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Practice Management > Building Your Business

The Power of Leverage

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Time. No one has enough of it and most all of us want more of it. We all know that time slips away from us, especially in our businesses. You know that list of goals you want to accomplish but keeps gathering dust? Or those systems, services, and operations you have been meaning to implement for the past year? Or, in my case, writing my blog! Let’s face it, we all lose track of time.

If I could completely solve the time conundrum and dish out a block of time for each person who wished they had more, I would. But that’s impossible, so let’s take ourselves back to the basics of business management. The basic key to finding more time is discovering the power of leverage–that is, developing support systems for the most valuable members of your team so they can add even more value.

Support systems in your firm could be technology hardware or software, outsourcing, consultants, administrative workers, or professional talent. By far, the maximum amount of leverage provided to an owner of an advisory firm is his professional talent. But before you jump and go out a hire professional help, there are some things that you need to think about.

One big mistake firm owners make is hiring professional talent when they are not ready to hand over professional work. In other words, they are not willing to share client relationships or willing to give training to service new clients or able to share marketing efforts and firm secrets. There is no problem with feeling this way about your business, but expensive professional talent doesn’t need to be hired to complete administrative work if that’s all the firm owner needs completed and is willing to hand over. Just because professional talent provides the maximum amount of leverage for your firm, that doesn’t mean it should be the thing you invest in today to create more time for yourself, if you are not ready.

So how do you know you are ready for professional talent? Simple: For a few weeks, keep a record of how you are spending your time. Try to group each section of time into a maximum of ten categories (i.e. client work, administrative, compliance, marketing, etc.) At the end of the week calculate the time spent on those various categories. You might be surprised to find that a lot of your time is spent doing tasks that do not directly contribute to dollar-producing activities, like administrative work. If this is the case, hire an administrative assistant, not professional talent. If the majority of your work is servicing existing clients, completing applications, making trades, or returning client calls, you might find that professional talent is just the thing to buy you a little more time.


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