Producers who own their practice have the unique opportunity to increase its value and accelerate growth in order to form a sustainable business model and a legacy practice. Advisors in this position typically take one of two different approaches in their careers. Some operate their practice as though they are simply an employee rather than a business owner. On the other hand, an advisor with a business owner mentality can optimize their practice structure to increase their quality of life and efficiency in operating the business. Simple changes can transform a practice into a self-sustaining business that offers more freedom, flexibility and opportunity to the advisor. This model creates a valuable legacy practice that can be transferred to a successor or sold for top dollar prior to retirement.
Optimize your Business to Overcome Growth Challenges
Advisors with established practices typically reflect on their personal and professional growth when faced with challenges and barriers to success. They struggle to breakthrough production or performance plateaus, general workplace frustrations and inability to find work-life balance. These issues may indicate advisors are ready to take their practice to the next level and change their role within the organization. They can assume a new role as an owner/manager, rather than an employee, by optimizing their business and reframing both mindset and practice.
Advisors often wonder what will happen to the business if they step away or become less involved. This shift in mindset, in which the advisor desires to grow the business into an independent system indicates it is time to reposition and focus on how to monetize the business. Advisors need to learn to give up control in favor of working to influence, trust and empower others to carry out tasks. Release control over your business’ procedures through a shift in mindset and an evaluation of practices to create more value and gain more life balance as you transition to life after work.
Break Down Procedures to Release Control
The most effective, universal way to enact change in your practice is to break down its systems and processes. Review each specific task to examine its necessity. Unfortunately, many advisors spend valuable time on outdated or inefficient processes. Just because you always have done something doesn’t mean you must continue. Streamline your practices’ tasks and processes down to only those that are necessary, and then evaluate which team member will complete which task. Three main methods – delegation, automation, and outsourcing – form a solution that will allow you to release control of your business’ necessary functions and focus on your true value.
Delegate activities that you do not need to complete yourself. To ensure the transfer goes smoothly, take the time upfront to teach the employee the task. Train this person on the specific details, elements, and nuances related to their new responsibilities and trust them to fulfill the role. Prepare yourself to transfer ownership of the tasks you relegate to other team members. With more bandwidth and capacity, you will be able to take a step back and manage the business from a higher level perspective.
While delegation shifts an owner’s responsibilities to a management position, automation further streamlines workloads and only requires a monitoring role, which can also be delegated. Leverage new technology to streamline your employees’ efforts, save time and lower costs. For instance, I create videos of myself and send them by email instead of hiring someone to craft letters to be sent by mail.
Alternatively, another option to open up capacity for you and your staff is to outsource functions that can’t easily be automated. This method is recommended for low-value functions that can be accomplished by another source at a lower cost. Often times, practice owners will outsource unfamiliar product lines, such as long-term care, to another business or individual that can supplement their expertise and generate additional revenue. This strategy saves time and efforts by streamlining your role to a position of quality control, rather than production.
Leverage Your Unique Value Proposition to Stand Out in the Marketplace.
You may wonder what tasks are left to complete once you have delegated, automated and outsourced many of your business systems. Ensure you communicate your unique value proposition, which includes what your business can offer to clients, what it’s known for and how it differs from the services of your competitors. Your employees’ comprehension of the business value will help maintain its success long-term.
Provide unique perspectives and wisdom to influence your clients, as well as employees who will carry out your procedures, and motivate them to perform to your standards. While you may not personally complete each task in your process, your influence, management, trust, and leadership are vital to optimizing the value of your business. Once you are ready to move on, you can do so knowing your business, your clients and your legacy are in good hands.
Latest posts by Steven A. Plewes, CLU, ChFC, CPC (see all)
- MDRT Article – Creating a Self-Sustaining Practice - August 2, 2018