Current economic and environmental conditions have created a unique situation for advisors. The demand for financial advice has skyrocketed over the past two years. At the same time, the pandemic and the subsequent great resignation have created a tight labor market where advisors are competing across industries for talent. These factors combined have left advisors pushing capacity, struggling to keep up with demand. Not only can client experience suffer as a result, but advisors themselves can also buckle under the stress and burnout. To address these challenges, advisors must use creative solutions that allow them to serve clients efficiently and comprehensively while also securing the talent and technology that can help them scale to meet demand.
Solution 1: Automate with Technology
The right technology implemented in the right way can free up tremendous amounts of time for advisors and staff. Many CRMs, on demand marketing tools, and portfolio management software have built in functionality that lets an advisor automate many administrative tasks and communications. Client portals also allow clients to enter their information directly into the system, eliminating some data entry tasks while giving clients access to data they would otherwise need to get from an advisor or their team. This allows advisors and staff to focus more of their time on relationship building, prospecting, strategic initiatives, and client solution development, rather than on menial tasks.
Solution 2: Fine Tune Processes to Create Efficiency
Knowing what to do when not only creates consistency in practice operations and client experience, but it also allows you to do it faster than without it. Evaluate your processes and look for redundancies that can be eliminated as well as time sucking bottlenecks. Leverage best practices from peers and franchise consultants and look for turnkey processes wherever possible.
Solution 3: Leverage Outsourcing
Many advisors are tapping into the power of outsourcing in many areas of their practice, especially in client meeting prep and financial plan production. Advisors recognize that their unique value proposition lies in their ability to generate prospects and to develop the client relationship. Not all advisors have enough demand to justify hiring a full-time staff member to handle meeting prep and planning. So, purchasing service on an ad hoc basis not only allows them to scale up and down to meet demand, but it also lets them do so in a way that is more cost effective than hiring someone in-house. It also allows an advisor to tap into specialized expertise and to appear as though they have a bigger team than they actually do.
Solution 4: Tap Into Recruiting and Onboarding Services
Sometimes it is necessary to hire an employee to meet demand. But developing job descriptions, posting ads, sorting through resumes, and vetting through candidates is a time consuming and frustrating endeavor. Though its necessary it can take valuable time away from serving clients. Not to mention it’s not a skill that every advisor possesses. Leveraging a third-party recruiting service allows you to outsource a significant portion of the busy work related to finding a team member. Pairing it with a new hire training service ensures that you not only find the right candidate, but that you also get them up and running quickly, so they can truly help the advisor meet the needs of clients.
Meeting increased demand under these unusual economic and environmental conditions requires a new way of thinking about your practice. Looking for opportunities to streamline and improve processes while leveraging technology will help you create a predictable and manageable workflow. Tapping into outsourced services for client meeting prep, financial planning, recruiting, and new hire training allows you to achieve scale without a huge investment. Combined, these solutions will allow you to navigate the capacity crisis facing the industry and continue to do business in a way that makes you proud.