Over the course of many years, our firm has worked with advisors to help them successfully create the practices they’ve always wanted. A big reason the advisors we support enjoy such a high level of success stems from their decision to delegate or outsource many of their non-client-facing activities—they now have more time and energy to focus on what they do best, while achieving the work/life balance they were seeking.
The time you spend on daily responsibilities involved with running your financial planning practice can take you away from more ideal activities: meeting with clients, gathering assets, and building relationships. This can prevent you from having the business you really want.
Here are some common issues facing those who seek out our virtual back office team, technology, and outsourcing services:
- “I’m doing things I didn’t get into this business to do.”
- “I spend lots of valuable time on hold with a custodian trying to track down transfer paperwork.”
- “It takes me hours to reconcile data for the reports I need for an annual client meeting tomorrow.”
- “I dread billing time every quarter.”
- “I’m working with clients who don’t seem to be a fit.”
- “I’ve had to turn down speaking engagements or opportunities in my community because I just can’t make the time for them.”
- “I’m dealing with staff issues that are taking me away from my clients or my family.”
Take a look at the team you manage today. How do you feel about managing, hiring, and training staff? Do you mind or enjoy it?
All of the advisors who choose to work with us ultimately decide to outsource some—or even all—of the minutiae (like trading, reporting, billing, and technology) to our experienced, dedicated, virtual support staff, who operate as an extension of each advisor’s own team. Our unique support model gives advisors the freedom to run a highly efficient business with built-in capacity for growth, typically while physically managing no more than one or two key team members in their office. We do also support firms who have significant growth goals, and occasionally advisors don’t mind managing a larger team of employees.
We work with a wide range of advisory firm sizes; today we support advisors managing anywhere from $15 million to $1 billion. Many of the firms we work with employ incredible people who are absolutely integral to their business and their client experience. As advisors really gain clarity about their focus and goals, they may choose to outsource some of their day-to-day administrative activities to our virtual team. This frees up their critical employees’ time to focus on client-facing or other business-building activities.
Some larger firms who engage our custom services operate effectively with one full-time staff person whose job includes client-centered responsibilities like appointment scheduling, handling client interactions and events, preparing meeting presentation materials, etc. The majority of the daily workload not involving client contact is handled by our virtual back office team. We’ve seen that very often this can help to motivate advisory firms’ most valuable team members even more.
By engaging our virtual team as an extension of their own staff, advisors can more easily make the move away from an unsatisfactory business model. As a result, they’re able to work fewer and more quality hours, focusing mainly on financial planning and meeting with clients they truly enjoy—likely the things that drew them to this profession in the first place. At the same time they’re able to maintain successful and profitable businesses. Those who came to us seeking more balance, time, and efficiency find that engaging our virtual support team and services has helped them to achieve those goals. Advisors often become re-energized and excited about their businesses again.
As you move forward into 2015, you may choose to keep your current staff, hire more, or outsource to an experienced virtual team like the one FocusPoint offers. No matter what, your odds of being most successful are much higher if you have a great support system behind you, made up of people who are free to handle their workloads efficiently, with little involvement from the boss in charge (because your focus is on meeting with clients).