If you’ve lost some of the enthusiasm you had when you began your job or find yourself daydreaming about the possibilities of expanding your career, you aren’t alone. Most people will spend 40 years or more working and that is a long time to stay on one path! The good news is, the finance industry is growing and offers a wide variety of opportunities that match many skills and interests.
Financial services are critical to each community and help countless individuals find economic prosperity and a good standard of living. Take time to remember what attracted you to the business when you began and that will guide you to successful financial services business ideas.
You already have the financial knowledge and trusted relationships with your clients to keep your business running, so use these steps to generate new business ideas to expand your current offerings and make a bigger difference in your community.
No matter what type of business you are looking to get started, brainstorming is a quintessential first step. Even if you think your first idea is a stroke of genius, pause and keep going! Dive in deeper by asking yourself why people need help with their finances. Are there people worrying about saving enough for retirement? Are small businesses struggling to keep up with their finances?
Successful entrepreneurs think ahead of the trends and outside the box. Begin by identifying the micro trends you’ve noticed in your client base and consider how your business can move into those areas. For instance, many small businesses struggle to qualify for a loan because of poor credit or low FICO scores. Creating a new credit repair business could be a win-win for you and clients who own small businesses.
Follow these strategies to begin brainstorming:
- Write a list of common financial challenges for your community
- Use your insider knowledge to think of everyday tasks that can be improved; for instance, many businesses manually underwrite and are never satisfied with the time it takes
- Research different businesses across the industry to think of ways you can offer more
- Reach out to other financial professionals for feedback on your initial ideas
- Discuss new ideas with family and friends to make your lists longer
Give yourself permission to come up with raw ideas, get feedback, and revise again to best generate a valuable new direction for a financial services business.
2. Conduct Market Research
Every successful business has a strong base of knowledge about its market and the customers it is targeting. For continued success, you want to be positioned as a leader in the local market for your specific financial services business. Market research helps you identify what the locals are seeking out for services and can guide the direction of your business growth.
A gap in the financial services market is the void your business can fill.
Researching your market by reading local news, attending community events, and collecting Census Bureau data can help you:
- Avoid entering into an already saturated market
- Uncover market gaps to allow you to define your unique value proposition
- Better understand the economic forces that impact your community
- Identify the niche customer you are looking to work with
- Find new problems facing your community that your services can help with
- Generate new financial services business ideas
With solid market knowledge in mind, you will know what clients are truly facing and then can create a new business that offers them something they uniquely need.
3. Pinpoint What Bothers You
Be like the founder of Gillette Razors, King Gillette, who used a common frustration as the motivator to start a new business. He shaved every morning before work and couldn’t stand how quickly his razor blade grew dull. Gillette Razor Company grew from that everyday problem and his desire for a better solution.
Write a list of your most common financial woes. Is it managing credit card payments on time? Is it paying off student loans? Use your list as a jumping off point for a new business idea.
Consider these steps to finding the financial frustrations that you can solve:
- Compare your personal list of financial frustrations with a list of market needs to understand clients’ financial motivations
- Connect the frustrations you identified with unique services that you can offer to help clients get out of debt or save more money
- Survey your clients to gain more insight into their financial problems and areas where you can help them
By staying a few steps ahead of the problems clients are already looking to solve, your financial services business will generate new leads and increase word of mouth advertising.
4. Invest in Education
A great way to get moving on a financial service business idea is to further your education and become a pro. Enrolling in continuing education classes will bolster your credibility as a financial professional and make you an asset to the community
Some great ways to further your education are:
- Enroll in a free tax prep class
- Learn more about bookkeeping and accounting
- Get trained in credit repair
A resume containing continued education builds trust and attracts new clients who believe you have the knowledge and experience to back up your work.
5. Generate New Leads
After pursuing education and certification in your trade, it's time to dial in your business plan. Some of the best financial services business opportunities are already in your back pocket and you can attract new leads by:
- Employing digital marketing techniques like blogging as a lead generation tool
- Offering value-added services like credit repair, bookkeeping, or insurance
- Advertising multiple services in a package deal
But first, focus on identifying services that will keep you top of mind year round. New services like tax preparation or credit repair services can be combined with your offerings in a package that will bring in new clients and generate more income each month.
Offering services at little or no charge can significantly boost your business and be a great financial services marketing tool. Some good ideas for free services include:
- Running a free credit audit
- Offering financial counseling services
- Providing tax consultation services
A multifaceted business will bring in clients seeking one service and be able to increase client satisfaction and year-round revenue by offering more products to suit their needs.
6. Follow Through
Growing a business takes time and requires a solid foundation. Invest in the right resources that will result in long-term gain and expand your connections across the marketplace.
To continue growing and expanding, find a leader in your local community to act as your business mentor. You will gain insight and exposure in the field as well as have a new professional to bounce new business ideas off of.
Another great option is to work with software or online services that provide training and business mentors to clients. The software can streamline your day-to-day operations as well provide your business with a network of resources available inside and outside the office.
Move your financial services business ahead by adding services that will increase customer satisfaction, generate more revenue, and contribute to your community. Learn more about taking the leap forward toward your next financial service business opportunity.