In my previous blog posting in this series (Coaches Corner: Nixing the Top 4 Excuses for Not Building Systems), I addressed the four most common advisor excuses for not establishing standard operating procedures and how to move past those excuses. Systems, standard operating procedures, processes, work flows or whatever you want to call them are primarily designed to be training aids and to ensure continuity in service to clients when staff changes occur.
To help you prepare office systems for your practice follow these five steps and you’ll be on your way to a more effective team and scalable business.
1. Create a Checklist
As with the development of any system or structure, start with an outline or checklist of tasks that must be completed each time a system is followed. Much like a recipe that includes a high-level list of ingredients, the checklist comprises your high-level action items. A sample checklist can be downloaded by going to PeakAdvisorAlliance.com, clicking on the Free Tools tab, and entering the code “checklist” for our New Client Processing Checklist.
2. Develop the System
The system complements the checklist with more detailed instructions. It requires specific, clear steps around each task on the checklist. Like repeatedly following the directions of a recipe, once a cook has become familiar with the process, he or she no longer needs to access the directions but may still refer to the list of ingredients. The same is true with systems. Once the specific steps become automatic, the checklist serves as confirmation that nothing has inadvertently been overlooked.
So how does this get started? Assign the person currently executing the task to write the system. Remember, its purpose is to ensure a seamless transition should someone else suddenly need to step in and perform the job. Be sure the system is kept updated in regards to current technology, social media and the addition of any new team members.