In this video, Jason Butler of Bloomsbury tells a very inspirational story of how he pulled himself and the firm from the brink of bankruptcy and transformed the business into one of London’s top boutique wealth management firms.
Jason, who started the business 16 years ago, nearly went bankrupt having spent £250K of his own money and about the same amount of the bank’s money. Thankfully, he and his team found a way to turn things around and the business is now completely owned by the senior management, with no debt and very strong financial controls. The business now looks after about 70 clients with around £150M FUM and £1.3M revenue, with plans to reach £2M in the next few years. But for Jason, it’s not just about the money, it’s about building a firm that outlives him and serve clients for generations to come.
Jason works 3 days a week and plans to do that for the rest of his life because he loves it. However, he is planning his own ‘exit’, not because he want to leave the business but because clients need to know that there is a plan in place for continuity when the current owners/advisers retire.
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He also talks about having a purpose; a reason to get out of bed in the morning. ‘You need to have a ‘why’ and our own why is to to make a positive difference to our own lives first, and our clients second. In that order.’ He notes.
Like any business, strong financial controls is essential to scaling a financial planning business.
Consider locking in the key people in the business. It’s important to involve key people, not only in the decision making process but also in sharing success and profits!
Focus on team capability, systems and controls, as well as client profitability and pricing.
Have a purpose! You need a great reason to get you out of bed in the morning, even when you don’t feel like it!