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A webcast presentation by Bill Strazzullo, CMT, CFA originally held on December 7th, 2016 as part of the CMT Association’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 CMT Association.

#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.