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Financial Advisor Business Plan - 3 Mistakes to Avoid

When writing a business plan for a financial advisor practice, take great pains to avoid these three mistakes which each give funders reason to set the plan aside or stop returning your calls.

Resting on Your Laurels

Your financial experience that prepares you to be an advisor is certainly important to explain in your business plan, but this isn't enough. You have to go beyond explaining the experience you bring to the table to explain how you will market and operate a business with that experience serving as a cornerstone. Without a plan for how the business will run, readers cannot truly judge how you expect the business to succeed.

Ignoring Competition

Writing that there is no competition for the customers you want in the location you will operate is a huge mistake in a business plan. There are always competitors, even if the competition is Fortune magazine or the Motley Fool website. At a minimum, clients have the option of finding financial advice in these inexpensive sources rather than working with you. The competitive analysis section of your plan must recognize the challenge you face in proving your practice's worth beyond these competitors, at the very least.

Not Connecting the Dots

The business plan is a type of logic puzzle. When put together, it connects opportunity to means to methods to results. Think through the logic of whether the means you present (your experience, team, location, etc.) are adequate to take advantage of the opportunity. Consider whether the operations and marketing methods you propose make sense for the means. Look at whether the results you project are reasonable given these methods. If you don't think through these steps, your readers will find gaps in your logic and turn down funding for your plan, even if each component sounds perfectly fine on its own. The plan must work as a cohesive whole to be fundable.

Want more tips? Here's a related article: Financial Services Business Plan.

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