Five tips for women starting their own practice

Bianca Hartge-Hazelman,  Editorial Team,  No More Practice Education

Women in the financial planning sector are being urged to start their own businesses, even if it means doing so at a very challenging time.
As it stands, about 24% of financial planners are women, which is up from about 20% three years ago. But when it comes to owning an advice practice… well let’s just say women remain significantly underrepresented compared to men.

Despite key challenges around trust in the wake of the Hayne Royal Commission, as well as a perception that finance is more suited to men, industry bodies are actively trying to encourage more women to become financial planners.

The thinking is that as the level of female wealth in the economy rises, thanks to increased career opportunities, workforce participation rates and greater inheritance due to women living longer, that they’ll be in need of financial advice in the future.

In light of this, I asked three successful businesswomen how planners can best combat today’s challenges and how women can make the move from adviser to practice owner.



Trust is a big issue in finance at the moment. The Deloitte Trust Index for banking, published in The Australian Financial Review on Monday, found only one in five Australians believe banks act ethically, and only one in four say banks keep their promises.

Scarlett Vespa, who is a branding expert and founder of Mrs V Society believes that trust is the new currency.

“You need to showcase your trustworthiness by delivering products or services that prove your value proposition and in a way that shows your relevance in today’s market.

“Being relevant today means you understand how technology will impact a customer’s business, your own business and how you are going to cater to that, making the customer feel secure and safe.

“Transparency, community and collaboration are the other key attributes that any business should have and a financial business is no exception.”


Balance and business

Dominique Bergel-Grant Financial Planner and Founder of Leapfrog LIFE recently moved her family to New Zealand and make the most of online conferences to connect with her Australian-based clients.

“I would like to see more financial advisers living by example. We talk so much about goal setting and living the life you want, but not enough planners realise that they could also be doing this thanks to making better use of technology.

“Financial planning is actually a really great career to have work-life balance.”

Ms Bergel-Grant identifies five things that will help women run successful advice businesses.

  1. Know your niche: Know the market you want to work with, and for what life-stage you want to help them. It has got to give you goose bumps!
  2. Be prepared to get out there. Not enough of us are building our social media presence. More of us need to do video and get on camera. As a profession we are always going to get bashed in the media somehow. But you have got to think, is holding yourself back preventing you from adding value and better educating others?
  3. Love technology. Be smart with your time and value your time. As a small business owner I only use efficient tech platforms and ones that only use open API software (software that talks to other software).
  4. Value yourself. As women we have to stop giving our time away for free. Understand your costs in your business and ask yourself how many weeks do you really want to work and work out your true hourly rate. Write it down, and be confident about it.
  5. Have amazing business planning. Surrounding yourself with people or a partner who is going to hold you to account in terms of your commitments and goal setting. As financial planners we hold our clients to account and we must lead by example.


Embrace disruption and take action

Julie Elliott, business growth strategist and founder of consultancy Just Julie, says that while disruption brings with it many challenges but also opportunities. 

She’s listed ten questions that advisers could be asking themselves if they are in the early stages of starting a business.

  • Is your offering niche or a broad?
  • What types of people or businesses make up that market?
  • What do they want from a financial provider?
  • What is the competitive landscape?
  • What developments are others bringing to the market?
  • What products can you bring to the market that customers don’t even know they want?
  • What is your unique value proposition?
  • How are you going to take your product to market? (How will you distribute it?)
  • How are you going to target your preferred market?
  • How is your message going to reach your target market? (What forms of marketing are you going to use?)

Bianca Hartge-Hazelman writes on women’s money matters and is the founding author of the Financy Women’s Index.

The opinions expressed in this content are those of the author shown, and do not necessarily represent those of No More Practice Education Pty Ltd or its related entities. All content is intended for a professional financial adviser audience only and does not constitute financial advice. To view our full terms and conditions, click here.

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james walker-powell


some good points but Are these exclusive to females only ?

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