CN Business of the Day - Part I

Craig Adamson started Adamson Financial Planning in the Fall of 2000. He overcame a Hawkeye upbringing and saw the light while attending Iowa State.

First of all tell us a little bit about your business.
Craig Adamson:
  I am self-employed.  I started in the financial planning profession in 1995 while I was still at ISU.  I started Adamson Financial Planning in the Fall of 2000 after leaving a large national bank's investment department. So this October is my 5 year anniversary.
Who is the owner and what is your role in the business?

Adamson:   I am the owner.

Where is the business located?

Adamson: 1000 Lindale Drive in Marion, IA (near Cedar Rapids)
How many employees do you have?

Adamson:  Just myself.  I am able to outsource quite a bit of work and keep as close to a virtual office as possible within current record keeping limits.  The plan is to add 1 or 2 staff people in the next 12-18 months.  But it has to be the right fit for my clients and for me so I'm taking my sweet time about it.

What services do you offer?

Adamson:  Investment and insurance advice and planning for individuals and small business owners.  My main specialty is working with small business owners who have fewer than 25 employees (I prefer family-owned businesses, but it is not currently a requirement).  I take care of their retirement plan, and the personal insurance and investment needs of the owner and the employees.  I have relationships with several highly respected strategic partners that are experts in health insurance, voluntary benefits (like AFLAC), dental, group DI and Life, TPA services, payroll etc. 
I cannot be an expert at everything so I team up with these people, the other advisors that the business owner works with already and then bring in other professionals as their help is needed.  I seem to have a great deal of success partnering with accountants who work with business owners.  The business owners I work with want to keep control-oriented people (I know I am about my business) so they prefer to have me act as a "point person" or "quarterback" that can take care of the other details so they can focus on growing their business, not the minutiae I'm trained to handle for them.

What are some of things your business is most proud of?

Adamson:   Making it.  I really wasn't ready to start my own business, but my wife, Ann, was very supportive (emotionally and financially) while I made the transition to self-employment.  She knew I was fed up because I was working such long hours with no assistant or secretary.  The people in the investment department I was in were very unethical.  Profits came before clients.  It had me constantly thinking about quitting this business.  But I'm great at what I do and I care about my clients and didn't want to let them down.  I had and still have several standing offers from companies to come work for them, but I went independent right away and haven't looked back.  In a way, leaving where I worked gave me a whole new life and renewed passion for financial planning.

CN encourages all Cyclone fans to do business with Cyclone Businesses of the Day. You can contact Craig Adamson at 1000 Lindale Drive in Marion, IA 52302. You can reach him by phone at 319-373-4124 or 1-800-377-3216.

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