain demographics.
A platform like Linkedin is invaluable too.
And don’t forget to include referrals in your marketing strategies either.
A client referral is just about the best marketing you can get and should be something you aim for at all times.
Why would someone choose you as their financial planner?
Don’t underestimate putting the shoe on the other foot and looking at your business from the outside in.
In other words, think about why a potential client would turn to you to help them.
It’s an extremely useful exercise to carry out as a business financial consultant or whatever sphere you practice in.
It’s not something that you should only do once either.
As you refocus on your business plan each year, you can easily incorporate this simple step as part of your overview.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with looking at your competitors either to see where their success might come from.
Are you using the same strategies?
Is there something you can learn from them?
Why do their clients choose them?
There is just so much you can find out by doing something as simple as this.
Steps To Follow To Create Your Financial Advisor Business Plan
So with all that we’ve covered above in mind, let’s take a step-by-step look at just how you can go about creating a business planning worksheet.
Remember, this is always highly adaptable and will never be perfect the first time up.
But that’s the beauty of it.
Once you have a business plan spreadsheet, you can easily adapt it whenever you need to.
And as a rule of thumb, you don’t want this to be pages and pages long.
It might be difficult to aim for a one-page strategic plan first up, but as you refine it over time, this should be your goal.
Below, you will find the details of a simple business plan example that you can follow to draw up your own.
This is the kind of thing that a business plan consultant will recommend you run through when starting out.
In reality, a company doesn’t need a business plan to have a mission statement drawn up.
That should automatically be part of the overall strategy right from the beginning.
But what does a mission statement do?
Well, there are three critical aspects it brings to the table:
- It helps to define what it is that the company does
- It helps to identify who the target market is
- It shows what benefits the target market will derive from using the services of the company
Without a doubt, writing up a strong mission statement is the perfect place to start when you begin your business plan.
Once you have a mission statement drawn up, it’s time to proceed to the vision statement, sometimes also called the executive summary.
This is a little different in the fact that it helps to provide a time frame for your business plan.
For example, a vision statement will:
- Guide where you want to business to be in the future, for example, the best investment management firm in the city, or perhaps even the state.
- Gives a time frame to achieve these goals
- Provide some insight as to how this is to be achieved
Drawing up a vision statement for a new business, in particular, can be difficult.
But as I’ve stressed all along, there isn’t anything to say that you cannot change this section (or any other) of your business plan.
Earlier, we briefly touched on the value proposition.
This is all about focusing on your services and then showing potential clients just how they are going to be far better than anything that your competitors offer.
It’s easy to get carried away when drawing up a value proposition.
But just focus on the necessary and keep it as short as you possibly can.
Most importantly, with your value proposition, you need to show why your company is different from competitors and why clients should make use of your services.
When drawing up your value proposition, consider these critical factors:
- Your product or service offered
- Your message to inform potential clients as to why they should approach you over your competition
That’s as good a place to start and you can refine it from there.
You’ve probably heard of a SWOT analysis before but if you haven’t, let’s look at what the letters stand for.
I am sure you can see how identifying what these are must be part and parcel of any business plan, no matter what kind of startup you are planning.
For example, look at what your main advantage over a competitor is.
That’s a strength, for sure.
Or find barriers that will need to be overcome to make a success of your business in the first year.
That’s a threat.
These will be unique to each business, so you do need to take the time out to think about and identify them.
Drawing up analysis like this isn’t a once of either.
As your business develops over time, you will want to readdress the SWOT analysis, that’s for sure.
This step depends on what type of financial business you are running.
For example, if you are an independent RIA, there is no need for an organizational chart at all.
That’s because the buck starts and ends with you.
But maybe your startup is bigger than that and employs a few dozen people, or perhaps you grow from that one-person operation and start to employ staff.
That’s where an organizational chart should form part of your business plan.
You could even plan for the future, identifying positions that need to be filled before looking for the staff to fill them.
Simply list those positions on your chart as well as the task they would perform.
This not only helps you plan for the future but also identifies the correct time to get those experts in, such as someone to handle marketing, for example.
Services and pricing
While you may know all the services you are going to offer, it’s always a good thing to think them through thoroughly.
And then write them down as part of your business plan.
Noting all the services that clients can expect from you is just the start here, however.
You’ve also got to focus on the pricing aspect as well.
That’s not something you can take lightly at all.
Again, you need to consider your competitors when it comes to pricing.
See what they charge for similar services you plan to offer.
You don’t want to charge more than they do because, no matter how good the service you offer, people are looking to save money.
Note that pricing also should include how you will charge clients, for example, do you offer a monthly retainer fee or will they be charged by the hour.
All of these things are worth considering as you formulate your business plan.
In our modern world, marketing is not something that can be overlooked, even if you have a top-notch product or service.
That’s why your marketing strategy is part of your business plan.
Consider everything here, from advertising to the use of social media.
That includes things like websites, blogging, video content, and using other platforms.
As part of your marketing strategy, also consider sales avenues for your products or services as well as how to drive traffic through social media.
What we’ve covered above is the perfect start for your business plan but remember, you will be adapting it over time.
Or at least you should be.
Other Factors To Consider When Drawing Up A Business Plan
Here are a few tips that you can consider while you go through the process.
It’s not a static document
This has been mentioned a few times already but if you are going to treat your business plan as a static document, you might as well not do one.
Your business will change over time so why wouldn’t your business plan.
It’s something that you should look at every financial year, at least.
Also, it shouldn’t look too far ahead either.
So keep your goals short-term, for the most part, and as you reach them, adapt them accordingly or come up with new ones.
Consider staff in your business plan
While you might start small, it’s wise to consider expansion in the future should you reach your goals.
This might not be in the first business plan you write but at some point, you might be hiring.
And having a good idea of what you would need staff-wise in that regard is never a bad thing.
This can be covered under the organizational chart we spoke about earlier.
Keep it simple
It’s so easy to get carried away when drawing up a business plan, that’s for sure.
Rather keep it as simple as you possibly can.
There is no need to go into great amounts of detail with a plan like this.
If you’ve got a decent framework, you’ve made the right start.
And I am not saying don’t add to that framework, but don’t get too carried away in trying to fill in all the details.
It’s not necessary.
You could follow the template we covered above and fill in the relative details for your own business or draw up your own.
There are no hard and fast rules.
Research is critical
Part of your business plan is going to involve some research
I’ve mentioned aspects of that already, for example, what services do your clients want or who are they exactly?
Doing some research before writing your business plan will help the process flow so much better.
Stick to realistic projections
While you might want to make $5 million in your first year, is that realistic?
Rather stick to realistic projections when it comes to things like business plan financial projections, including cash flow, for example.
Check out the competition
Know your enemy!
Well, that’s probably a little over the top but understanding who your competitors are and what they do is invaluable.
It’s a critical part of running any successful business.
Thanks for taking the time to read through this article about business plans.
They can be a daunting thing, especially if you’ve never written up one before.
But we’ve included some excellent advice that you can follow to help you draw up your own.
Two things are critical when drawing up your business plan:
- You will change it often and should be looking to do that as your business changes
- Keep it as simple as possible
If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.
How long should a financial advisor’s business plan be?
Well, there is no need to make the pages long. Most experts agree that you should summarize your business plan in such a way that it will fit on one page. This isn’t a static document and you will change it as you go along.
Can a financial advisor help with business plans?
Yes, they can. They certainly are someone you can turn to should you want to draw up a business plan for your business. They could even help individuals write personal business plans.
Should a financial advisor write a one-page business plan or aim for a comprehensive document?
One page is all you need. Don’t get too involved when it comes to writing a business plan. It really only needs to be a framework at most.
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How to Be a Successful Financial Advisor in 2023
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Financial Advisor Business Plan Sample
Do you want to start financial advisor business?
Do you want to start a financial advisor business? Well, there are many benefits of starting this financial advisor business plan, the biggest one of which is the extremely low initial investment required for its startup. Secondly, you can also start it from your home, or a small office or even a virtual location and can still make huge profits. The only problem associated with this business plan for a financial advisor is that it is never easy for startups to find high-paying clients in the initial run. So, it is highly recommended that you prepare a comprehensive financial consultant business plan which will not only help you attract good clients but will also establish the basis of your company’s operations and future decisions. If you are wondering how to write a good business plan for financial advisor, here we are providing you with the business plan for a financial advisor business startup named ‘Martin Financial Services’.
2.1 the business.
Martin Financial Services will be a licensed and registered financial advisory company aimed at solving all your financial problems by providing exceptional financial advisory and consultation services. The company will be owned by Nick Martin, a renowned financial expert, and the company’s main office will be located in Downtown Chicago.
The success of a startup heavily depends on its staff and management that’s why Martin planned it before developing his financial advisor business model . The company’s management will comprise of sales executives, financial analysts, and insurance consultants.
This sample business plan for a financial advisor position also outlines what are the main target customers for a financial advisory firm. Martin Financial Services will provide financial consulting services to individuals, organizations, and businesses located in Chicago.
2.4 Business Target
Our target is to balance the initial cost of the startup with earned profits and to achieve the net profit margin of £10k per month by the end of the first year.
3.1 company owner.
Martin Financial Services will be owned by Nick Martin, a business graduate from the University of Illinois. Martin has more than ten years’ experience of working with various financial organizations including Wells Fargo and Equifax.
3.2 Why the Business is being started
The financial advisor business plan is being started with the purpose of making profits in this industry while also providing quality services.
3.3 How the Business will be started
Before starting your own financial advisor business , you have to plan everything beforehand otherwise you have very lower chances of succeeding in it. Martin Financial Services is a well-planned venture and its exceptional planning will become one of the reasons behind its success. The company will be started in a leased office in Downtown Chicago. In addition to computer systems and usual office inventory, professional financial software will also be procured. The startup summary is as follows:
The detailed startup requirements are given below:
Services for customers
Considering the economic demands of today’s world, there are countless firms that are providing financial advisory services. You can do some research about them and find out what services they are offering to their customers. You can also find many financial advisor business plan free templates on the internet or you can take help from this sample business plan for financial planners . Deciding your services is extremely important since the planning of other subsequent components depend on it. Martin Financial Services will offer a variety of financial advisory and consulting services to its clients from United States. Our main services include:
- Insurance and Tax Consulting
- Accounting and Financial Services Consulting
- Budgeting and Financial Planning
- Financial Auditing
- Estate Planning
- Income Tax Preparation
- Mortgage, Pension, Retirement and Investment Advisory Services
- Asset Management
- Wealth Creation and Wealth Management
- Investment (Business Portfolio) Management
Marketing Analysis of financial advisor business
The most important component of an effective financial advisor business plan is its accurate marketing analysis that’s why Martin acquired the services of marketing experts to help know how to write a business plan for financial advisor and develop a financial advisor marketing plan template . The success or failure of a business plan for a financial advisor totally depends upon its marketing strategic business plan which can only be developed on the basis of accurate marketing analysis. Marketing analysis is a must-do thing before you develop your financial advisor business plan. If you are starting on a smaller scale, you can do marketing analysis yourself by taking help from this business plan for a financial advisor or any other financial advisor business plan template available online.
5.1 Market Trends
For finding the marketing trends before starting your business plan for a financial advisor , you can take help from this financial advisor business plan example or any other financial advisor business plan template free available online. This financial advisor marketing plan example also contains information about current industry and market statistics of financial advisory services. Financial advisory industry is one of the booming industries of the United States. Currently, the industry generates more than £56 billion annually with around 121,000 businesses employing more than 215,000 people across the United States. Furthermore, the industry grew by 8.1% over a course of 5 years from 2012 to 2017. This increase is attributed to the economic development and the increase in other industries of the country, thus creating more demand for financial consulting and advisory services.
5.2 Marketing Segmentation
It is very important to analyze the market segmentation of the future customers of your services before you start your business plan for a financial advisor because a successful and efficient marketing strategy can only be developed after we completely know our potential customers. Our target market is the residential community as well as the corporate sector located in Chicago however, we will primarily focus on our clients from business sector. Our experts have identified the following type of target audience which can become our consumers in future:
The detailed marketing segmentation of our target audience is as follows:
5.2.1 Corporate Sector:
The biggest consumer of our services will be the corporate sector located in the Downtown Chicago ranging from small startups to established multinational companies. This group includes product manufacturers and distributors, real estate owners, hotels, restaurants and food companies, IT and software development firms, branding and advertising agencies as well as many other industries. These businesses will frequently need our advisory services for insurance and tax consultation, asset management, budgeting and financial planning, as well as investment management and auditing.
5.2.2 Institutions & Organizations:
Our second target group comprises of various institutions and organizations located in Manhattan including government organizations, schools, colleges, universities, non-profit organizations, religious and cultural institutes as well as social bodies. This group will also need our financial advisory services for addressing all their financial needs as well as in their budgeting and auditing.
Our third target group consists of individuals including both the employed and retired persons belonging to all age groups. This group will mostly need our services for getting advice and consultation related to mortgages, pension, retirement and investment. The detailed market analysis of our potential customers is given in the following table:
5.3 Business Target
Our main goal is to become the best financial advisory service in Chicago within next 10 years. This goal is not something that can be achieved easily. For achieving this goal, we will have to increase our revenue, create an exceptional clientele and establish a name across the country. Our main goal of the business plan for financial planner can be divided into three main business targets, which are as follows:
- To achieve the net profit margin of £10k/month by first year, £15k by second year, and £25k by third year
- To balance the initial cost of the startup with earned profits by the end of the first year
- To start an online financial advisory service by the end of the first year
5.4 Product Pricing
Product pricing is one of the most important factors in deciding the strategy for a business plan for a financial advisor . After considering the market demands and our current competition, we have priced all our products in the similar ranges as of our competitors.
Like marketing analysis, sales strategy is also an important component of financial advisor business plans so it must be given proper attention before you think about creating your own financial consultant business plan .
6.1 Competitive Analysis
As mentioned earlier, there are more than 121,000 financial advisory companies in the United States, so we can say that we have a tough competition ahead. In addition to that, many international and local banking companies also financial consultation services to their customers, thus making this field even more competitive. Although we have a lot of competitors, we hope to surpass all of them by providing exceptional quality services and unparalleled customer experience.
6.2 Sales Strategy
- We will carry out a large-scale advertising campaign on social media sites
- We will offer a 20% discount on our advisory and consultation services for the first three months of our launch
- We will arrange free financial consultation seminars in various organizations and companies and will thus promote ourselves
6.3 Sales Monthly
Our monthly sales from target groups are forecasted as follows:
6.4 Sales Yearly
Our yearly sales from target groups are forecasted as follows:
6.5 Sales Forecast
Our forecasted sales are given in the following column charts.
The detailed information about the company’s forecasted sales is given in the following table.
Personnel plan is an important part of a business plan for financial advisor services since it gives an estimate about the staff you require along with their salaries. Martin has developed the following personnel plan for his company.
7.1 Company Staff
Martin will act as the General Manager of the company and will initially hire following people:
- 1 Accountant to maintain financial and other records
- 2 Sales Executives responsible to market and discover new ventures
- 6 Financial Analysts to provide advice on various financial matters
- 2 Insurance Consultant to provide consultation on insurance services
- 2 Customer Representatives to interact with customers
- 1 Front Desk Officer to act as a receptionist
All employees will be hired by following strict testing procedures and all of them will undergo 2 weeks training prior to onboarding.
7.2 Average Salary of Employees
The estimated salaries of the staff required are given in the following table. These salaries can deviate slightly but the total sum will nearly be the same.
Just like the other plans, you must also prepare a detailed financial plan covering all financial aspects of your financial advisory startup. The financial plan should present a detailed map of the costs of startup, inventory, payroll, equipment, rent, utilities and how these costs will be covered by the earned profits. Also, make sure to carry out a detailed profit and loss analysis of your startup venture. While developing the financial plan, you can take help from various financial advisor business plan examples available online so as to know which things to include in it. Martin has developed the following financial plan for his company.
8.1 Important Assumptions
8.2 brake-even analysis, 8.3 projected profit and loss, 8.3.1 profit monthly, 8.3.2 profit yearly, 8.3.3 gross margin monthly, 8.3.4 gross margin yearly, 8.4 projected cash flow, 8.5 projected balance sheet, 8.6 business ratios.
Download Financial Advisor Business Plan Sample in pdf
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Some projects lend themselves perfectly to the DIY route: You can change your own car oil, paint your home, maybe even patch up your own roof. But managing your small business finances? Unless you have a background in the subject, this is something you could consider leaving in the hands of an expert.
For a small business owner, your finances are like gas in the car. Money keeps your business running. If you manage your cash flow properly, your business can take you to destinations you’ve always dreamed of: rapidly scaling your business, early retirement, and more.
With so many exciting possibilities, it may come as a surprise that 34% of 1,960 small business owners surveyed by the business directory website Manta have no retirement savings plan in place. Many of these business owners state that they don’t have enough profits to fund their retirement.
If you’re struggling to handle your own finances, a small business financial advisor may be the right solution. While it does cost money to work with a financial advisor, the upfront investment can be worth it to increase your business’s financial health, create a plan for your retirement, and more. In this article, we’ll explore what a small business financial advisor does and how they can potentially help your business.
What is a small business financial advisor and what do they do?
A small business financial advisor is a professional who can help you maximize the capital that goes into starting and running your business.
The most practical part about managing your business finances is that it keeps your business alive. But you didn’t start a business just to skimp by. You want your business to make a profit, scale, and thrive. Keeping your business finances healthy can help you achieve this.
A list of services a financial advisor can offer for a small business owner include:
Spending and saving strategies.
Recommended accounts for operating your business.
Cash flow management.
Profit and loss analysis.
Who should hire a small business financial advisor?
A financial advisor can be a useful resource for any business owner. After all, you’ll want the best advice available to you when making decisions about your business finances.
If you have little experience, hiring a financial advisor can be especially helpful. Many businesses fail in their first few years and it’s often due to poor planning and costly mistakes. The expertise of a financial advisor can compensate for your lack of experience. They can help you make sound financial decisions for your business, as well as create a financial plan you can follow for the life of your business.
That said, it’s never too late to consult a small business financial advisor, especially if you’re considering some big changes, like acquiring a new business, passing ownership to someone else in your organization, planning for retirement and more.
Benefits of a small business financial advisor
Working with a small business financial advisor can have myriad benefits for both you and your business. Let’s explore some of these further.
Save time and energy
As a small-business owner, you wear a lot of hats and are constantly switching between them. One minute, you might be researching a new marketing strategy. Next, you may be handling some customer service issues. With so much to do, not everything can get your full attention.
But the last thing you should put on your “I’ll get to it” list is your business finances. Poor bookkeeping, unsound financial decisions and cash flow “clogs” can negatively affect your business.
That’s where delegating your business finances to an expert comes in handy. While you’re running your business operations, a financial advisor will help keep the capital flowing as well as help you develop a plan for what to do with that capital.
Many small business owners might not know that they’re overspending in certain areas of their businesses. A small business financial advisor will evaluate your business finances and see where you can cut unnecessary costs.
When you save money, you have more capital to invest back into your business and expand it by:
Hiring more employees.
Exploring new marketing tactics.
Releasing new products.
Offering employee raises.
As we mentioned, you will have to spend money to work with a financial advisor. However, as the saying goes, “you have to spend money to make money.” This business expense should lead to growth down the line.
Help execute your business plan
When you write your business plan, you can have grand ideas about where you want to take your business. Often, these goals can be financially unrealistic and you’ll need an objective outlook if you want to bring your business idea to fruition.
This is where a small business financial advisor comes in. Earlier, we mentioned that capital is like gas in a car. Your business plan is the coordinates you put into your GPS—while the directions are there, you won’t get anywhere if the tank is bone-dry. A financial advisor can help you put gas in the tank so that you can get your business to its end destination.
Evaluate market trends
Some financial advisors will be more involved in the execution of the business, including researching market trends. Some markets are more competitive than others and you’ll need an expert opinion on how your business will fare in such a market.
Market projections, advancing technology and other factors can affect the growth of your business. You want to ensure your business is financially healthy so you can weather challenges and capitalize on opportunities.
Investment and retirement planning
For many business owners, their investments are all wrapped up in their business with the logic that they can later sell their business to fund their retirement. While it’s natural to want to give your business everything you have, this is an unwise investment strategy. A healthy investment portfolio is one that is diversified. A financial advisor can offer personal finance tips and help you choose which investments work best for your unique situation, including when and how you want to retire.
As your business starts generating more revenue, your small business financial advisor can also help you decide how to invest this capital to continue growing your business.
Whether retirement is a long way off or just around the corner, this isn’t the only instance when you should consider what will happen to your business when you’re no longer in charge. While it’s a more difficult conversation to have, you should create a plan for what would happen to your business in the event of your death or disability, known as a succession plan.
Your small business financial advisor can help you draft this document so there are clear instructions on how to keep the business running or prepare for its sale in your absence.
Finding the right small business financial advisor
You may be tempted to choose the first financial advisor you come across, but as with every other decision you make for your business, research is key. Beyond finding a financial advisor who specializes in small business finances and works with other business owners, you’ll also want to find someone with whom you’re comfortable. Talking about finances isn’t everyone’s favorite topic, but if you can’t openly discuss your finances—the good and the bad—your advisor won’t be very useful.
Getting a recommendation from friends, family or other business owners is a great place to start, but you’ll also want to cross-reference a financial advisor’s legitimacy with organizations like the Society of Financial Service Professionals or the Financial Planning Association. Active members with groups like this usually indicate a financial advisor is legitimate. Here are some other things to consider:
Make sure the financial advisor is a fiduciary
When a financial advisor is a fiduciary, it confirms that they are legally obligated to always prioritize the client’s interest. This means that if they had the option to recommend a client Option A (which would make the advisor more money) or Option B (which is in the client’s best interest), the financial advisor is legally required to recommend Option B.
If your small business financial advisor is not a fiduciary, you can’t be sure they’re acting in your best interest.
Choose financial advisors who charge a flat fee
Another consideration when finding the right small business financial advisor is their pricing structure. Finding an advisor who charges a flat fee is typically the more transparent route to go. Financial advisors who work by commission, on the other hand, can create conflicts of interest. They might operate in a way that nets them the most commission but isn’t necessarily best for you. Flat-fee models eliminate this incentive and encourage financial advisors to focus on offering value over volume.
Questions to ask
Choosing somebody to coach you on your business and personal financials isn’t a decision you should take lightly. When interviewing which small business financial advisor is right for you and your business, consider asking the following questions:
Are you a fiduciary?
What is your pricing structure (flat fee or commission)?
What are your qualifications and designations?
How many years of experience do you have?
Do you have experience working with small business owners?
Do you have any referrals?
Common mistakes a financial advisor can help you avoid
If you’re still not sure if a small business financial advisor can provide value to you and your business, here are some mistakes you can avoid with professional guidance.
Many entrepreneurs start their own small businesses because they want to write their own paychecks. However, overpaying yourself can stunt the growth of your business. A financial advisor can assess your business’s financial health and determine whether your cut of the profit is reasonable.
On the other hand, if you’re afraid to pay yourself anything because you don’t want to detract from the business, they can also help you settle on an appropriate amount so both your needs and the needs of your business are met.
Mixing your personal and business expenses
Keeping your personal and business expenses separate is key for many reasons, including tax and liability purposes, but you may be unsure how to set up and manage separate accounts. A small business financial advisor can help you find the right business bank account for you, as well as manage these separate accounts.
Not researching your business structure
Should you run your business as a sole proprietor, form an LLC, or start a corporation? These are questions you’ll likely be confused about when you first start running your business—and you may decide to revisit it down the line for tax purposes. Consulting with your small business financial advisor can help you understand each business structure and which would best fit your business model and goals.
Not having a retirement plan
A small business financial advisor can do more than assist you with managing your business assets. They can also walk you through personal financial decisions, like your retirement plans. A financial advisor will help prepare to smooth the transition between running a business and retirement with a business exit strategy.
Not researching insurance plans
It’s easy for small business owners to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of small business insurance plans available. However, you want to make sure you and your employees are covered—from the required, like unemployment insurance, to optional plans that could provide a significant income, like key person insurance .
Alternative options to a small business financial advisor
Hiring a financial advisor can be a significant commitment, especially if you don’t have the available funds or minimum account balances. If you’re not ready to retain a small business financial advisor, there are other options you can explore:
Today, robots can do more than vacuum and mop your floors. Robots can even help you manage your finances.
A robo-advisor is an automated investing service that uses algorithms to build and grow your investment portfolio. Depending on which robo-advisor you choose, you can manage your taxes, optimize your investment portfolio, plan for retirement, and more. Also, a robo-advisor can be a cost-effective alternative to hiring a small business financial advisor.
Advice-only financial advisors
Sometimes you want to manage your finances yourself but you still need some guidance. Some financial advisors allow you to consult them for advice only (although many of them are hoping to take you on as a client). Paying a one-time fee for counsel on your current financial situation can help you make the right decisions for yourself.
Do you need a small business financial advisor?
Hiring a small business financial advisor is not necessary but it is highly recommended. A financial advisor may ask questions about your business you didn't even know to ask. Most importantly, a financial expert will help to strengthen the long-term financial health of your business. Capital is the lifeblood of your business and it’s an aspect of your business that you should consider leaving in the hands of a competent financial professional.
This article originally appeared on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.
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