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Practice Management > Building Your Business

School’s in Session and the First Lesson Is Practice Management

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What You Need to Know

  • Advisor can improve their practice management by first focusing on organic growth.
  • Next, they need to define their niche and follow that by building a growth plan.
  • Advisors also need to leverage the tools and technology available to continue to streamline and refine their strategy.

As students across the country head back to school, advisors should also educate themselves in areas that make a business successful. One area, practice management, is a source of pain for many advisors. To improve in this area, advisors should focus on organic growth, manage client expectations, create enterprise value in their practice and meet “the bottom line.”

By tapping into a variety of resources, they can brush up on best practices to achieve increased client satisfaction and growth.

Define a Niche and Build an Organic Growth Plan

The best way to create value, manage client expectations and achieve organic growth is to identify and work within a niche and develop a growth plan. Identifying a niche allows advisors to pinpoint the needs of their clients and deliver the right services.

Some questions that advisors can ask include:

  • Do I serve a certain segment of my clients particularly effectively? If so, how do I find more of that group?
  • Are there clients whom I don’t serve well or who are less economically attractive, and how do I find a solution for them?
  • Is there a part of the client journey that I particularly enjoy?

Answering these questions allows advisors to serve the communities they can help most, and in turn, help their businesses flourish.

Once a niche is identified, advisors should envision their business and develop a growth plan to achieve it. Organic growth is a key differentiator of how top firms outperform their counterparts, according to Schwab’s latest RIA Benchmarking study.

Still, many advisory firms struggle with organic growth. To overcome this hurdle and ensure success, advisors must use time and money wisely. Those who focus on networking and prospecting and combine that with a variable cost that supports their growth create the most enterprise value within their practices.

Resources Available to Advisors

Effective advisory practices also leverage the tools and technology available to continue to streamline and refine their strategy.

Finding the right tools can sometimes get complicated and cost advisors their most precious commodity — time.

Many providers can help advisors navigate the myriad choices of technology solutions. These can aid in the development of marketing campaigns, building a social media presence, creating a meaningful and engaging service model with automated workflows and support in developing a business that is focused on scalability and growth. Custodians, consultants and platforms that support independent advisors all can help a firm execute their strategy effectively.

Advisors can never be too experienced or too well versed in the techniques they can employ for best practice management. The end of summer is the perfect time to reset, take a look at their plans for growth and hit the books.

There is an arsenal of tools that can empower advisors to evaluate their businesses and make changes to increase quantitative value. But keep in mind, the ultimate proof may be more qualitative as advisors reflect and answer these questions:

  • Do you love what you are doing?
  • Do your clients value your insights?
  • Are you creating great outcomes for your clients while still finding time for the most important things in life?

Matt Regan is president of Wealthcare, a wealth management innovation company.