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The Wrap

How to build a profitable financial planning firm

Imagine your financial planning firm a few years from now. Your firm runs efficiently, your profit is increasing and your advice documents are prepared in minutes, not days. Those painful administrative tasks, which don’t add any value to your business, are now automated. Suddenly, you have more time to focus on servicing your clients and taking on more clients.

Your clients are ‘wowed’ by the extra attention and service they are receiving, and are now sending more referrals your way. And because your systems work so well, you can take on more clients without increasing your costs.

Sound fanciful?

Well, it’s not actually. At least not if you’ve implemented the right software for your firm. Allow me to explain why.

Manage your firm smartly

In my column in the FPA’s Money + Life Magazine, I explained what successful financial planning firms do differently based on my experience consulting to practice principals across the country. Read my column here. Here is a summary of the key things they do well.

1 Build a winning process

They have a consistent and repeatable new and ongoing client service process. Each step in the process is clearly defined and each member of the team utilises a workflow management system. The process is constantly monitored and improved upon ensuring a seamless and efficient client experience. There are no surprises. No second guessing. Everyone knows what they need to deliver and when.

2 Invest in themselves

They are prepared to invest in the areas that will drive long-term success, including marketing, technology, education and their brand. They understand that long-term success can sometimes mean short-term cost. They constantly strive to improve and look for ways they can impress their clients. They are not afraid of change and will do what it takes now to reap rewards in the future.

3. Focus on strategy, not product 

They focus on their client’s goals above all else. They can clearly demonstrate how clients can live their dream life by implementing sensible financial strategies now. They understand that sound investment advice is a given. But clients are more interested in the bigger picture.

4  Partner with the right service providers 

Your clients wouldn’t accept second rate service. So why should you? Successful firms choose the best service providers in the market- in research, software, platforms, licensing and compliance. Any weakness in these areas will limit their ability to service their clients. And it is important to partner with providers who are committed to your success.