Why you need to systematize your practice

By Robert Sofia

Platinum Advisor Strategies


Systems. Procedures. Forms. Checklists. Not very exciting words are they? And yet, what they represent — having a systematized, smooth-running, and efficient practice — is extraordinarily appealing to most advisors. More than that, it is vital for success. Having a thoroughly systematized practice will free you up to spend time on what is most profitable — meeting with clients and gathering assets.

Do it for your clients.
Having effective procedures in place is the only way to ensure a consistent and high-quality experience for your clients. It is also the best way to reduce mistakes and compliance issues. Imagine, for example, that a prospect agrees to work with your firm. They come in, sign all the paperwork and leave.

What happens during the next three weeks? How many times do they hear from you or someone at your office? Do they receive a thank you card? A welcome kit? Access to their accounts online? How do you think they will feel if they don’t hear from someone for two or three weeks?

These are only a few questions to consider, but the duties related to effective client relationship management are extensive. The best thing you can do for your clients is implement a systematized way of communicating with them and addressing all their needs thoroughly.

Systematizing your practice will:
  • Improve the quality of your clients’ experience.
  • Make you more referable.
  • Help you hold your team accountable.
  • Make it easier to train new people.
  • Make your practice more salable.
  • Keep things from slipping through the cracks.
  • Free up your time by letting others do more of the work for you.

Do it for yourself.
As an advisor, you should spend your time doing things you are uniquely qualified to do. Assume that your average annual GDC is $250,000 and that you work 40 hours each week. This makes your effective rate of pay $120 per hour. How many people do you know that get paid this kind of money to do paperwork? If you only spend one hour per day handling administrative duties, your “bill” for this would effectively be $31,200 for the year. If you hire an assistant for this wage, how much more work can he or she accomplish in eight hours a day? Your time should be spent doing things you can’t hire someone else to do for less money.