As an adviser and a business owner, automation is one of the best ways for you to streamline your work and create a scalable practice. Automation can take a significant weight off your shoulders by:
- Saving time
- Helping with quality control
- Reducing the stress that comes with figuring out what’s next
- Setting expectations for your client services
- Providing clarity to you and your team
- Increasing productivity
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy for advisers to start automating their businesses—there are so many automation options out there, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed or not follow through. That’s why I’ve put together this guide that outlines how to get started and find automation success.
What Should You Automate in Your Business?
Are you wondering what to automate in your business? You can comfortably automate many different elements of your business, and it can be tough to decide where to start. I recommend that you kick off your automation journey in two key categories of your work:
It’s easiest to start your automation process here, then expand later on to automating specific elements of your business—like marketing, admin and more.
Leverage Your CRM
When you’re building out your workflows in your CRM, there are a few questions to think about:
- What is the goal of each workflow? For example, a prospect’s workflow goal is to walk them through the sales process and ultimately convert them to a new client.
- What are the steps you take in each workflow from start to finish?
- How can you identify the additional resources needed to complete each step? (Think: email templates, meeting agendas, financial plan templates, data gathering resources)
- Which team member will take ownership of each step in a workflow?
- What is your timeline for each workflow?
- Remember, every time you launch a workflow, you aren’t only getting a repeatable checklist, but a timeline on when to complete each step.
Integrate Your Tech Stack
Your next step is to analyze integrations that are available to your firm from each tech vendor on your list. When you integrate your tech, you’re finding ways for different systems to “talk” to each other and streamline your processes. One of your biggest tech integration tools is going to be Zapier. Zapier is an integration device that helps different systems “talk” to each other, when they otherwise wouldn’t.
Most common zaps to set up in Zapier are:
- Calendly (Meeting Scheduled) -> Wealthbox (Find or Create Contact) / (New Event)
- Precise FP (New Client/Prospect) -> Redtail (Create New Opportunity)
- Precise FP (New Engagement Complete -> Wealthbox (Start Workflow)
Look for overlap in features for each tech vendor. When you start to see different systems that overlap or consistently perform the same roles in your workflows, you can start to cut costs.
Your next step is to find the gaps in your current tech stack. Are there activities being done manually by your team that a tech solution could automate?
Remember, before you start looking for new tech to meet an integration gap, be sure to think about the impact it makes on your client experience and what makes sense for your team.
Monitor and Adjust
After you complete the steps above, it’s time to walk through your new automated processes! I typically recommend either walking through your processes as you onboard new clients, or taking the time to walk through them without a client with your whole team to make sure everyone is up to speed.
Once you’ve walked through your processes, you’re ready to start implementing in your day-to-day. However, no process is ever truly “complete.” Make sure to set up a time to do regular process audits—either annually or semiannually. During these audits, you can determine what’s working, what’s not, and how you can continue to elevate your client experience.
Charesse Hagan helps financial planners work smarter, grow their firms and offer exceptional services to their clients. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and is an operations consultant at Charesse J. Hagan, LLC, and an FPA Coaches Corner coach for technology and operations. Find more resources from Hagan here.