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Council Post: 17 Tips To Help Financial Business Leaders Grow And Succeed

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Becoming a successful entrepreneur or leader in the financial sector is not for the faint of heart. Navigating an uncertain economic market can be challenging. It’s not about if you’ll be facing difficult obstacles, but how you’ll learn to adapt and pivot with the times.

Establishing your vision and purpose from the very beginning is the key to having a solid foundation to stand on no matter what the situation. Here, 17 Forbes Finance Council members each offer one tip to rising financial professionals who want to thrive in the business world.

1. Adapt To The Changing Markets

Make sure you are always adapting to the market’s changing needs. The business landscape is dynamic and constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay attuned to market trends and shifts in consumer needs. Be open to adapting your products, services and strategies accordingly. Agility and flexibility will be key in seizing emerging opportunities and staying ahead of the competition. – Aaron Damiano Sparkes, Whisky 1901 Limited

2. Be Persistent

Persistence is your secret weapon. In the entrepreneurial journey, challenges are par for the course. It’s tempting to throw in the towel, but remember that every setback is a lesson. Keep adapting, learning and pushing forward. That grit and determination will be your greatest asset. Embrace each obstacle as an opportunity for growth, and you’ll emerge stronger and more resilient than ever. – Richard Polgar, CFG Merchant Solutions & CapFlow Funding Group

3. Have A Clear Understanding Of Your Venture’s Financial Picture

Lead with a clear understanding of your venture’s financial picture. It’s essential to know your margins and key drivers of revenue and expense in the profit and loss. The financial story can describe an entrepreneur’s vision and give investors confidence in the leader’s ability to manage competing demands. Highlight the investment’s impact on the market and customers or its Social Return on Investment. – Carrie McKellogg, REDF Impact Investing Fund

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4. Take The Necessary Steps To Invest In Your Vision Early

Anticipate needs and invest before you’re ready. The power of foresight and conviction toward the goals needs to be met with the willingness to make the appropriate investments to obtain your vision. Make the hire, purchase the item or invest in the research. You can’t achieve the vision without taking the necessary steps. – Scott Underwood, Socium Advisors

5. View Failures As Opportunities To Learn And Grow

Embrace resilience in your entrepreneurial journey. It’s crucial to remain resilient in the face of setbacks and be willing to pivot when necessary. Challenges and setbacks are inevitable, but your ability to persist and adapt in the face of adversity will be a key determinant of your success. View failures as opportunities to learn and grow—ensuring your business evolves and thrives. – Shashank Shekhar, InstaMortgage


Forbes Finance Council is an invitation-only organization for executives in successful accounting, financial planning and wealth management firms. Do I qualify?


6. Find Ways To Help Others

Put yourself in a position to help other people so that you will be fulfilled yourself. Figure out how you can help your colleagues, other business leaders and the community so that your legacy is greater than who you are as an individual. The more fulfilled you are through helping others, the more motivated you will be to continue pushing forward and succeeding. – Brian Slipka, True North Equity Partners

7. Learn Every Aspect Of The Business

You are the business. That means you may have to wear every hat while trying to grow. This isn’t a bad thing. The small-business owners that I’ve seen grow revenues and scale have been those who are intimately familiar with every aspect of the business. They did it all until they could afford to hire help. Be patient; it doesn’t have to be perfect on day one. – Shannan Herbert, Stratyfy

8. Avoid The Perfection Trap

Don’t aim for perfection. Instead, focus on getting better every day. I see so many infant-stage companies trying to figure out everything right out of the gate instead of concentrating on incremental, continuous improvement. As a result, they get paralyzed. Avoid the perfection trap and don’t get frustrated when things aren’t exactly as you want them to be. – Jamie Ellis, Katz, Sapper & Miller

9. Focus On Your Customer

Success begins with always working on the customer’s behalf. Understand every detail of their needs, aspirations and financial situation so you can tailor solutions that set them up for success. If you put the customer at the center of everything you do, their trust will be your most valuable asset. – Michael Foguth, Foguth Financial Group

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10. Save For A Rainy Day

Don’t forget to have a rainy day fund. It’s easy for startups to have above-average financial results when the industry is flourishing and the economy is thriving, but what happens when markets are not so favorable? If the last couple of years have taught us anything it is that you never know what the future holds—having a plan B might make the difference between success and running out of money. – Karim Nurani, Linqto

11. Safeguard Your Financial Control

Financial control is everything in business, and rising entrepreneurs must safeguard their position in this regard. If you invite investment early on, there is a risk of diluting that control. By bootstrapping your startup, you are only answerable to yourself. Businesses tend to go under early because they run out of cash quickly, so financial leaders must pay strong attention to the numbers. – Rupert Lee-Browne, Caxton

12. Prioritize Continuous Learning And Adaptation

One tip for rising entrepreneurs and financial leaders in the industry is to prioritize continuous learning and adaptation. The business and financial landscape is constantly evolving, influenced by technological advancements, economic shifts, regulatory changes and market trends. To stay ahead and thrive in this dynamic environment, it’s crucial to remain open to new ideas and be willing to adapt. – Sean Frank, Cloud Equity Group

13. Cast A Wide Net To Recruit Staff, And Seek Referrals

A combination of recruiting, referrals and segmentation drives entrepreneurial growth. Casting an ongoing wide net to recruit staff with the right skills builds business capacity. Seeking referrals from clients and business partners using a documented strategy leads to stronger outcomes from those channels. Segmenting your clients defines how your “wow” is delivered consistently and efficiently! – Brian Lasher, CIG Capital Advisors

14. Define Your Core Values And Culture

Define your core values and culture early on and make it a point to invest in your employees. In a competitive industry that is suffering from a shortage of talent, this will do wonders in attracting and retaining associates, especially if it is a core principle of your firm. – John Abusaid, Halbert Hargrove

15. Realize When Your Original Ideas, Interests And Strategies Are Outdated

Pay attention to the market, and don’t be so attached to your original ideas, interests and strategies that you can’t tell when they lose their relevance. Each stage of growth will require a different response from you, so never forget the adage, “What got you here won’t get you there!” Keep learning, growing and adapting. – Julie DeLong, Backyard Bookkeeper

16. Understand The Goals And Priorities Of Your Business Partners

Collaborate with other business partners to understand their goals and priorities. This will help you learn how to best contribute to operational excellence beyond the finance department, expanding your leadership perspective. Align your goals with the broader company objectives and outcomes to drive significant impact outside of routine financial tasks like budgeting and journal entries. – Razzak Jallow, FloQast

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17. Be Humble And Transparent

Be humble, don’t overlook your weaknesses and maintain financial transparency with your investors. Being arrogant, underestimating weaknesses and being less than transparent about financials is a recipe for failure. – Raghavkumar Parmar, MMA Pan Asia Fund Management

Source: Forbes

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