Year-end is a time when most of your non-financial industry friends are relaxing with their families or enjoying a nice vacation. If you're an adviser, on the other hand, the last weeks of December are usually anything but easy.
Between tax issues and last-minute portfolio decisions, there is just a lot to get done before the calendar switches over.
If you've wondered whether there's a way to avoid this: well, there is. While last-minute client issues aren't generally avoidable, there are ways to make your business (and thus your life) more efficient - meaning more time for clients and less time staying late at the office come December.
Get human help
For a given pain point, it's likely that there's a potential employee or outsourced solution that could help...if you find you are struggling at year-end, maybe it's time to consider whether there are areas where you could use an extra hand.
You care about your clients, and that can mean wanting to do everything yourself. The extreme version is fielding every call and executing every order in a bid to make sure your service is exactly what it should be.
The trouble is, by spending all your time on every aspect of client service (or even most of them), you could end up sabotaging the goal of great service. After all, your clients don't need you, specifically, to double-check their paperwork. They need you to call or answer the phone, and give good financial advice.
In fact, there are many aspects of the financial planning business that are best left to someone else. Depending on your specific business model this could involve anything from specialized issues like tax and estate planning or common operational procedures like putting in trades and executing money transfers.
But it goes beyond that: what about answering the phones, keeping tabs on client birthdays and Mother/s Day flowers, or compliance operations?
For a given pain point, it's very likely that there's a potential employee or outsourced consultant who could help. Most advisers have support staff and a network of professional referrals, of course, but if you're struggling at year-end, maybe it's time to consider whether there are other areas where you could use an extra hand.
Consider some new technology
You could also consider delegating more to technology. A standard tool is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to map client engagement and monitor activity, but you can take this even further.
We're inclined to agree with research which suggests that investment management solutions like the CataSelect subscription based solution that frees you from the time consuming work of due-diligence and portfolio construction while allowing you to stay at the center of your client relationships with a const competitive, compliant and professional investment solution can help you allocate your precious time more efficiently. Down the road or perhaps for a portion of your business perhaps an outsourced TAMP and robo-advisory could be helpful. If so we can help you make the transition with our AUM-fee based strategies.
Realize when you've hit your limit
Remember, however you run your business today there comes a point where every adviser hits their client limit. While that point will vary from one person to the next, there is simply a ceiling on what any given individual can accomplish in 24 hours - even with help from technology, outsourcing, and a great support staff.
Don't ignore yours
That probably sound pretty obvious, but this seemingly simple concept can be a surprisingly thorny issue for a lot of business owners. In the early days, the idea of having too much business seems like a luxury. By the time you you've grown large enough to get truly overwhelmed, it can feel like an impossible problem to resolve.
So, start earlier than you need to. Regularly take some time out to think about where you are and how you're managing - and whether any of your services are starting to suffer for lack of time and energy. Whether it's focusing more on training a junior adviser or putting out feelers for a potential partner, delegation should be s central to your business strategy as attracting new assets and maintaining client relationships.
Wee can help you streamline your investment management...in a way that doesn't sacrifice client preferences
If you've been sleep-deprived and banging your head against the wall this year-end, maybe it's time to rethink your operations. We won't be able to find you a great sales assistant, but we can help you streamline your investment management and client relationship processes. And we can do it in a way that doesn't sacrifice client preferences or a nuanced approach to investment management- with our low-cost subscription service you retain control and centrality in your clients' eyes.
With CataSelect you'll be able to offer 16 global ETF portfolios across 3 unique investment methodologies, and you'll have access to a growing library of fresh client-facing content - all branded for your individual firm.
In other words, we'll help you manage the investment and communications sides, so that you can do what you do best: focus on giving great advice and service to your clients.
Your business (and your quality of life) will be better for it - and we're pretty sure your clients will also be happy to have your undivided attention.