“The mere thought of a salary, I don’t understand it,” said Eszylfie Taylor. “I’m like, what do you mean you want to get paid on the first and the fifteenth” of the month?
For Taylor, who owns a financial services office in Pasadena, California, starting a business feels as natural as breathing. “I looked at this business as a way to get paid based on my work ethic and my aptitude — not my age or tenure,” said Taylor, who is a 16-year MDRT member and a Top of the Table qualifier.
For small business owners, the sky’s the limit for their success. For many, though, success eludes them. Eight out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months, according to Forbes.
The primary reason is because the business ran out of money, but that’s often a symptom. While the desire to be a business owner may start with a dream, it’s the practicality of running a business that trips up entrepreneurs when they fail to develop leadership skills or think strategically.
Success tips from the best
“Half of the business, or more than half of it, is running the business as a business,” said 35-year MDRT member and Top of the Table qualifier Marc A. Silverman, CFP, ChFC, who owns a financial services practice in Miami, Florida.
What do you need to know or do to successfully run your own business? Top financial advisors who own their business identified the following:
- Know what income you need to keep the business running
- Keep spending under control
- Delegate non-income producing work
- Bring in new business through marketing
- Retain clients, and attract referrals, by showing clients you care about them
- Develop a strategy for building your business over the long term
- Learn continuously about your business and leadership
One way to keep learning is by visiting MDRT’s Resource Zone, where you’ll find articles, audio and videos about topics such as practice management, marketing, client strategies and business continuation. You’ll also find videos targeted at building a successful business. The videos include
- Work with family and flourish
- How hiring staff can make you money
- Build a lasting business
- How to make money without selling
- 7 ideas to build a marketable practice
- Learn a strategy for showing value and attracting clients