By Michael Brink
Coach and Consultant
Many people become financial advisors to gain independence from corporate America. They like the idea of running their own company and assuming responsibility for all aspects of their practice. When they make this move, they naturally focus on what they enjoy most – bringing on clients and providing them with a high level of service and sound financial advice.
Over time, these advisors who deliver fantastic client service and excellent advice discover they can be well-paid for providing this service. This financial success often comes as their practice grows organically through referrals from satisfied clients. In fact, many good advisors find they can’t help but grow.
As their practices grow, advisors spend more time hiring and training staff. They find it more and more difficult to control all aspects of the practice, and they end up spending more time managing day-to-day activities than bringing on and servicing clients. The practice may grow inefficiently this way as it seems they are always in crisis mode. Advisors spend little time on staff development and developing procedures. Gross revenue will continue to grow, often at an excellent rate, but profit margins may fall. Client service may decrease. Marketing initiatives fall by the wayside.
The longer a practice operates in this mode and the longer advisors do not invest time in staff development and processes, the greater the likelihood the practice will not produce the desired results. The most successful financial advice firms provide the best client service; the most profitable firms provide this client service at the lowest cost. When a practice grows inefficiently, it may begin to provide poorer client service at a higher cost.
Many advisors have difficulty developing the operational, human resource and financial systems to manage the growth of their practices. After all, many advisors got into this business to achieve independence and work with clients. They enjoy providing excellent service and advice to clients, so they find it difficult to transform their practice into a business that does not require their involvement in every activity.
Even when advisors do possess the skills, knowledge and will to develop systems that will transform their practice, is that the best use of their time? The inventory of the practice is the time of the advisor, so the more time the advisor spends on business administration, the less inventory the practice has available to sell.
In cases like this, advisors spend too much time on things they should not be doing because they are uncomfortable giving up control and delegating work to others. The answer appears to be easy, but it can be difficult to execute: advisors need to delegate control of day-to-day administrative activities to their staff while they focus their time and talents on activities that produce revenue and increase client satisfaction.
Changing from a successful, familiar role can be difficult, but it’s a transformation that must happen as a practice grows. Advisors have valid questions as they begin this shift, such as if their staff is ready and able to take on these task and responsibilities, and who they should trust to supervise the operations of their business.
To answer these questions and others like them, advisors often turn to outside coaches and consultants who can see the big picture of their practice. At Dynamic Directions, we have created an established process with proven results that will review your team’s readiness for more responsibilities while providing direction and training to facilitate the changes.
Don’t let the needs of your practice overwhelm you any longer – a transformation awaits!
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