Running a successful planning firm means not only being an effective financial planner, but also having the support of an effective staff. While a good hiring process can help to ensure that the right people are on board, the reality is that providing appropriate compensation with the right incentives can greatly facilitate the success of the firm. Yet there is much disagreement about the best way to provide incentives: should it be based on individual merit, or the revenue of the firm? Many suggest the former, noting that staff can control their individual merit more than they can impact the growth in the firm's revenue. But is it really true that staff - who are not out on the streets trying to find and develop new prospective clients - have so little impact on the revenue of the firm? Recent research suggests otherwise, as firms with revenue-based incentives nearly tripled their revenue growth from the bottom of the markets in 2008, compared to firms with merit-based bonuses. Which means in reality, your staff may impact the planning firm's revenue far more than you realize!