When it comes to factoring brokers and consultants, you already know that one size does not fit all and as an industry freelancer, you have many ways to set up and structure your business. For example, those that strictly generate leads through networking will have different operational needs than those that utilize more direct marketing. Some highly professional freelancers will strive to set up agencies and focus on building networks of lead-generating “bird dogs”. Still others will form partnerships. And, of course, others will blend all of that together.
Below we will give you some ideas and considerations on how you set up and manage your new business for success.
If you have never been a consultant or business owner for that matter, there is a lot to learn about how to succeed. Fortunately, factoring consultants benefit significantly from the exceptional life-of-account residual commissions that can be earned for business referrals. And, the fact that these commissions build upon themselves month after month, means that almost any realistic goal is attainable as long as you work smart, put in the hours, and structure your business to fit you and your work habits best. How you intend to structure your brokering business can have a significant impact on how long success will take.
At IACFB, we recognize several distinct types of business structures for those focused on making consulting in factoring and alternative commercial finance products a true profession. In addition to true factoring consultants, this includes the bloggers, referral agents, and business professionals such as bookkeepers that only focus on the business occasionally. These business structures below are for both part-time as well as career-minded professional.
“Go It Alone” freelance brokers are simply those that choose to do anything and everything themselves. They are mobile creatives and not only can organize and manage their business effectively with the latest technology, but they are also just as adept at networking for lead-generation and prospecting for closing the deals they uncover. Simply put, when it comes to operating their factoring business they are a “Jack of all trades”.
The benefits for those that come equipped with the multitude of soft skills necessary for successfully operating the prospecting / business development side of their consultancy as well as the technical and organizational skills required to operate the lead generation side of the business are they get to make all the decisions and, of course, keep 100% of the residual commission income.
One of the more successful ways to structure your consultancy is through a strategic partnership and this involves having a heart-to-heart chat with yourself and realizing you fall short when it comes to being the Jack of all trades consultant and your likelihood of success would be better served by having a partner / co-worker that brings those skills to the table that you do not have. For example, you might be excellent at marketing and lead generation but do not have the skills required for meeting people, networking, and prospecting business owners to get the deal closed. You may, however, know someone that is outgoing, exceptional in their looks and appearance, and would make an excellent partner for your business when charged with the tasks of following up in the leads your generate, calling on and networking with lending officers and accounting professionals that can refer business to you, and basically being your “front man” (or woman).
The drawback to developing your business as a partnership is that you are no longer in complete control of the decision making process and, of course, you now must share the commission revenue (usually 50 / 50). If you find the right partner, however, the benefits can be many. Expense sharing is one which primarily involves the costs of marketing and such things as joining clubs and organizations, but that is easily managed. Additionally, the ability to “brain storm” and bounce ideas off another success-focused individual has tremendous value and can help you avoid time-wasting and sometimes costly mistakes. Simply put, strategic partnerships can often lead to doubling or even tripling the amount of deals that you close and if you can find the “right person”, can lead you to a realistic pathway to success.
For career-oriented brokers and consultants and for those with the ability to work a normal week of 40 or so hours, the “Agency” concept is one of the most prolific methods of building your business. According to factors, over 50% of all new clients are sourced as a result of networking and referral. For some highly successful brokers, successful networking is responsible for 100% of their business.
All brokers are aware of the importance of networking and building relationships with loan officers, accounting professionals. and others that can send business their way. But only a few of the most successful brokers focus heavily on developing networks of “sub-brokers” or agents. And this is a mistake since building such networks is relatively easy with the assistance of IACFB Sponsored Agent training and the resulting leads (and resulting clients) from successfully building such networks is almost limitless if done properly.
Using the “Agency Concept” for your business structure means you will spend roughly as much time developing a “downline” of referral agents as you will networking with local professionals. In fact, you may spend even more time. You will set realistic goals for attracting new agents each month, build your agency numbers, provide free training, provide landing pages, run SQL contests (sales qualified leads), keep your agency sub-brokers engaged through email marketing, and more. But the lead-generating results of running a successful agency can be simply staggering. (More on Agency Setup)
Whether you choose to be sponsored by an industry factor or by IACFB itself, structuring your business around a sponsorship is one of the easiest (and certainly least expensive) methods of entering the industry and no matter what your ultimate intentions are, starting out as a sponsored agent makes sense for many.
Like the name suggests, industry “sponsored agents” enter the business by being sponsored. In most cases, the sponsor will be an industry factor they have signed up with but in some cases, it will be IACFB itself. Sponsored agent programs feature very low cost since you basically only require a landing page where those interested in your services can visit. The landing page is essential since it has a form where those interested in your services can download a free booklet or report, thus becoming a “sales qualified lead” that can be immediately turned over to your factor or IACFB for follow up and closing.
Rather than invest in expensive marketing campaigns, sponsored agents are simply networkers that work to…
So there are multiple ways you can choose to structure your consultancy but the to do so successfully means you must recognize your strengths and weaknesses and devise a method of “plugging the holes”. Often, this simply means investing some time and energy on self-improvement, taking some courses, investing in some lead-generating technology, or purchasing additional training materials. But just as likely, it can also mean seeking out more ready solutions to the marketing and business development problems you are facing, by bringing in a strategic partner or building a conquering army of referral agents and sub-brokers.