Small Business Story – Trisha MacLennan

  • First and last name – Trisha MacLennan
  • Company name – MoneyorWealth Financial Consults
  • If you have a location you want people to know about, please supply your street address and nearest intersection (I’m a home-based business at present so I “meet” people via the phone, internet or at local coffee houses)
  • Please describe exactly what your business does and your target market (ideal customer) – I help women ages 40 to 70 simplify their finances and save money. I do this by identifying financial products and services that are over-priced, have been sold to them merely to generate a fee, and by identifying missed tax credits and other opportunities for tax savings.
  • What makes your business different? What is that you do that makes your business unique? Fee-for-service financial planning, unfortunately, has come to mean a fee based on assets under administration rather than a per hour fee for advice. I charge the same hourly fee, regardless of the portfolio size of the client. Unlike many planner and advisors, who are employed by a financial firm, I am completely autonomous and unbiased. I do not replace an existing financial advisor; I empower the client with the necessary knowledge for them to either demand the appropriate level of service for the fees they are paying or look elsewhere for their financial products and services. I accept no fees, gratuities or commissions from any financial service provider.
  • Why did you decide to start your own business? How did you get into your particular business? (i.e., saw a market need, discovered my passion, found a partner, etc.) I started in the financial business over 25 years ago. I have been that advisor/planner/consultant who tried to satisfy both the needs of her client as well as the demands of her employer. I looked for an employer who placed a higher value on client relationships based on ethical and appropriate sales of financial services over merely pushing product, but in the end, the need to achieve specific sales targets drove the business. In addition, as my own knowledge of financial products and services grew, I became aware of how poorly trained front line staff are. Products are being sold by unknowledgeable sales staff, unable to advise the client of the financial or taxable consequences of their purchase. The client needed an advocate, and I chose to become one for hire.
  • What’s the best part of being an entrepreneur? Doing exactly what I always wanted to do, realizing a financial benefit for the client, and getting paid for it.
  • What’s the worst part of being and entrepreneur? Struggling to convince people of the value of my services.
  • How long have you been in business? I started my own business a year ago. I have worked in financial services since 1981, and have been a certified financial planner since 1998.
  • How did you raise the start-up cash? I used my own savings.
  • Identify and discuss a few lessons you’ve learned as an entrepreneur. I’ve learned that building a website doesn’t have to be hard, but it is time consuming. I’ve learned that, if you join a networking group, even a small one (mine only has 5 of us), their feedback can be invaluable.
  • What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur? ? If I were to start again, I would have a website developed and ready to go just after quitting my “day” job. Building the site, writing copy, and selecting a logo took longer than anticipated and delayed my availability for work. Get out and meet as many other entrepreneurs as possible. Some of my best leads have come from others learning about my business.
  • Briefly, what are your goals and plans for the future? In a perfect world, I’d educate consumers so well that I’d be out of business, as no-one would settle for over-priced, inefficient, “flavor of the month” financial products that exist only to generate fees for the financial institution that thought them up and commissions for the advisors that sell them.
  • Any other information or advice you’d like to share? I would like everyone to realize that, while we must use financial providers for various reasons (bank accounts, RRSP savings, etc.) we all have a right to arrange our financial affairs so that we benefit as much or more from the relationship as they do.


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