Welcome to Part I!
Welcome to part one of identifying opportunities for innovation in your business. I'm Kate Holmes coming to from Sin City, Las Vegas, Nevada.
So to start with, we are going to be looking at what takes the most time. There are a lot of things that we do in life that we're just so used to doing. It's the way that it's always been done. And we don't always stop to think that there might be a better way of doing it. And innovation is a lot like a financial plan. It is a continual process, not an event. So even if find opportunities for innovation this week, or this month, six months from now with a fresh set of eyes, it's always good to go back and continually do these exercises we're going to be working through.
We're going to start with looking at things from your point of view.
You're probably going to have some things off the top of your head, but again, it could be kind of like driving home and sometimes you get home and think, how did I get here? You don't remember the drive because you're just in that automatic mode of how to do things and might not think about all the things that go into it.
So some examples might be scheduling. That has long been a point of personal connections, scheduling an annual review or a quarterly meeting reaching out. But really it can be a total hassle for you and the client back and forth. Can you do Tuesday at 10:00 AM or Thursday at 3:00 PM takes a lot of time. And it's one of those distractions that prevent you from being able to focus on a bigger project.
Is it long client meetings? For so long, it's been, Hey clients drive to the office. And if somebody is taking time out of their day and driving in, you kind of feel compelled to have a long meeting, but so often those can actually be exhausting. It can be information overload and not really necessary. It can be much more beneficial to have more meetings and shorter meetings.
Is it prospecting? That's always going to take a lot of time. You've got to continually be looking for new clients.
Answering the same client questions? This is a really big one. Especially if you have a niche that work you in, you're probably gonna get people asking the same questions and that takes time. Is there a opportunity to have a frequently asked questions, to create a video series? Lots of really great things you can do to add value there for your clients and prospects.
Client reports, yes, compliance and regulation might require them. But we'll talk in a couple of days about if that really makes the most sense.
Compliance and admin tasks, very common one.
Data collection and analysis. Thankfully, technology has come a long way.
Paperwork, probably one of the best things to come out of the pandemic is people realizing they don't need paperwork. Companies, some of them are still catching up, but so much that you can do electronically that is so much easier.
So just think through what are these things that take a lot of time and you don't have to have the answers for how to shorten the time right now, just think through what does take time.
And another good way to do that is to listen to your gut about what else you could be doing during that time. Would you rather use the time from admin tasks and maybe repetitive things you're actually spending in front of clients or with your family or exercise, hobbies, me-time, whatever it is, listen to your gut that says, Oh, I've got to do this thing. It takes a lot of time. It's a manual process. Just write it down. And I said, don't have to have the answers yet. Just write down what those things are.
And then this is the tricky part, go back through and think through the entire client and prospect journey of working with you. What takes the most time from their perspective? And this is to identify barriers to working together. And there are so many great innovations happening. Think about travel. Years ago you would have to go through a travel agent and you'd have your ticket sent to in the mail and a paper ticket you'd have to keep track of. We don't have to do that anymore. You can book an entire trip, start to finish on your mobile phone and have all of your tickets there. So clients are used to this level of innovation and financial advice and planning shouldn't be any different.
It should be just as easy and enjoyable to work with you as an advisor or planner.
Is it hard for them to understand what do, what your fees are? Is it difficult to schedule a call? Do they go on your website and fumble around for a bit and they can't just easily work with you and take that next step?
Paperwork. Whew, that's a big one. Collecting those documents. That can be a challenge and a big, messy process.
Waiting for a financial plan. If you don't have technology and it's still being done through Excel or something. So it can be, like I said, hard to do this and be objective because you're working so hard to build a great business that removing yourself from that situation and thinking about everything from the client's perspective can be tricky, but it's a really good exercise to go through.
And one of the things to think about is so many of these touch points that we've had for so long that have been seen as valuable touch points and valuable things that are sent to clients. It's not that the clients need you any less. They just need you differently. That's where continual innovation comes in.
So just make a list of what takes the most time, think about it. This is going to be a list you're always adding to and subtracting from over the next year, even.
And then tomorrow we're going to be looking at what has the most cost and we're not just talking financial cost. I'll see you tomorrow.