People need help with their finances. Let’s face it, with people owing billions in credit card debt, tax debt, home loans, student loans, and more, it’s clear that there are countless opportunities to get in on helping people secure their financial future. Additionally, businesses need help managing their finances as well.
They need people who are great at managing money to handle all those little details. Whether you focus on offering bookkeeping services, go to school to become an accountant, or offer investment services.
Just about anyone can start their own financial services business. Here are some important factors to consider before you get started.
What Services Do You Want to Offer?
Financial services encompass many different areas. Do you want to help people learn to budget? Would you enjoy being a bookkeeper for small businesses? Maybe you love preparing taxes and want to help people discover and use all the deductions they can get. It’s crucial to know how you want to help before you get started. If you’re not sure, do some digging.
If you’re excellent with money and numbers, and you like helping people grow investments or get out of debt, there are countless ways to provide financial services to help people.
What’s Your Why?
People go into different industries and start businesses for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s simply a way to make money. Other times it’s more personal. In the financial services industry, it might be that a tax preparer helped them find deductions they didn’t know about, and it lowered their tax liability. Maybe it’s that they were in a lot of debt and a financial planner helped them chart a course out. Whatever the reason, put it in writing.
Starting a business comes with a lot of challenges. It helps to know why you wanted to do it in the first place. Some people start a business from home so that they have more control over their schedules. They want more time for fun and to spend more time with their family and their kids. Only you can determine what those reasons are. And all of them are valid.
What Training Do You Need?
Once you know what you want to do, you need to ask yourself, “Do I have the skills necessary to do this job?” If not, find out what you need to do to get them. You may be able to get training through an online course or certification.
Others, like accounting, will require a degree and testing. While you can use this training to work for a company, you can also use your skills to start your own business.
Some aspects of the financial service industry are heavily regulated. It’s critical to check if the services you provide require any specialized training or licensing. While you can usually offer services like consulting or bookkeeping with the right skills, other things like accounting and managing people’s investment portfolios are a whole different ball game.
Not only will these require background checks, but you’ll also need to pass regulatory qualifications and testing. It’s crucial to follow these guidelines and regulations to protect you and your business.
How Will You Market Yourself?
Marketing a business is about getting you and your services in front of the right audience. You don’t want to offer services for small businesses and try to network and market to people looking for help with personal finances. Marketing can involve creating ads for personal finances, SEO for tax preparers, and connecting with local businesses. Marketing can mean mailers, flyers, or even going door-to-door.
The internet provides a great opportunity for marketing with different social media platforms. It’s vital to create a marketing plan and then work the plan. You can adjust as you go, but a good marketing strategy will go a long way to helping you succeed in your financial services business.
Why You Should Hire Help
If you want to grow your business, look for all the ways to outsource. If you love the numbers but hate social media, hire a social media expert to manage your online presence. Maybe you enjoy creating posts, but you don’t like the strategy side of it. You can hire someone to handle this part of your business as well. If answering emails and phone calls stresses you out, outsource it.
The key here is to do the business tasks that require your personal touch. Then, hire everything else out. While you may not have enough income for a full-time person at first, you can work with freelancers and other contracted help to take care of the things you don’t want to do.
What About Reviews?
It’s vital to get reviews from your clients. There are many third-party review sites to choose from. You can try Angie’s List, Google, LinkedIn, and your own website to publish reviews. These assessments are a type of social proof that lets others know that you are a trusted service provider and you do a good job.
You can even add reviews to your social media accounts. Many happy clients are excited to leave you a glowing review if you ask and tell them where to do it. Most new business owners underestimate the value of a positive review. It can be what helps turn a lurker into a new customer.