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How to Succeed as an Entrepreneur

by Staff GBAF Publications Ltd
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By Danny Popescu, CEO of Harbourfront Wealth Management

As the wealth management industry continues to grow, so do opportunities for entrepreneurs. This field attracts many people with great ideas, but only some have what it takes to succeed. 

If you’re thinking about launching an entrepreneurial venture, as a business leader in the financial services sector, there are several strategies you can use to increase your chances of success. Over the last 20+ years, I’ve built and managed an advisory practice. From there, I went on to lead expansions and partnerships and today, I lead my own firm. I’ve made bold choices and even mistakes, which have taught me what it really means to succeed as an entrepreneur. 

If you’re looking for new opportunities or ways to pivot your career trajectory, these insights will help you make the transition smoothly and can help you avoid common pitfalls along the way. 

Build your foundation with passion

In 2013, I launched Harbourfront Wealth Management with only six people as I was passionate about starting an independent wealth management firm. Today, we’re a group of 250 partners and counting. This decision was risky, but the experience I gained from working in the industry prior to starting my own firm gave me a strong foundation to build from. It took time and an incredible amount of passion and commitment to ensure that Harbourfront would be successful, but I found support from my previous successes and the launching team. 

If you’re not passionate about your idea or what you are creating, you’ll have a harder time succeeding as an entrepreneur. 

Fast forward to today and Harbourfront is a company made up of entrepreneurs. Every advisor is a partner of the firm and owns their practice.

Set a clear vision and mission for your company

Before you pitch your business to investors or networking partners, ensure you have a clear vision and mission for your company. 

You should be able to sum up your business in a few short sentences, and your mission statement should describe how your company will impact the world. Investors, partners, and potential employees want to know why your company exists. Make sure you have a clear answer to that question before moving forward.

With Harbourfront, we saw a product accessibility problem and wanted to provide a solution to the investment limitations that plague the bank-owned, large conglomerates, and other mainstream investment dealers. Today, we have built a unique private securities platform where every client at Harbourfront can access a shelf of customized, retail-friendly private securities.

Create a business plan with milestones and deadlines

When building out your business plan, it should include milestones and deadlines for accomplishing key tasks like hiring employees, securing funding, and launching your product or service. Investors are more likely to invest in your company if you have a clear and achievable plan for using their funds. 

Your business plan needs to be comprehensive and cover all relevant aspects of running a business, including your industry, marketing plan, sales, and marketing strategy, financial projections, and more. If you don’t have all the answers right away, that’s ok. You can write down the areas where you’d like to do more research and return to them later. The most important thing is to get started.

Commit to growth and development (even if you fail)

Once you’ve launched your company, stay committed to growth and development. Entrepreneurship is a long-term journey, so don’t expect immediate success. Give yourself at least a year to launch your product or service, and make sure you have a realistic plan for growing your company. 

You may not succeed immediately, but you can make sure you’re learning from every failure along the way. If you’re committed to growing your company, you’ll have a much better chance of succeeding in the long run.

The Key to Successful Entrepreneurship Is Your Team

Building a solid team is key. This should be a priority at every stage of your business. In a short time after launching Harbourfront, we received a nine-figure investment from our partners at Audax Private Equity. This was an incredible opportunity for Harbourfront to continue expanding by recruiting more advisors and acquisitions. 

The best way to succeed as an entrepreneur is to start planning early. If you’re interested in entrepreneurship, you should explore your ideas and build your network as early as possible. This way, you have plenty of time to make adjustments and pivot if necessary. If you’re an entrepreneur in the making, you can make the transition smoother by following these tips.