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Practical tips for tidying up your business

Advisor working at kitchen table

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, most of us have spent significantly more time at home and many will continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future. We have all learned new skills during quarantine and been forced to innovate how we do business. It will be important to take what we have learned and carry It forward Into 2021. For example, I found time to tidy up – both literally and figuratively, and I fully intend to use the efficiencies I’ve created in my new normal.

For me, this has meant stepping back to evaluate my priorities and how I spend my time, as well as a more literal reorganization of my space at home – by finally turning our "catch-all" wrapping paper room into a cozy office. I also learned to innovate some of my meetings. Previously, I traveled a ton, but as we move forward to 2021, I’m beginning to see that some of those trips across the country could be effectively handled via teleconference, allowing me more time at home with my family. These areas of "tidying up" have been helpful both personally and professionally.

For those without a spare room to convert to an office, I've seen innovative solutions like the “cloffice” (closet office) and creative set-ups for living room and kitchen offices. That same level of innovation is being exercized In other areas as advisors try to figure out the best way to adapt their businesses to this new work-from-anywhere world. Some have implemented big, sweeping changes to enhance their ability to engage with clients or prospects virtually as the new norm. Others have relied on more modest changes to improve how they manage their practice and continue to grow without meeting prospects in person.

As we move into the new year, this may be a perfect time for advisors to review their business models and implement new strategies to grow, but that doesn’t mean you have to make major or complicated changes. While this may be a great opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and try something new, don’t get hung up on the idea that you need to completely overhaul your business to get on on a better path for success. You may want to focus on less grand but similarly productive steps to put your house in order. After all, “tidying up” some core fundamentals can be a great way to improve your practice and grow your business.

Just as finding a workspace at home can be as simple as converting a closet to your new “cloffice” and doesn’t mean you need to remodel your home, the same holds true for your business. Tidying up can be as simple as revisitng your core values, focusing on operational efficiencies, or cutting out unnecessary activites that may not be useful for your team. Take inventory of your approach today and identify some of the innovative improvements you can carry forward to yield sustainable growth.

Here are some practical ideas to consider when looking to “tidy up” your business:

Evaluate client communication touchpoints. Start by reviewing your client engagement model to see how frequently you’re contacting clients and how effective your engagement has been. What methods are you using to communicate? If you’re still relying almost exclusively on phone calls and email to keep in touch with clients, maybe it’s time to add new tools to your communication arsensal to gain more impact. A mix of video meetings, text messaging, social media posts, blogs or podcasts could significantly bolster your client engagement – and yield more prospects.

Update your CRM. Keeping your customer relationship management system updated creates efficiencies across many areas of your business. Take the time to really dive into your book of business and make sure you’re capturing pertinent details about your clients and prospects that allow you to understand and anticipate their needs. How might you improve your CRM system to serve your clients better and convert more prospects to grow your business?

Review your fee model. Are you maximizing the value of your advice? As an advisor, your greatest asset is the strength of your advice, which comes from the wealth of knowledge and experience you’ve accumulated over your lifetime. Exploring the structure of a fee-based model that places appropriate value on your advice could unlock significant revenue gains for your business.

Take a fresh look at your team. The effectiveness of your practice relies on the quality of your people and a shared culture of service excellence, so it’s imperative to regularly reassess your staff performance and team dynamics. Do you have the right people in the right positions? Do they have the skills, capabilities and mindset needed to provide the exceptional service your clients deserve? Do they share your commitment to helping your clients achieve financial clarity and live lives full of meaning and gratitude? If your answer is anything short of yes, it’s time to think carefully about what changes are needed to ensure you have a great team of people fully committed to delivering exceptional service for your clients and value for your business.

These are just a few ideas to consider the next time you’re wondering what to do with the time you’re saving by not getting ready to go into the office or not being stuck in traffic on your way home. I’d be interested to hear what steps you’re taking to tidy up!