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Planning for Growth and Time Management

When beginning a new business, the entrepreneur often finds himself or herself handling every aspect of that business. This includes not just the interaction with clients and customers as well as service providers/vendors but also covers ordering and installing the paper and ink for the printer, filing documents, buying the coffee and whatever for the office and much more. No matter how trivial, there are many tasks and requirements that take time and attention – and that time is taken from your primary business, the client.

Now when you are starting out, you often have plenty of time to address these tasks and you may not think twice about doing them. But what happens when your business begins to pick up and there are more clients who need attention but no additional hours in the day?

One part of your business plan should be to address how growth, when it comes, will be handled. Adding another adviser when your client base is sufficiently large is a common step for the financial advisory business. Knowing at what point you should start looking for an adviser – as employee or partner – is definitely something to be thinking about.

At the same time, do not overlook the more mundane aspects of running an office and business. Consider making a spreadsheet or list of all those items, services, materials and so on that go into the office. For each of them, even something as minor as pencils and pens, provide a specific description and names/product codes, etc. Have a sense of how often these items will need attention, where to get them and what they cost. Once you have this listed out, you should be able to delegate or outsource the requirements when you no longer have the time to address each one yourself.

This may seem unimportant as you are starting out, focusing on getting clients in the door, but when you think about how frustrating it is not to have those items we take for granted and how much time it might take to stay on top of it, having an organized approach makes a great deal of sense. 

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