Welcome to Part II!
Welcome to part two of the three part series on identifying opportunities for innovation in your financial advice or financial planning business.
Yesterday, we looked at what takes the most time, and this is an exercise I encourage you to continually revisit both from your point of view and from the client or prospect's point of view.
Now, today, we're going to be looking at what has the most cost. And I alluded to that being bigger than just financial, but that's the easy thing. So let's start with the financial side. And often we need to look at all of the things we do as financial planners in working with clients and apply those same things to our own lives and to our own businesses.
So hopefully you're doing cashflow planning with your clients and going through and asking questions about do they have old subscriptions that they no longer use?
Are there areas that they're spending money on that just don't provide that value or that ROI that it did when they first signed up for it?
Another common one is around underutilized software. There are so many things that we can sign up for. And there are some incredible platforms that can do a myriad of things for your business, but if you're not actually using all of those features, that can be an area where there's an added expense and there might be a lower cost option that actually better suits you and does exactly what you need it to do. So software is a big one. Those subscriptions are a big one.
Office space. You know, I started my prior financial planning business in 2013 and I didn't have office space. I knew back then I wanted to work virtually because I love traveling.
And the pandemic has changed the thinking around that for a lot of people, some are really excited to get back into the office and others are saying, Hey, actually, that's a really big expense. Maybe we don't need it going forward.
As you look through what takes the most cost, we've talked about still mailing reports and printing things out. That's a big expense, especially if you have a huge copier that you might be leasing from someone, all the cost on paper and ink and postage and all the time that goes into that as well.
So definitely look through the financial side and I actually have always done this in my businesses every quarter. I go through this exercise and I'm continually saying, do I still use all of the things that I pay for? Do they still make sense or are there more innovative tools that came out or companies that I would be a better fit with?
That's the great thing, innovation is happening in every area of the world. So that's a good thing to continue to revisit.
And then the other one is really the mental and emotional. And this is a big one. You know, there's a lot of stress in being a financial advisor or planner. It's an unbelievably rewarding, wonderful career, but it can also be stressful. So what are those things that are causing stress? That's a mental cost, that's an emotional cost. And those are areas that are absolutely worth looking into and saying, Hey, how can we make this better?
One of them can often be clients that aren't a good fit. And it's good to remember that clients that aren't a good fit for you could be a great fit for someone else. So it could be like a personal relationship, if you're not working together, that's totally fine, go find people that you do work well with.
Manual processes, definitely sensing a theme there.
Ineffective technology. Oh goodness. That can be exhausting. It can be one of those things that you just, if you've ever yelled at your computer and who hasn't yelled at your computer, that can be incredibly, mentally draining.
Overwhelming meetings. We touched on that yesterday. Do you get drained by meetings? They can be exhausting.
And just think about what things about your job or your business are keeping you up at night and just jot these things down.
So go through and think about what has the most cost financial, mental, emotional, and just like yesterday, if you can do that exercise from your client's perspective as well, that's always a good thing to do, but for this one, there's a lot to focus on in your business and in your mental and emotional wellbeing. So you can keep it focused there.
For tomorrow, the last of the third part series, we're looking at what can you leave behind?
I will see you then.