Financial planners know a thing or two about being an entrepreneur. Whether they are solo practitioners, work at a small firm or are part of a large corporation, they know first-hand about hustling for business. And those who are on their own or run a small RIA practice have no doubt spent countless hours doing tasks - picking an office, choosing vendors, hiring assistants, etc. - that have nothing to do with being a CFP.

In an age when many new planners are choosing to focus on a niche to help grow their practices, planners across the country have found that counseling entrepreneurs offers the potential for tremendous upside. In our Small Business, Big Impact cover story, senior editor Ann Marsh speaks with advisors whose have helped nurture the small businesses of clients, and then watched with pride (and profit) when those businesses were sold for rather impressive sums. In one case, the owners of a California food company turned down a $1 million buyout offer. With the guidance of their advisor, they made strategic investments in the business. When the entrepreneurs finally sold last December, the deal price was in the double-digit millions.

Planners who have a roster of entrepreneur-clients "are unafraid to delve into the messy complexity of running a business. Their advisory work runs the gamut from surfacing tensions between warring members of a family-run business to helping clients outfox competitors and attract buyers for their companies," Marsh tells me. "Yes, working with small business owner-clients is tough and complex work, but it's so critical to the lives of clients," she adds. To guide planners who already work with entrepreneur-clients - or for those who want to try to attract them - the story features 11 smart strategies that can help advisors thrive.

 

Our main goal for every story we publish in our magazine and on our website is to leave our readers with a strong takeaway: actionable information, an anecdote they feel compelled to share with a colleague or client, or a much deeper understanding of a complex issue.

With that in mind, two other stories deserve special mention in this issue. Bob Veres' column on the ongoing debate over whether self-regulating authority over RIAs should be given to FINRA is well worth your time. The issue is highly contentious, and you may not agree with him, but Veres makes a compelling argument for opponents of FINRA oversight. In addition, advisors wondering what succession may one day look like should turn to Glenn Kautt's column. Kautt writes about the merger of his own firm, and the unexpected twists and turns along the way.

That's news you can use.