IFA Time Management and Outsourcing IT – What do you spend your time on?

For every business there comes a time when it needs to consider the benefit of outsourcing. Outsourcing your IT operations has many advantages, from the integration of the latest technology to overall cost savings for your company.

As a business owner, and an expert in your field, what happens if you’re just not that IT-savvy? Or you have some knowledge, but not enough to meet your business needs, and the technology world moves too rapidly for your own current know-how?

Or, crucially, it’s rather a matter of spending your time creating business growth and playing to your core strengths, and outsourcing your IT to an external company who specialises in this.

How do financial advisers manage time?

Top financial advisers block their time into three critical categories, based on a 50-hour work week (which is the time an elite financial adviser spends per week, according to research):

  • At least 50% of the time is spent in front of clients and prospects, or ideal prospecting activities (25 hours per week)
  • Time for growth (a top adviser business typically grows at a 17% rate annually, therefore the equivalent 17% of time per week should be spent on growth focus)
  • Block off calendar time for ideal client and prospect activity only, colour-code with time blocks

What is blocked off in your calendar this week? Take a look at ideal appointments with clients and prospects. Then look at how many non-ideal or transactional appointments you have? See the problem? We give too much time to the wrong type of clients consistently. Time to change that. Non-ideal clients and prospects will have to wait longer to see you. Make it a habit to review every Monday morning, to ensure a productive week.”

It is said that the above three things are one of the key differences between an average adviser and an elite adviser – how time is managed.

One study indicates that financial advisers spend up to 41% of their time on administrative and office management tasks. That’s an estimated 2 hours per day spent on tasks that aren’t generating new income for the business.

Another study shows the difference in time spent per day between an average and an elite financial adviser:

From these studies with varying percentages of time spent, one thing in common is – you can see that the time a top adviser spends on administration and back office systems is less than an average adviser.

This is where a choice can be made by the adviser’s company that their optimum use of time should be spent on clients and prospecting; and effective use of resource is gained when outsourcing critical business support such as Information Technology to experts.

Do you have a Managed Services Provider yet for your IT?

“The message is clear, the best advisers spend more time on servicing ideal clients and prospects BECAUSE they have clarity and invested the time and energy to put their processes in place; and to outsource the areas of business that take them away from their core specialism.”

There are 5 simple ways to reduce administration time for financial advisers, according to an industry expert:

Challenge your processes

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

Challenging your current processes, and refusing to simply accept the status quo, is a great way to reduce admin time.

Would time with a systems consultant help you in this process?

 Make a list – then hire someone to tackle it

When a partner worth hundreds of pounds an hour fills in admin forms; or hunts for old files; or makes a photocopy; or carries out any task that a £12 an hour admin person could fulfill, this is counterintuitive for the health of the business.

Stop relying on paper

Two-thirds of businesses waste £2000 per employee every year due to an over-reliance on paper, according to WorkMobile. 60% of employees print out physical documents multiple times a week – and the manpower to print and store these files really adds up: business owners themselves spend 120 working days a year on admin tasks.

Have you moved your business structure and admin to cloud computing yet?

Reduce admin work when seeing clients

Traditionally, paper files and forms were the order of the day. Now it is a matter of storing them in a digital document storage system that connects intelligently to your CRM and back office. Also, with a client portal, your customer is able to access their information 24/7 from anywhere.

Do you still use Adviser Office and want to move to the cloud? More on IFA Remote Hosting here

Invest in IT and systems designed for financial advisors

From document storage systems, cloud-based filing, file sharing, or a system to talk to your CRM, that takes GDPR and other industry regulations’ compliance into account, back up and recovery, and to reduce overall admin time with the convenience of access anywhere, anytime.

Need any help with your set up?

When is the right time to outsource business tasks, and your business IT?

“Being a small business owner at first generally means wearing many hats. It may be a badge of honour to some people. Refusing to hire outside professionals can be a control issue. Or it may be a cost-control measure. In reality, it’s a sign of inefficiency and potential trouble. After all, one person can only do so many things.

Taking on too much responsibility can lead to:

  • losing focus
  • getting sloppy
  • foregoing sleep
  • losing track of time
  • being disorganised

Trying to do everything can lead to accomplishing nothing, and it comes to a time when outsourcing is more time and cost-effective.”

“The key to running a business successfully is to put all of your effort into what you do best and outsource everything else to maximise the earnings potential of your business.

There are several areas of business operation that entrepreneurs erroneously tend to do themselves.

Not only would you be wasting your time, but the odds are good that an outside person who does those things for a living would be able to do them significantly better and more efficiently than you could.”

The benefits of outsourcing relieves the burden of inhouse administration time and costs, and allows financial advisers to focus on value-added activities to do what they do best.

 “Advisers who outsource essentially buy back time they can use to do what they do best. For some, that’s working with clients and finding new ones — the majority say they wish they could spend their time with clients/growing their businesses. Similarly, some advisers want to spend that time on activities with greater value to the client, like financial planning, tax and estate planning, and even behavioural coaching – setting expectations and keeping clients focused on their goals, especially during times of market volatility.

In addition to these benefits, outsourcing enables advisers to more easily comply with regulations, enhance the credibility of the firm’s investment services, and institutionalise its practices.”

  • A good time to turn to outsourcing is when you understand the economics of your business (the costs of keeping IT internal versus outsourcing) – bearing in mind that it’s also never too early to start, especially with all the cloud hosting options available to get you ahead in a short matter of time.
  • A good time to outsource is when it’s not your core competency.
  • A good time to outsource is when it frees up time to focus on building your product offerings.
  • A good time to outsource is when you have a trusted screening programme and you know how to vet those who will have contact with your tech.
  • A good time to outsource is when you want to scale your business, and leverage technology to achieve this
  • A good time to outsource is when IT becomes inundated with increasing system complexity and a shortage of skilled IT pros
  • And a good time to outsource is when the desire to stay competitive drives companies to find new ways to optimise technology and new ways of doing things that will result in higher productivity, efficiencies, and profit for the business

Would you like to chat through your options with one of our experts? Email us – [email protected]