A webcast presentation by Bill Strazzullo, CMT, CFA originally held on December 7th, 2016 as part of the MTA’s Educational Web Series.
#1: Working for a firm vs. being in business for yourself.
- Your skills are transferable & today the risk premium is minimal.
- Your clients are transferable (you can ask them).
- The internet allows you to have global reach.
- Your current work/output probably IS NOT transferable.
#2: Step One: You need to have a suite of products.
- It is not like sitting on a desk, waiting for a client’s next inquiry.
- Be a mercenary.
- Everyone is interested in everything but you have to focus on what your clients will actually PAY for.
- You have to produce a consistent rotation of reports.
#3. Step Two: Pricing and terms.
- Two schools of thought: the price of something is worth whatever someone is willing to pay (a few big clients) vs. pricing to an institutional or retail audience.
- Institutional model (fewer clients, higher price, lower turnover).
- Retail model (many clients, lower price, high turnover).
- Contracts (yes/no – pros/cons).
- Client Service – be careful what you commit to.
#4. Step Three: Distribution.
- Defining & controlling your distribution is critical.
- Do you go to them or do they come to you ?
- There is a culture that “sharing” is okay.
#5. Step Four: Marketing and Growing your business.
- Your legacy clients are great but that is not enough.
- Start by trying to grow with the help of existing clients.
- Don’t be shy about asking for referrals.
- Think of your website as your store.
- Tweet everything (role of social media).
- Reach out to the MTA.
#6. Step Five: Running the business.
- IT issues.
- Get a partner/s (don’t have to be co-located).
#7. Step Six: Balancing the business with the rest of your life.
- Best business decision I have ever made.
- A lot of hours but also a lot of flexibility.
- Mentally can be very tough because of the volatility of the business and not many people to lean on.
- Explain to family, children and friends that your life will be a little different going forward.
Bill Strazzullo, CMT, CFA
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