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11 Steps to Successful Time Management for Solo Practitioners

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One of the most challenging issues for a solo practitioner of a wealth management firm is managing the numerous tasks that must be completed on a regular basis. In a small company, the responsibility for defining, delegating and completing each task rests squarely on the shoulders of one or two individuals. Given the limited number of hours in the workday and the number of tasks that must be addressed, effective time management becomes extremely important. In this post, we’ll look at some of the inherent challenges faced by small firms and discuss a framework by which you may be able to manage this process. 

In a small, independent wealth management firm with one practitioner and an assistant, there are a number of items which demand attention. For example, you must manage client accounts; prepare and update financial plans; respond to client service requests; process the paperwork for new accounts, transfers, etc. You must also maintain your website; create and manage the marketing plan for your company; conduct investment due diligence; maintain the company’s books; research and learn how to best utilize the software to which your company has subscribed; stay abreast of the U.S. and global economy and a host of other tasks.

Having a good assistant can be tremendously helpful. What’s my point? Organization is the key to managing a business. With this as a backdrop, here are a few steps that can help. 

Step 1: Create a list of the categories each task will fall under (Ex: Client Service, Investment Mgmt., Financial Planning, Marketing, Compliance, Bookkeeping, etc.

Step 2: Make a list of every task that must be completed (ex: review portfolios-internal, review portfolios-with client, conduct investment due diligence, update financial plans, etc.)

Step 3: Place each task in its appropriate category from Step 1

Step 4: Determine the frequency and duration of each task

Step 5: Prioritize each task within its respective category (not necessary for all tasks)

Step 6: Define the process (i.e. steps) required for each task

Step 7: Assign the tasks to the appropriate individual

Step 8: Establish an alarm in your CMS to alert the person responsible when the task needs to be completed

Step 9: Create a method to adequately track the progress of each task

Step 10: Review each step to assure it is as efficient as possible

Step 11: Review this list periodically

Ideally, each individual’s daily calendar will be pre-populated with the specific steps required to complete the tasks at hand. Moreover, the time it takes to complete the tasks which need to be addressed will occupy a certain amount of one’s daily schedule. This will allow the individual to see how much time is available to devote to other issues that will arise. This is only a framework. However, it should be sufficient to get the process started.

Until next week, thanks for reading!