Planning, starting, managing, and then growing your own business in the first 4-6 years of operation is a huge feat. Sometimes, it can seem like it’s all you can do to keep your head above water and stay one step ahead of the next big emergency. Expanding may be the furthest thing from your mind at this stage of your company’s growth—but that doesn’t have to be the case. What many people don’t realize is that growth—real, serious, operating-in-multiple-locations kind of growth—is actually easier than it sounds, if you plan it right.
Here’s how to grow your thriving RIA into operating in multiple locations:
It should go without saying, but is your current business model working? The answer to this may feel complicated, but is as simple as yes or no. If you are turning a profit, then it’s reasonable to consider applying the same tactics you used previously to open a second location (or third, or fourth), either in a different market or in a different area. You’ve learned a thing or two by opening the first one, so it’s reasonable to assume that the next endeavor may function even more smoothly.
If not, well—back to the drawing board.
Identify Your Second Market
The next question to consider is who your second location will serve. What is it about this second location that makes it different from the first? Why can’t your current business just expand to include these clients? Identify the differences in your new market before proceeding—you may just be creating extra work for yourself.
I once worked with a candidate who grew a single-family office from $90M AUM to a multi-family office with $1.3B AUM in just six years. Along the way, he identified an additional need in the market, and created a second firm with a lower minimum—and then grew that from $0 to $300M AUM in two years. That’s a great example of identifying your second market, understanding how it differs from the first, and then rising to meet that need.
Understand that your new location and new market won’t follow the same patterns as the first one—especially if you’re working with a different type of clientele. You may need to adjust your business plan, marketing, and overall strategy to accommodate your new clients. This may mean that you don’t need a second physical location but can operate entirely online—or it may mean the exact opposite.
Your new market will tell you what you need do in order to scale your business successfully at this stage…so listen to what it tells you.
Get Help When You Need It
Now that you’re managing multiple locations, it may be time to ask for help. You may need to hire new advisors, new managers, or even expand your executive team in order to manage the needs of your new location. Don’t try to do it all yourself—part of growth is knowing when it’s time to step back and let others take the lead.
And hey, if you need help finding an executive to take the lead, we know a guy.
If you’ve been considering opening multiple locations or branching out into a second market, don’t hesitate any longer. If your business is ready, take the plunge—and let us know if we can help. Our team has a vast network in the financial world, and we’re prepared to connect you and your team with the talent you need to fill key roles within your company.