Do This To Design Your Ideal Firm as a Financial Advisor - Practice Management

practice management

There are four categories of work that you are doing as a business owner and unfortunately most advisers and most business owners they’re spending their time in the wrong category.

I want to help you make the decision to spend time in the right category for you. Because that’s when you’ll start to see your business takeoff and that’s when your work enjoyment will takeoff as well. Read on and we’ll find out where you currently are and then we’re going to decide where should you be.

So let’s get into these four categories so you can identify and then decide your ideal future in your business. 

Right now you’re in all four of them you’re really wearing four different hats but you’re spending more of your time in one of these then the other three. The magic happens when you can proactively spend time in the area that you want to.

The Technician: The Admin Tasks to Make Your Vision Real

So the first category that we’re looking at is that of a technician which is really the doer. It’s the hands-on day-to-day work of the business. It’s the reason why we got into the business. Our vision that we could help people make smart money decisions. But we quickly learned there’s a lot of other parts of the business that require a technicians work.

If it’s just you, or you’ve got a small team, you may also be the admin assistant, or the scheduler or the office manager or the tech person or the forms person. All these different things that it takes to have an office run. I’m sure you’re feeling it now if you’re solo or if you are you just have a small team. So step one here is to identify the technician work that you want to do and then what you don’t want to do.

What you might want to be doing is the things like creating the plan, the actual meetings with clients, or the researching and the learning in order to implement those strategies for people. That’s technical work and that’s stuff that you probably want to be doing.

What you want to do and what you don’t want to do

Some of the other things we mentioned a minute above that might be the stuff that you’re not as thrilled about doing. I often recommend that you create a “do not do” list. As you go through your week either at the end of the day or at the end of each hour, think back to what you just spent time on. Then write down the things that you wish you didn’t have to do or things that you spent time on you you really didn’t want to spend time on. It makes sense for you to spend your time on things that are thousand dollar per hour activities rather than the things that are $10 per hour activities.

Often people will ask me who should be the next person they should hire? Or how do I know when it’s time to hire the next person? And the answer is really simple. If you’ve got less five employees, you should hire the person that frees up the most time in mental bandwidth for you so that you can continue to do more and more of the things that give you energy and the things that actually move the needle for your business.

Training Up and Managing Others

Category two is the manager. As you start to hire people to help do the technical work you don’t want to do you’ll find that you’re spending more time actually managing the technicians, this is the overseer. When you’re the overseer of the people doing the work this is where processes and checklists become very very valuable.

One of the best parts about this category is that you’re really multiplying your time as you train someone to take over those activities and tasks. In the beginning, when you’re handing off tasks it’s more work because you’re training them and making sure they do it right. It actually takes longer to do that, but you’re multiplying your time. Eventually, when the task is needing to be done in the future you’re not the one doing it, someone else is doing it, and you’ll be spending that time that’s now saved on those higher value activities.

The reason why checklist and processes are so important here is because it’s really inevitable that when you hire someone and they’re not gonna stick around forever. So having a training, manual or a checklist or something that somebody can follow when they come in and get plugged into the position can help cut down your time involved onboarding someone new.

Cast the vision as the leader

The next level is the level of a leader, and a leader is a lot different than a manager. Leadership is about the casting the vision, the thing that gets the team working together and excited about the future. It’s motivating people to perform, and then turning that vision into a reality. Getting everyone on the same bus, or in the same rowboat in in going the same direction. The leaders really looking into the future and point the team in the direction that they can all go and get excited about together.

Big picture and big decisions as the owner

The final one is the owner. This is not as involved in the day-to-day, or even might not be involved in the month-to-month. Sometimes the owner is the one who gets the KPI‘s from the manager or leader, and sees those key performance indicators. They look at the metrics and and they may even be making decisions based on the metrics of the business. They might make decisions on capital allocation, and where the company is headed, the really big picture decisions that need to get made.

What is your ideal breakdown in each area?

The challenge for you right now is to take a guess at what percent of the week do you spend in each one of these areas. Maybe you’re spending 90% of the time as the technician and you don’t have any employees, then you’re spending very little of you’re managing yourself, so maybe leadership and owner are less time. You can combine these two and you’re spending 9% thinking and working on the business, deciding where you’re going to be heading next.

So the question to ask is how much time you’re spending working on the business how much time are you spending managing the team? And then, how much time are you spending on the business and the direction that you want to go? Take those same things and write down the ideal scenario of how you want to be spending your time.

What percentage would be best for you in an ideal world? Everyone’s different here, so an example maybe you do want to be spending 90% actually meeting and doing the things you want to be doing, like meeting with clients, planning, and all that. If you want to spend zero or maybe it’s 5% as a technician and 5% as a leader, some people are really good managers and enjoy that work. Some people do not. So it’s really up to you to decide what would be your ideal scenario. And once you have your idea, make a plan for how to get there.


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