Spring Series: The Five Steps to Streamlining Your Business

Posted by Andrea Collatz on March 27, 2012

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According to a recent RIA efficiency study, streamlining routine business processes is one of the must-haves for advisors looking to boost efficiency and capacity.  

To begin streamlining processes, you should have a clear understanding of the service you want to deliver to your clients. A total client experience mapping exercise can be helpful in defining the business processes that will benefit most from automation so you have more time to spend on higher-order activities like building business relationships.

To begin mapping the total client experience, you need to think about your practice as a complete, end-to-end system where advisors move from one stage to the next. This helps you to see how each stage is interconnected, and what a quality client experience should look like.  

  1. Divide your practice into core functions. Your core functions are the overlapping categories that all other activities in the client experience fall into. For    example your core functions may be: acquiring and establishing a new client, the investment management process, and the client management process.
  2. Break down the activities in each core function. Once you have your core functions defined, you can start identifying the activities that make up the core functions. For example, acquiring and establishing a new client may include: identifying centers of influence, referrals through existing clients, introductions, communications, and follow up.
  3. Prioritize each activity in order of greatest impact to the firm. Create a list of activities under each core function, prioritizing the highest-impact activities of your business.
  4. Evaluate the efficiency of your highest-impact activities. After prioritizing your greatest-impact activities, determine how efficient these activities currently are. Once you’ve identified areas that are weak, you can explore options for increasing efficiency.
  5. Select activities and implement efficiency improvements. Once you have identified high impact activities that are inefficient and the options for improving them, you are ready to make decisions about which processes should be improved. There are many processes that you can choose to automate, the key to being effective is to start with the activities that most directly impact your business first, and to focus on one process at a time.

This mapping exercise is a great tool for increasing your own knowledge about how clients experience your service. You may gain insight into areas of weakness you weren’t previously aware of. The exercise makes streamlining business processes more manageable by helping you to focus on the areas that need automation most. Ultimately, working through these steps will help your business run more efficiently so you can deliver on client expectations more effectively.

To learn more about the study’s key findings and how your firm compares to the industry at large, read the full study findings now.

Download the efficiency study findings.

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