The world of financial services is constantly evolving. Clients used to efficient online services are becoming more demanding, which puts financial professionals under pressure to work faster while delivering impressive results. Now is the time to build more efficient business processes by looking closely at how your practice works and finding opportunities for improvement.
Luckily, there are technology solutions that can help you run a leaner, faster and more productive business.
Here are some tactics to consider:
Manual workflows are slow, often inconsistent and prone to human error. Modern software solutions make it easy to remove these steps from some workflows almost entirely. For example, online booking systems now automatically do what once required an assistant. They check your online calendar automatically to find free space and then allow the other party to choose from the available slots.
Financial professionals traditionally used manual paperwork for tasks such as client onboarding. This introduced unnecessary friction in the form of office visits or courier deliveries. It created delays as managers waited to review physical paperwork.
Digitization has changed all that. Electronic document signing solutions enable clients to review and sign digital files at home on their tablet, returning then instantly from their armchair and compressing the approval process. The result: faster, friction-free processes and happier clients.
While face-to-face meetings are still important, not everything needs to happen across a desk. Video conferencing and online presentation services have made virtual meetings a reality, especially since the pandemic dramatically increased remote interactions. Use conferencing solutions that include screen sharing capabilities so that you can tell a visual story for your clients, complete with charts and a visual interactive exploration of their financial performance. This makes meetings more convenient and engaging for clients, business partners, and you.
Automation has found its way into online meetings, too. For example, some video conferencing solutions now offer automatic speech transcription, giving you written notes from your meetings within seconds.
Ernest Hemingway said, "Never mistake motion for action." Too many professionals confuse being busy with being productive. Rather than frequently switching between tasks, focus on just one thing for longer to achieve a state of higher cognition. This state, which productivity guru Cal Newport calls "deep work," means blocking out distractions such as calls and messages.
To get there, take control of your calendar. Dedicate windows in your working day to important tasks, scheduling them in an online calendar so that nothing else can interfere with them. Some calendar systems will do this for you automatically.
Go further by eliminating needless make-work meetings; insist on a clear purpose and agenda before allowing an appointment onto your calendar.
Not every task is equal. Prioritize the important ones using an online task management system, preferably with collaboration features. This will enable you to delegate tasks that don't directly support core business goals such as increasing revenue or building customer relationships. A project management system will enable you to structure sequences of tasks and allocate them to team members, ensuring that more complex collections of tasks stay on track.
Promotion is a time-consuming task for financial advisors in a competitive business. Digital marketing tools can help to engage with current and potential clients more effectively through channels including email, blogs and social media. Craft a strategy for building your brand online, use automated tools for time-consuming tasks such as email marketing and social media scheduling. Then, use online metrics platforms to measure the results and hone your strategy over time.
These technology solutions can help any office run smoothly, but financial professionals should also explore vertical industry solutions for help with the most challenging tasks. Software products offer a more efficient way to manage financial planning, portfolio rebalancing, and client reporting. Artificial intelligence is now enhancing these tools, making it possible to collate and analyze detailed financial information more quickly and thoroughly than ever before.
Armed with these efficiency strategies, you can hone a more efficient practice that will outpace your competitors in the rush to acquire new clients and retain existing ones. Start now to build a friction-free business that will keep pace with your increasingly tech-savvy client base.
Facing efficiency challenges in an increasingly virtual environment? Learn more about how financial professionals can tackle some common obstacles.