How much of your working day do you waste?
Recent research published in The Independent revealed that employees spend more than two hours every day on ‘pointless’ tasks such as admin and paperwork. This equates to 76 working days across a 48-week year.
Of course, the time you spend getting bogged down in these jobs is time you’re not speaking to clients, not generating new business, and not invoicing.
If you think that you’re wasting too much time, we have some suggestions for you. Here are seven pieces of software that will revolutionise your working day.
1. Video calling
Simple video calling software lets you hold online meetings or webinars. You can run meetings on a one-to-one or group basis, and the software allows you to share audio, video and your computer screen. You can also record calls, giving you a useful record of what was discussed which helps from a compliance perspective.
Video calling means you don’t have to travel to all meetings as you can get through as much in a video call as you can at a face-to-face meeting. The planners we speak to say that many of their clients are happy to use this software rather than meet in person. So, for example, you could use it for client review meetings when your client doesn’t live locally.
Applications such as Zoom have superb quality video and audio, and you can share documents to chat through with your client.
2. Time tracking
At a time when regulatory fees and insurance costs for financial planners are rising, it’s important to know that your charging structure is robust.
So, sometimes, you need to know how long tasks take and how much time you’re spending on certain jobs or clients.
Using time tracking software allows you to add clients and projects and track the time you spend on these tasks. It can either be done in real-time, or you can manually enter how much time you have spent.
By doing this you can generate useful management information to establish whether the fees you are charging are accurate. You may find you’re spending a lot more time on a client than you think!
Understanding how long each element of the planning process (producing the financial plan, implementing the recommendations and then ongoing service) takes you and your team can help you to build a profitable pricing model.
There are lots of systems available, including Toggl and Clockify.
3. A bulk email system
If you’re planning to send out email communications such as newsletters, a bulk email system is essential.
Not only does it allow you to automate campaigns, but it also allows you to test multiple variables of your newsletters, providing you with management information showing what works.
Some systems also offer a ‘resend’ facility where it sends your communication again, a few days after the original, but only to people who didn’t open the first email.
It’s a good way of sending regular newsletters to clients of professional contacts, and to track the results to see what is working for you.
Services such as MailChimp and Dotdigital are popular.
4. A task manager
Recent Independent research found that 55% of people are completely aware of the fact much of their working day is taken up with essential tasks, chores and admin which isn’t part of their job role. It also found that 50% of people felt they often duplicate their efforts due to a lack of coordination between systems and departments.
So, being organised and having a clear list of your outstanding tasks can help you to use your time more effectively. Task managers let you manage your to-do list online or via an app, and you can add and group tasks and deadlines together by project or priority.
There are lots of these apps available, and Todoist is one of the most popular.
5. A customer relationship management (CRM) system
A CRM system helps you to nurture potential clients, identify possible conversion rate issues and provide you with data to improve your business.
You might wonder why you need a CRM in addition to your back-office system. Well, most traditional back-office systems are compliance and not sales-focused, meaning that they don’t have the pipeline monitoring functionality necessary to improve conversion rates.
Using a CRM to track clients from initial enquiry to conversions encourages you to take follow-up actions. If you are a larger firm, then your CRM system helps you to keep track of your team and their actions.
You’ll get up-to-date, real-time data about how enquiries are progressing within your sales funnel. It can also reassure you that you’re receiving enough new enquiries and that these prospects are being converted. Conversely, it can be an early warning system that enquiry numbers are falling, prompting you to take steps.
There is a huge choice of CRM systems available. Popular choices include HubSpot, Salesforce and Pipedrive.
6. A client and compliance management system
A recent study by NextWealth and Fidelity Funds Network found 80% of financial advisers place compliance ahead of increasing business efficiency, improving technology and recruiting staff on their list of main problems.
The study also found that 32% of advisers cite back office administration as their primary business challenge.
Keeping on top of your compliance can be time-consuming. So, why not get a piece of software to help?
Compliance management systems offer benefits such as:
- Keeping you compliant with MiFID II
- Allowing you to update your records on-the-go in real-time
- Managing client communications, regular servicing and annual assessments
- Managing and recording CPD
- Generating reports evidencing compliance
Apps such as Trailblazer Tracking are secure and easy to use, can ensure you remain compliant, and help you to effectively advise clients. Want to know more? Get in touch. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our contact form.
7. Survey software
There are lots of excellent reasons to run a one-off or regular client survey. These include:
- Helping you to understand what you are doing right, what you are doing wrong, and where you can improve
- Building your social proof (the thoughts and words of others to demonstrate the value you add)
- Collecting testimonials and getting permission for them to be used
- Understanding your clients’ attitude to referring you on to others
Software such as Survey Monkey let you create your own surveys, allowing you to mix multiple choice with ‘free type’ answers to get feedback on your business.
You can then publish the results on your website to demonstrate client satisfaction and, where appropriate, use feedback to improve the products and services you offer.