What do I have to know about opening my own office?Jun 14, 2022
Act in haste and you will repent at leisure. Yes, you do have to spend money to make money. But, just spending money doesn’t guarantee anything except, spending money. Temper your enthusiasm with reality.
Are you ready? Most advisors wonder if getting out on their own is right for them. Hanging out your own shingle has a lot of ego appeal. But, as I say in “The Principles Behind Best Practices”, “Keep your ego out of your decisions”.
Be sure you can handle the expense and associate isolation before you make commitments that cost big money to escape. If that means just pretending and putting the money aside every month for a few quarters to see how it works, do it. Moves always cost more than you planned. If moving means just squeaking by, you’ll likely end up in the hole. If you’re not ready for that investment it can cause panic.
Consider all your new costs including new staff, benefits, extra bookkeeping and accounting, legal advice on leases and employment contracts, extra telephones, Internet, furniture, signage, new stationery, courier, utilities and more. Think first.
Thinking, “All I need is three more cases every month to pay for this” will be your “famous last words”. When you find yourself paying your staff and landlord with just the three cases you pay one month, it changes your outlook.
Do you need an associate? A complementarily skilled advisor can provide more than help with expenses.
You can work wherever you want. So, work as close to home as you can. Don’t spend valuable time driving unless it’s to be convenient to your staff and audience.
Don’t think that because you have a shingle out that prospects will flood in. They won’t. Work continues.
Make building access easy. No three-storey walk-ups for an older clientele or pricey, complicated parking if you can avoid it. Make sure you have fast and easy parking so you can get out and see the people.
Save the money you would have otherwise spent to impress yourself. Be moderate with your new office and furnishings.
I’m not saying this is a bad idea. I did it at age 23. You just don’t want any big, unhappy surprises. Go in with your eyes open.