My guest on today’s podcast is Eric Roberge. Eric is the Founder and CEO of Beyond Your Hammock, an independent RIA based in Boston, Massachusetts, that oversees $47 million in assets under management for more than 80 client households.
What’s unique about Eric, though, is how, 10 years after launching his firm and enjoying strong and steady growth, he hit a capacity wall as a solo advisor and suddenly found the business going backwards, as a $4 million client decided to relocate, and market volatility caused several other clients to leave his firm (which meant a loss of $100,000 in recurring revenue), all while he and his wife had their first child… leading Eric to go through a year of rebuilding multiple components of his business from staffing to technology to their client service calendar to get back on track again.
In this episode, we talk in-depth about how, in 2022, Eric and his wife Kali faced a tumultuous year the firm dipped from $600,000 to $500,000 of revenue run rate in just the first few months and because it coincided with the arrival of their first child they didn’t have the bandwidth and capacity to adapt, how, to help with capacity constraints, Eric decided to ramp up part-time outsourced assistance (from Nifty Advisors for a part-time virtual assistant and East Bay Financial for a part-time virtual Chief Investment Officer), and how, to create even more lift in capacity constraints, Eric changed the firm’s meeting cadence from meeting with clients 3X per year to only twice a year, utilizing a surge meetings structure to both give him months of time back to focus on the firm as a whole (and also to be able to respond more quickly to client needs throughout the year as they arise).
We also talk about how Eric’s decision to get a formal valuation from FP Transitions not only helped crystallize the significance of what he’d built (when he saw the valuation from a third party) but also created a new perspective on where to focus his time to best increase enterprise value going forward, how Eric is focusing on increasing connections with prospects by creating content on his website and hiring a PR firm to help him get guest podcast appearances and then drive traffic back to his website and grow the firm’s marketing funnel, and why Eric offers a fee calculator on his website (that allows clients to enter their assets and see exactly what the fee will add up to be in actual dollars) because he’s found that prospective clients knowing exactly how much they would be paying in fees is helping build trust early on.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Eric shares why, even though he experienced a lot of challenges in 2022, he is grateful for the opportunities it brought him as he feels it helped better his communication with his wife, how Eric came to realize that in building a business, the solution to challenges early on was to work harder, better, and more efficiently, but that eventually there comes a point where you have to re-tool the business’s systems and processes or you just run out of time and energy, and how living through the challenges of 2022 has helped Eric become more intentional in how he builds his firm, with a newfound appreciation of the benefits that come from focusing – really focusing – on changing what you can control and letting go of the rest.
So, whether you’re interested in learning about how Eric struggled to find a lead advisor that was both a good fit and was willing to take on some business development which led him and his wife to revamping their processes instead, how, even though Eric and his wife experienced a downturn in the business, he was prepared economically as he had saved a large amount of money in case of emergencies, or how Eric leverages his FP Transitions’ subscription service to receive benchmarking data that helped him realize he not only has a younger clientele than most firms of his size, but that his average fee per client is larger than other firms, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, with Eric Roberge.