As financial planners, we're always advising our clients to automate whenever possible. From retirement contributions to savings to bill pay, having a routine function in place that automatically adds gains to achieving your financial goals can seem like a no-brainer to us.
Which is exactly why it’s time to take a step back and apply this same advice to our own RIA. Rather than shuffling through mountains of paperwork or adding another post-it note to your calendar, you can leverage technology and actually spend more time on your clients — and growing your business to meet your own professional goals.
Let’s dive into automation, what exactly is it and what tools are a must?
Automation is using technology, or a suite of tools, to remove much of the complexity, tedium, and guesswork from running your business. More specifically, financial planners can use automation and technology to better manage their solo practices.
Using automation helps financial advisors run efficient, trackable, and accountable practices. In addition, most technology integrates into existing tools for email, website analytics, and more.
Here are four tech tools for the solo financial practitioner that is looking to scale their firm, without adding headcount.
1. Customer relationship management solution
Whether you manage 20 clients or 200 clients — having a robust CRM to increase efficiency and productivity is key for financial firms looking to grow. A flexible and simple CRM can streamline communications and easily keep you connected with prospects and clients.
A couple of our favorites include:
- Wealthbox is a CRM built specifically for financial advisors. It’s a modern platform that you’ll enjoy using. It comes equipped with all of the essentials like workflow management, calendar integrations, opportunity tracking, and task management.
- Hubspot is a more robust CRM that has a slew of features. This would be a better option for the scaling practice that may need to take advantage of the myriad of other marketing, sales, and customer success tools they offer. Using their basic CRM is free to get started, so try it out.
2. Shared calendars
Spend less time planning and more time collaborating. Calendar tools can help your business stay on track and efficient. Finding a shared calendar tool that integrates with your CRM and email platform is important for seamless project management. On the flip side, public calendar tools are also crucial for your frontline of business. There are many tools available that generate a public link to drop into an email signature or post on a website to find an available time slot and/or self-book an appointment. This allows for better planning and time management.
We live and die by Google’s suite of products, including their calendar tool. It’s simple to use and integrates with just about everything.
3. Video conferencing app
These days, this might be the most important tool. Being able to effectively communicate with clients and prospects is crucial for success. Again, the most efficient way to leverage technology, in this case, is to prioritize seamless integration amongst the other tools you use, like email and calendars.
Zoom has become a standard, but leaves a lot to be desired from a UI perspective. Unless you’re in need of webinar-style meetings with many attendees, it’s best to stick with something simple and easy-to-use. Again, Google wins out here for us. Google Hangouts integrates seamlessly with their other products, and is a breeze to setup and send meeting invites out to anyone (no software download needed).
Okay, this is a shameless plug — but financial advisors are best poised for success when focusing on delivering the best possible client experience. And that’s exactly what we do here. When it comes to overcoming the unique challenges facing financial advisors, partnering with a solution that is built specifically to address your needs is crucial for long-term success.
At the end of the day, having systems and processes in place to minimize paperwork and reduce time spent on administrative tasks will allow you to focus on what matters most — your clients and their success. Be the accountability partner that your client needs to reach their financial goals, more efficiently.
To learn more about my guest, Phillip Hanks, visit Black Oak Wealth Management.