Every financial advisor has a different startup story. It may have happened organically, or you may have bought a book of business from another advisor. Perhaps you worked at a different firm, then struck out on your own. No matter your story, you’ve probably struggled to find optimal ways to grow your business.

Stages of the Business Lifecycle

The business stage you’re in determines the questions you need to ask yourself. Here are the general four stages of your business and what you should ask at each stage to optimize growth.

Keep in mind, just like your business, these stages may be fluid and won’t always happen in the same order. And even if you have been in business for 10 years, making sure that foundational piece is solid can be a boon to your business.


Get your house in order and establish – or solidify – the basics.

  • How much did I make last year?
  • What are my expense ratios?
  • Can I project out what will happen if I do x, y, or z?
  • How much money am I actually making?
  • What is my growth in AUM and NNA?
  • How am I getting paid from LPL?


Invest in your business and plot a growth course.

  • What will it cost to bring in a new team member?
  • What will it cost to buy another practice?
  • Do I have the cash flow to re-invest in my business?
  • What are my 5-, 10-, and 15-year goals?
  • What’s my ROI?
  • Do I have the capital and people to grow my practice?


Refine your established practice.

  • How do I get hours back in the week to spend time with family or friends?
  • How do I build more efficiencies in my practice?
  • How can I become more profitable?
  • Who can do tasks that I currently do?


Prepare to exit your practice.

  • How much can I realistically get for my practice?
  • What is the unrealized value and opportunity of my book of business?
  • What does the current M&A landscape look like?
  • How will my transition take place?
  • What will my responsibilities be after the sale goes through?


LPL CFO Solutions can dive into business data to analyze, answer each of these questions, and help execute strategy at every stage. CFO Solutions has helped numerous practices with extremely complex situations, so no matter what your unique position, we can help.

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