As your practice expands, you inevitably take on new roles and responsibilities. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any growing pains.
In general, it’s a good problem to have. Your practice is doing so well that you have to bring in employees to keep up with the increasing demands.
However the transition to becoming a business owner can be challenging. Some people wind up either becoming a micromanager or dropping the ball on some tasks -- or both.
“Because of how people grow up in the business, they think their value is in selecting investments,” says Mike Greene, senior vice president of the Advisor Business Development Group and Financial Planning for Ameriprise Financial Services. “An advisor’s job is to hire the best in the business and then do what they do best -- understand client needs and convey messages that become action.”
Giving up control can be difficult. Advisors should understand that they aren’t the only people who can help develop a strategy for their clients, says Greene. Consider outsourcing parts of the financial planning process to an outside vendor or delegating them to someone in the office.
“Develop a system where you give a broad game plan and have a different set of specialists produce [the plans], while you focus on communicating,” he says. “The most successful advisors I’ve seen do two things: They own the entrepreneur personality and relationship management with clients, but they no longer do data entry.”
Make a List
Not sure what you should delegate? Advisor coaching firm Peak Advisor Alliance suggests using a list of 100 items (linked below) to determine who is doing which tasks in an advisor's office -- then decide which items can be delegated. This increases efficiency and ensures that tasks are assigned to the most appropriate people in the office.
“The benefit is that an advisor spends more time on their most profitable relationships while building a true team-based practice,” says Chris Kirby, senior business consultant for Securities America.
This only not makes your practice more efficient, but also allows you to be in your element. “Do what you do best and focus on your strengths,” said Ray Sclafani, founder of advisor coaching firm ClientWise. “Playing to your strengths increases your energy and self-confidence, and creates a positive feedback loop to propel you forward.”