5 Ways for Independent Advisors to Alleviate Operational Burdens
When you think about what you want to do as an advisor, it’s probably not purchasing and maintaining disparate technology platforms, building bespoke portfolios, monitoring tedious compliance requirements, or running point on the back-office operational tasks burdening your day-to-day.
It probably is focusing on your clients.
And we know that demand for those client-facing services is only set to increase, driven by a combination of factors including more of the population getting ready to retire and increased awareness of the benefits of financial planning. In fact, Financial Planning Standards Board research shares that 82% of financial planning professionals anticipate more demand for their services over the next five years.
But with the administrative load and operational burdens that independent advisors have to shoulder, how can you balance managing those tasks with meeting increasing client expectations?
1. Get Organized
Before you even attempt to tackle points two through five on our list, you need to get organized. It’s a necessity when it comes to keeping your practice running smoothly, keeping your priorities in order, and keeping your stress levels down.
As an independent advisor, you’re likely juggling priorities. Client-facing activities, and ones that directly generate revenue, will be competing against back-office and administrative tasks. You need to understand what you’ve got on your plate (try looking at daily/weekly/monthly priorities) and when they need to be completed.
Exactly how you organize your time and your workload will be unique to you. Some advisors prefer tools and technology; others go old school with a whiteboard or paper diary. Embrace what works best for you; just make sure you stay on top of it!
2. Keep a Laser Focus on Your Goals and Objectives
You’ll have set business goals when you started your practice, and hopefully, you’re already monitoring your progress toward meeting those goals. If not, now is the time to start. The industry changes, your client roster changes, and your goals and objectives will probably change, too.
So why keep an eye on how you’re doing? The greater your understanding of your current and potential success, and the path you need to take to achieve your goals, the more you can streamline your practice. You’ll also know precisely where to focus your efforts and resources, saving precious time you can then use to better serve your clients.
3. Embrace Automation for a Better Client Experience
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of financial advisors in 2031 is set to be up by 51,000 since 2021. With that increase in competition, finding key differentiators is key for keeping your practice on top. One way of standing out from the rest is through the client experience you deliver, and automation lets you elevate that experience.
Automating various aspects of your business means less time spent on lower-value tasks and more time spent on high-value, client-facing activities. You’ll free up your time to deliver a more personalized experience to your clients and ease the operational load that has the potential to impact your service model.
4. Re-examine Your Pricing and Service Model
Becoming independent means setting your own pricing model, and the model you chose when you started out won’t necessarily be the right option for your existing client roster or service model. Both your service and pricing need to suit your clients’ needs as well as your own financial goals, so it’s worth taking stock and making sure that they match up.
Once you know exactly who your ideal clients are and what they require from you, you can create the pricing and service models that are the best fit. Getting the balance right between the perceived value of your services and the cost of delivering that value is key. Once you’ve achieved that, you’ll find it easier to streamline your services and create value for both your clients and your practice.
5. Outsource as Needed
Outsourcing where and when it makes sense for your advisory business not only saves time, it also boosts your productivity and makes your overall service model more efficient. As an independent advisor, getting outside specialist support in critical business areas means delivering a wider, more knowledgeable service to your clients.
A great deal of your back-office burdens and high-touch, low-value tasks can be outsourced by leveraging technology. CG Advisor Network (CGAN) saves independent advisors precious time that lets them focus on delivering superior client service and growing their practices. With back-office support and technology that alleviates much of the operational load, you can transform your business into one that’s client-centric, streamlined, and profitable.
Get in touch to find out how CGAN can deliver the answer to your independent advisory goals.
Financial Planning Practice in Future Will Be More Innovative, More Human and More in Demand, According to Global CFP Professionals. (October 03, 2021). FPSB https://www.fpsb.org/news/financial-planning-practice-in-future-will-be-more-innovative-more-human-and-more-in-demand-according-to-global-cfp-professionals/
Occupational Outlook Handbook: Personal Financial. (n.d.). U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/personal-financial-advisors.htm
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