If finding ways to be more efficient hasn’t made your to do list, don’t worry. We’ve identified 5 ways for financial advisors to save time and increase productivity.Step 1: Learn how to delegate
There are only so many hours in a day. Being able to maximize those hours with activities you enjoy and excel at are essential for creating a healthy and growing advisory practice. Delegation doesn’t have to be a dirty word. Here are a few essential components to sharing the workload:
- Triage your task list: Determine which projects must be completed by you, which items could potentially be given to someone else, and which items could clearly be passed off to someone else. These are your winners.
- Start slowly: Pick one or two of the winners and find a trusted employee or third-party resource to help you. You will feel more comfortable handing off work to someone you know or have previously worked with. Give yourself time to adjust, build comfort levels, and trust for all parties involved.
- Communication is key: Everyone appreciates clear direction. The same goes for the person taking on your projects. Set clear expectations and be open to questions when and if they arrive.
Step 2: Find a CRM
If you don’t have a customer relationship management system, it’s time to find one. This tool is essential to streamlining your practice because it provides insight into one of the most important components of your practice: clients. Thankfully, there are CRMs available like Redtail and Wealthbox that come with advisor specific functionality. When used properly, a CRM can help you:
- Automate client communication with triggered emails.
- Have better insight to all client interaction: every piece of communication will be tracked in one location so anyone can access.
- Segment your book of business: Analyze your client base to more easily determine possible cross-sell or up-sell opportunities.
Step 3: Kick the email habit
In a world where you may receive as many as 121 emails every day, it’s easy to feel like a slave to your inbox. The problem with incessant email checking is that it divides your attention, keeping you from focusing on a single task and tanking productivity. Do yourself, your employees, and your clients a favor by putting some strict parameters around checking email:
- Set time on your calendar to check email and don’t cheat: This will allow you to fully focus on your responding to your email when it’s time and your clients when it’s not.
- Use a cloud-based collaboration tool: An internal chat software or collaboration tool allows you to quickly interact with employees without clogging up your inbox or getting lost in an email chain. Ask your question and then get back to work.
- Don’t forget about the phone: A quick phone call often clears up confusion more quickly than email and provides the personalization that email lacks. This rings true for both employees and clients. Instead of defaulting to email, consider picking up the phone to increase human interaction and efficiency.
Step 4: Collect your content
Creating content is a major time commitment and potential productivity killer. Even if you are a seasoned writer, finding a reputable third-party resource to supplement your content stream is essential to staying connected to your clients without burning the candle at both ends.
- Remember Step 1: Learn how to delegate. Whether you have staff that can curate content from the web or social media, assigning someone to find content is a huge time saver. No staff to help? Using tools like Pocket or creating Twitter lists can be a great starting place for locating relevant content your clients will want to read.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel: There are many third-party content providers that create FINRA approved articles suitable for newsletters, blogs, or quarterly updates. Put hours back into your week by not writing your own content.
- Help from friends: Have a client story you’d like to highlight or colleague who might want to create a guest blog? Having guest writers helps boost your content stream while also helping you network and support your partners.
Step 5: Unchain yourself from your desk
Bluetooth integration, cloud-based software, and wi-fi hotspots. Technology has ensured that business as usual doesn’t mean business in the usual location. Your local coffee shop, train, plane, or beach chair all have the potential to be an office if the need arises.
- Plan your office around your calendar: Every week, review your calendar to see where you have meeting you can use a great scheduling tool like 10to8 and plan virtual offices around your trips. Decide if you need to return to your office or whether working from a remote location will save you time.
- Get the right technology: Set yourself up for success with platforms built to save you time. Figure out where you need the most help, project management, team collaboration, social media, financial planning etc. and find a few apps that make it easier to be on the go. Slack, Evernote, and Trello are all great ways to stay connected and be more efficient, but there are many, many more.
Put time back into your calendar for the things you love doing. Implementing just a few of these ideas will increase productivity and help you run a more efficient practice.
Want to learn more about how RightCapital financial planning software can help make your practice more efficient? Schedule a demo today and get your free trial.
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