Breaking New Ground

Check out the article posted on about expanding your business in World Financial Group.

Breaking New Ground

Why expand: Bringing WFG’s financial concepts and strategies for everyday families back to her hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y. was a dream of Fradel Barber’s since she started her World Financial Group business in 2003. The eldest of 12 children born to Orthodox Jewish parents, Fradel moved to California to pursue a degree in fashion design with the goal of starting her own business. She was invited to a WFG business presentation while in school and saw WFG as an opportunity to achieve her business ownership goal. The company’s education based approach to help families like hers resonated with Fradel, and she knew there would be a huge need for WFG’s services. After getting her WFG business on solid ground in California, Fradel moved back home to Brooklyn in 2007 to open an office. “It wasn’t so much like I needed to come home, but I did miss the spirit of New York,” Fradel says.

How she did it: With a relatively small World Financial Group presence in the New York-metropolitan area, Fradel was excited to come to a wide-open market. Her California team was solid and Fradel thought the time was right to return to New York. While she would be working with the team by phone, she knew they would have strong, daily leadership from her local upline leader WFG CEO MD Elan Michael.

She also saved specifically to fund the transition, from daily living expenses to start-up costs. “I was mentally prepared not to make money in New York for four months,” Fradel says. She met by phone with her California team weekly and flew back to California every two or three weeks. She tapered her trips down to every other month once her California leadership hit their stride and her New York operation demanded more time.

While her warm market prospects didn’t work out as she had hoped and she had no office to work from, Fradel began building momentum with her New York team and opened her Brooklyn Heights office in 2007, right across the Brooklyn Bridge from ower Manhattan.

Challenges: “There were definitely moments where it wasn’t so much ‘I don’t know if this is going to work,’ but kind of feeling that I’ve put so much in and there’s nothing to show for it yet. But my personality is once I decide to do something, it’s not a question of if I’m going to do it, it’s just a matter of how long it’s going to take,” says Fradel, of getting through her challenges.

Dream office – literally. With no established WFG office to plug in to, Fradel had to get creative. She used the lobby of the world famous Marriott Marquis hotel in Manhattan to meet with clients and potential recruits. “ The hotel had a business center, they had Internet, they had a Starbucks. I was all set up,” she says with a laugh. Despite the prestigious address, not having an office was a challenge. “It was difficult in the fact that when people don’t come to an office, you have to [work harder to] establish the credibility, but at the same time paint a picture of what [the business is] going to be like in the future. That’s what I tried to do,” she says.

Warm market meltdown. Prior to moving in October 2007, Fradel held a large business presentation meeting in Brooklyn the previous May. While she had a great turnout, the event didn’t yield the results she hoped for. “After that BPM, I realized that I needed not to just work with my warm market,” Fradel says of the family and friends that came to her event. “People were interested to come and see what was going on, but they weren’t necessarily interested in joining or doing [business].” She switched gears and began recruiting like she did in California, where she initially knew no one. But unlike her California beginnings, Fradel knew WFG’s business. “It was more dream-selling rather than trying to recruit to an office,” she recalls.

The lone leader. “In California, one of the things I was good at was leveraging leadership because I had all of these great people around me,” Fradel says of introducing potential clients and recruits to more seasoned leaders in her office. “But in New York, it was me and that was it.” Knowing she needed to be the ultimate example of success for her future New York team, Fradel fine-tuned her leadership skills by reading various leadership and success books. She also pushed herself to get her office location up and running. “When people saw the office and saw that I had done what I said I was going to do, that added a lot of credibility,” she says.

Advice: According to Fradel, expanding your business to a new location requires a high-level of WFG business mastery, as associates will not have the support system enjoyed in a local office. “If they couldn’t [succeed] with leadership and people around them, I don’t think they can do it without it [in a new location],” she says. Having several months of financial resources set aside is important to expand your business, as is your attitude. “You can’t go in with the mindset that you’re testing it out. . . . You have to have the mindset that you’re going to make it happen,” Fradel adds. She also cautions that you need to know the ins and outs of running an office – how to get everything from necessary paperwork to licensing and local compliance laws – as you will be the go-to person for your new location. Fradel also encourages associates interested in expanding their businesses to cultivate relationships with local representatives of the company’s national product providers and study up on the rules and responsibilities of leasing your own office.

The Results: After opening her first office more than two years ago, Fradel moved to a larger location in 2009 on the same street in Brooklyn Heights, with a central subway stop attracting clients and recruits from all five New York City boroughs as well as the larger tri-state area of Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Since opening her office, Fradel reconnected with many people she met with in the hotel lobby, who showed renewed interest when they realized she delivered on her dream. “Whenever you start something from nothing, it’s really rewarding,” Fradel says. “I think we’re on to something big. Most of the people on my team want to go and open their own offices rather than staying in my office. We’ve created a culture of why we are here. We’re here to expand.”

Fradel is a WFG Executive Marketing Director and resides in Brooklyn, NY.

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