Whenever I work with a financial advisor, the first day together is spent “looking at the numbers.”  This means downloading their YTD Profit & Loss statement and analyzing each item in detail to discover waste and inefficiencies.

Having done this exercise dozens of times, I’ve seen a few common themes.  If you enter my office with all of your firm’s financial data in hand, you will make the following discoveries:

1. You don’t know what your P&L looks like. Other than perhaps preparing it for a state examination, this is not a report you run and study regularly.

2. You don’t work to achieve a profit target.  You’re just winging it. You spend money here and there just hoping to get it right. Budget to Actual report? You don’t even know how to run it.  If you were the CEO of a publically traded company, you would be fired.

3. You waste A LOT of money. Thirty bucks here, fifty bucks there.  The software you haven’t used in years.  Tax information services that cost thousands.  Note: everything this kind of service tells you can be found on IRS.gov for free.

4.  You are either overstaffed or understaffed.

5.  You have outdated technology.  This includes things like expensive copiers and fax machines.

6.  A nightmare IRS audit is in your future.  Look, it’s your life, but if you think you can legally deduct 90% of your personal expenses, you’re wrong.  How will it look to your clients when you reveal on your ADV that the IRS is assessing a lien against you?

7.  You don’t understand how to lower your taxes through the use of an S-Corp. Oh, you are an S-Corp, but you aren’t using it properly.

8.  You don’t practice what you preach. You have limited savings and too much debt. You’re like a doctor who smokes 3 packs a day. When an advisor of 20 years calls me to buy a thousand dollar system but says he doesn’t have the money, I can almost cry (almost…I don’t cry very much).

9.  You’re not an entrepreneur.  You’re barely a business owner. In fact, you really have a crappy sales job.  And it’s eating you up inside.

Harsh?  These will be your conclusions, not mine. But yes, I will agree with you.

Look, success in any business requires certain principles.  But too often our business, we focus only on marketing.  And what’s worse, the vendors in our industry encourage us to do so. “Keep spending to make more,” they say. “If you don’t have the money, borrow it.” This is crazy talk.  It’s like putting eggs on poutine.

Stop the insanity.

If you’d like to discuss how, give me a call: 513-563-7526.