I always say that when I have a good idea, it’s despite the fact that most of my other ideas suck.
Having been in this business for almost 17 years and in my practice for almost five, I hear lots of ideas from other retirement plan provider that is going to be great for them and the retirement plan business. While many of these ideas are good, many of them go wrong.
The reason that these great ideas go wrong is because usually they were planned wrong. A good idea isn’t everything, but the execution of that idea is. I remember working with a plan provider who was going to make a huge splash in the multiple employer plan (MEP) business that was going to make them a ton of money. The problem is that they acted so slowly that eventually the Department of Labor killed off 95%of the open MEP market with an advisory opinion. So a year of planning, working, and getting billed by ERISA attorneys went to waste.
You may remember I was touting a company that was going to be the UPromise of 401(k) plans by giving money back in the form of a salary deferral to plan participants for online shipping. I thought it was a can’t miss, but it did. They spent too much money in developing the idea that the slow rollout to plan participants couldn’t support it.
So if you come up with a great idea to expand your business, just realize that the idea isn’t everything, how you execute it is.