Earlier this year we had the pleasure of participating as a consultant in the Renovation Room of the new series created by InvestmentNews, titled "Practice Makeover". The first installation of the series featured one great advisor who had hit a capacity wall and wanted a better work-life balance. The final episode, during which this advisor recaps the progress he has made thus far with the help of the advice he received throughout the series, was posted this week.
Throughout the first four episodes, it became clear that this highly competent, conscientious, and successful advisor was simply no longer able to maintain the workload he had gradually established for himself over the years. His consulting team smartly advised him to lay out the long list of tasks he was used to handling that could (should) be delegated to another trustworthy party. This exercise allowed him to begin establishing automated processes for the majority of the big day-to-day tasks and minutiae involved in his business. With the right systems in place, it's possible that his current staff of two could effectively assume the operational responsibilities which the advisor had previously been doing himself. However, his goal was to hire two additional people (one to assist with operations, one to assist with financial planning).
Our history working with advisors in a similar scenario, who are seeking better work-life balance, has shown us that in order for advisors to successfully delegate, they must feel comfortable that things are being done properly, consistently, and to their satisfaction—with very little hands-on involvement on their part. Although it was not discussed in this series, as this advisor searches for the next member(s) of his team, it bears mentioning that he may want to consider outsourcing certain operational aspects of his business—such as billing, reporting, and/or trade execution. Particularly since one of his goals is to grow his business, if he's not interested in hiring or managing additional operations staff—or if he is unable to find the right person(s) as expediently as he'd like—outsourcing might be an option worth looking into.
By sticking to his plan, with time, commitment, and experience, this advisor will very likely enjoy better work-life balance. Once he begins to trust that the processes he has taken the time to explicitly outline and communicate are being executed properly and to his standards—either by new staff or a competent outsourcing provider—he can actually start pulling himself out of the minutiae and focusing again on growing his business, spending more time with family, and generally enjoying more peace of mind.
If you're a busy advisor who has considered outsourcing any area of your business, then you already know you have many good options. After having comprehensive consultations with our firm, some advisors have chosen to engage us and outsource various back office activities to our virtual team. In other cases, we've helped point advisors to another outsourcing provider that we feel could better meet their needs.
Click here for more real-life case studies on some of the advisors we've helped to successfully transition to the business models they were seeking. And here to view a complete list of the outsourcing services we offer advisors.
“It was pretty common for me to have a client with a directly held mutual fund account, a brokerage account at my IBD, a variable annuity account, and a managed account at a third-party money manager. Now you’ve got four different sets of forms, four different websites, four different 800-numbers, four different statements coming in, and so on. So from a staff - and client - standpoint, to become familiar with all of that is just impossible. We’ve now simplified everything. We have procedures and policies manuals in place, checklists, everything. And all we had to do it for was one custodian, so that was helpful. This all gives me peace of mind when I’m out of the office as well.”
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