We only have so many hours in a day to be able to work and spend time with our clients. It’s a very finite measure. Most financial advisors don’t understand the value of their time and they’re busy with activities that may seem productive, but in actuality, provide little in the way of results.
You have to know how much your time is worth. And, then you have to be ruthless in cutting out activities that don’t directly lead to revenue commiserate with the value of your time. If you want to be able to build a practice that allows you to have the flexibility and the kind of life that you want, it’s important to understand the value of your time. You have to learn what things are important enough to warrant your attention and what you need to let go or outsource.
Understanding How Much Your Time Is Worth
Many of the necessary tasks that you end up doing each day are not high-value activities. These little tasks obviously have to get done, but you can get them done by someone other than yourself, freeing you up to seek out the high-value activities that provide major returns.
You have to think of every task you do as if you were being paid by the hour. How long does it take you to land a new client? How much revenue does that client bring in each year? That revenue amount is your new baseline. You probably haven’t punched a clock for an hourly wage in years, but you should start thinking like you’re being paid by the hour if you want to make the few hours that you do have each day, count.
For example, prospecting for new clients at local community events usually lands you at least one new client. That new client brings in $1,000 worth of business over the course of a year, and it took one hour out of your day to attend the local function. Your time is with $1,000 per hour in this case. That should be your new guide to productivity. You should focus only on tasks that are worth your time now that you know that your time is worth $1,000 per hour. And, you should think about outsourcing other tasks that don’t live up to this mark.
Maybe you think that you have the capabilities to be a great blogger or an amazing internet marketer. Maybe you’re killing it with your Facebook and Instagram accounts. But, is that time and effort translating into new clients? Even if you’re gaining hundreds of new followers a week, is it worth all of the time you spend creating and interacting on social media if it doesn’t gain you a single new client?
Your time, talent, and energy may be better used instead by focusing on tasks that directly correlate with earning revenue for your business. Knowing the value of your time and translating that number into an hourly rate will transform how you spend each day. Looking at each task you take on and measuring them against how much revenue they bring into your firm, will help you decide which activities you should continue doing and which ones you should pass along.
You Can’t Be Good at Everything
You can’t be good at every aspect of being a financial advisor. None of us can be good at everything. So, it’s important to be honest with yourself and understand where you excel and where you don’t.
When you understand your skill set and apply solid metrics to the amount of revenue those activities bring into your practice, then you’ll understand what you need to spend your time doing. Focus on the things that you’re best at, and find others who excel where you’re weak to pick up the slack.
Building the Systems that Matter.
Most of us have a preset routine that we go through when we wake up in the morning. We brush our teeth, comb our hair and make our first cup of coffee almost automatically. Nearly every morning, it’s that routine that makes the rest of the day flow smoothly. In our businesses, systems work exactly the same way.
If you’ve ever solved a business problem or created a process that has alleviated an issue, turn that solution into a system. Spend some time figuring out how you solved that particular problem. Write down the steps that you took that helped you fix the issue. Then, the next time you have the same problem or one of your team members has the problem, it’ll be easy to follow the steps that you know will bring about the kind of solution that you want.
Creating systems allows you more time to focus on activities that lead directly to increased revenue and profits. While systems may seem rigid, they actually give you more flexibility and freedom to think about the actions that will grow your practice.
Having the Right Tools
Systems and tools go hand-in-hand when it comes to solving your problems. Being with the right kind of firm will ensure that you have the necessary tools available to grow your business.
For me, technology is a big deal. So, when we were looking to find a Broker-Dealer, we wanted to make sure they had a robust technology suite. For other folks, lending solutions might be at the top of the list. Whatever your needs may be, the key is to find the right tools to run your unique business.
Even Babe Ruth can’t hit a home run with a wiffle ball bat. No matter how great an advisor you are, if you don’t have the right tools to get the job done, you simply won’t achieve great success. You need the perfect wooden bat to hit the ball out of the park like the Great Bambino.
As you’re exploring your options, it’s important to make sure that your future lies with a firm that has the correct tools for the job. Similarly, you want to make sure that firm is also committed to growth in a way that will provide you the tools you’ll need in the future.
Whether it’s building your own team or working with one already in place, you’ll earn more income and foster more clients by knowing what you’re good at doing, focusing time on your strengths, ditching low-value activities and letting others do the rest. By focusing on the most productive tasks, you can spend more time gathering the tools and building the kinds of systems that will take your financial advisory practice to the next level.
What is your definition of a successful business? Are you struggling to move forward with running a business that feels good? Something is missing. Take this quick assessment to see how your practice stacks up.