Welcome to 2017. As a business owner you probably did a lot of thinking over the holidays on what is instore for your business this year. You’re fired up and ready to get into the year and are verbally telling those close to you, that you’re super confident that you are going to reach your goals this year. Good start!
Last year the industry dealt with a lot of regulatory upheaval and as a practice you should have bedded down your FDS processes, which after running for 2 years are possibly still a headache, but running smooth enough to cope with for now.
Being a new year though your mantra, walking refreshed into the office this week, will no doubt be around efficiency and growth, and talking to advisers we have found on their hit lists will include items such as the following:
- Improving interactions with your clients
- Improving your back office.
- Getting better leads.
- Rewarding your hardworking staff.
You also read over the holidays in all of those industry mags you finally caught up on, financial planners need now to embrace technology, and WOW what a difference it can make. You may have even seen the new Razer 3-Screen Laptop at the CES convention (let me know if you have one in your possession, I’ll collect the $25,000 reward).
When dealing with technology, you can achieve some quick and spectacular long term returns which will help you achieve your goals. The flipside of this, is you can also drop a lot of cash for little to no return.
As your main skills are in talking to clients and building quality relationships it’s a good idea to embrace a professional technology partner to help you. This partner will work with you to achieve your goals, whilst you focus on what you do best.
So before you embark on your technology journey in your practice, take a step back and think about the implications of the words below which you will need to consider. Those practices who have successfully embraced technology have all focused on these key words:
You will need to commit to money, resources and time to any sort of technology project. Keeping your business on the first page of google is an ongoing battle, keeping Facebook pages up to date with interesting posts, requires time and someone to do it. Just as an SOA template isn’t going to magically update itself when you find a new preferred insurance provider. Professionals cost money, make sure you are spending in the right areas with the right people.
Communication is a major key. Clearly explain to your team and those who you partner with, what you want to achieve. The second part of communication is listening. Don’t hear what you want to hear, listen to your team and technology partners to gain maximum results.
Going on any technology journey will require change. A change in mindset, a change to the ways things are done, a change of who does what in the practice. Allow time for your team to implement these changes and get use to them, this is where trust comes into it. If you employ professionals, let them do their job. You ask clients to trust your decisions, why not trust your professional partners. If you don’t understand something or need time to develop that trust, then communicate, communicate, communicate…
Be committed to the change. Yes modelling in Excel spreadsheets was a great idea 10 years go, but maybe not so anymore. If you aren’t comfortable with the change, communicate. No one said change was easy, but as a team you will get through. You employed/partnered with professionals, trust them and commit to the change of the process, your team and yourself.
Moving towards technology sounds like a marriage doesn’t it? Well just like a marriage, if you don’t commit, communicate, trust and change over time, your journey will be rocky.
Flipside, if you do commit, communicate, trust and change – you will reap the rewards. And depending on how successful you are at committing to your journey, your goals list will be fully achieved by the end of the year.