Grow your own start-up financial advice firm

By Helen Fisher on June 7, 2018

The hardest part is making the first step.

Most people will have it in their minds at some point: you hit a ceiling, and need to be able to progress, so you leave a company and look to make it on your own or with a trusted group of partners.

While that step may feel like the hardest, it is indeed only the beginning – cultivating sustained growth is something that even the most established of businesses will find to be a challenge.

Start with the brand

Whenever you’re looking to get a business off the ground and take it to new heights, it is important to be able to define who you are in a concise manner. If someone came into your office and asked you, you’d be able to tell them, right?

Maintaining that authority online as well as in person is important, as it is across all communications. If you want to offer financial help, then it is important to know that as a well-established market with many competitors already there, your brand will have to be sharp and messaging consistently to break through the established order.

Some aspects may be easier to position yourself with. If you were to go down the line of presenting yourself as an independent certified investment planner, for example, then you may find fewer rivals than you would as a low cost financial advice service.

This doesn’t mean that you should be put off, but it does mean that the wider the pool of available services, the more you will have to be seen as a “disruptive” brand.

In fact, Steve Blank, the entrepreneur who established the Lean Startup Movement, suggests that all marketing and business plans could be thrown out the window after six months, which indicates just how reactive a start-up needs to be to developments in the market.

While a bigger player can roll with the punches a bit more and is able to test out media buys and expensive adverts in new territory, this is likely to be beyond the reach of most start-ups without exceptional investment capital.

Make the most of easy choices

If you are looking to strike a tone with your branding, how you communicate on social media could be the rise or fall opportunity for which you’ve been waiting.

With the option to comment and react in real time in a way that original news formats didn’t allow, you can see huge benefits to your start-up by simply being in the right place at the right time and getting your message across to potential customers who may never otherwise have heard of you.

It is a sword to live and die by though, as many established companies have discovered. To learn from these mistakes, you need to be able to follow through with your ideas, know exactly what your brand is, and how it can benefit any potential customer – not just the one you have in your head.

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