If you’re like many successful advisors whose schedules fill up quickly with client meetings and busywork every week, occasionally it may hit you that in order to prepare for future growth and build capacity into your business, you need to improve upon your efficiency and profitability—and in this day and age, this probably includes making changes to the technology you’re currently using.
We’re all creatures of habit. Even once you recognize that your current technology and processes may not be as ideal or effective as they could be, what’s likely holding you back from taking steps to change them is your comfort level with how you’re used to doing things on a daily basis. At the same time, logic tells you that the sooner you implement or automate new and improved technology and procedures into your business, the faster you would expect to enjoy a better work/life balance AND offer an enhanced client experience.
A good starting point in the journey to towards incorporating new technology and automation into your practice is to brainstorm all the tasks you or your team are currently doing that is taking up most of your time and energy—and in a perfect world, what you’d like to take off your plates. Once you’ve established what these activities are (for example)…
- Running custom reports
- Tracking down transfers
- Creating model portfolios
- Managing staff
- Researching investments
…you can start researching the many options now available to you.
Even several years ago, it was becoming apparent that most advisors and service providers had begun placing a huge emphasis on technology INTEGRATION. Today, that’s truer than ever. You’ve probably noticed that our industry now offers you an incredible abundance of technology and outsourcing options—from companies both big and small, established and young, offering a la carte or all-inclusive service models. It’s clear that technology is changing and evolving faster than ever before, and if your systems don’t work together, you’re likely going to experience infrastructure, capacity, and efficiency issues sooner than you’d expect. Similarly, judging from the sheer number of options now available to advisors, outsourcing is definitely here to stay.
Created by advisors 20+ years ago, our firm has always felt that integration is absolutely key. You may have the greatest standalone CRM out there, but if it doesn’t talk to or play nice with any of your other systems, you and your team are at a disadvantage. You may be accustomed to working with certain portfolio management software, but if the numbers it displays don’t match your client statements, you’re probably working overtime to make it all fit together. If these or other integration issues resonate with you, it may be time for a change. While data migration and getting up to speed on a new system wouldn’t sound appealing to anyone, realize that many service providers today offer significant assistance with moving your data, as well as providing initial and ongoing training to you and your staff to get you comfortable with something new and different.
Part of the overall solution we offer advisors is an integrated, non-proprietary suite of technology, including:
- Contact management software (CRM)
- Custom portfolio reporting
- Scanning software/online document storage
- Form filling software
- Risk profiling software
- Client portal
- Customized investment policy statement generation (available only for some models)
- Nightly/weekly backups (you can choose not to maintain your own server)
- Ongoing technology/software training and upgrades/enhancements
Our firm regularly reviews our technology offering, checking in with advisors for feedback on anything that might be missing or needed. This helps to eliminate the need for advisors we support to spend their valuable time researching what will likely always be an evolving aspect of their business planning. On a related note, these advisors also chose to outsource various business activities to our experienced team, opting to enlist a virtual business partner who can help them achieve such goals as increased efficiency, time freed up, and additional capacity built into their business for future potential growth.