In the financial planning world, there are many different tech tools you can use to further your practice. In fact, there are so many different options available to you as an advisor that it can become difficult to use the right tools in an efficient way. It’s easy to become paralyzed in the decision making. You might end up using a wide variety of tech, and not actually accomplish any of the goals you had for your practice at the end of the day. On the other end of the spectrum, you may feel overwhelmed with the number of options you have, and avoid the process of selecting the right tech for your practice altogether.
Learning to optimize your technology can make or break your financial planning practice. Using the right tech to perform the right tasks can streamline your processes, make your work more efficient, and help you to scale. So, how can you get started creating an efficient tech strategy? Let’s dive in to a few key best practices to follow.
Use Multi-Purpose Tech
There are hundreds of tools out there that market themselves directly to financial advisors. While some of them are fantastic, others will create “tech clutter” that wastes valuable time and energy. For example, you might find a simple tool to help you manage client tasks. While this piece of tech is great in theory, it’s incredibly likely that your existing financial planning software already has task management capabilities that you’re underutilizing. Now, you’re jumping between two different systems to create a financial plan and manage client tasks. You’re also spending valuable resources on two different pieces of tech that could have been consolidated into one business expense.
Finding tech tools that can do double duty should always be a priority. For example, your financial planning software may have client task list functionalities that, while not as robust as other options, get the job done. They also often have some form of document management system to securely transfer financial information between you, your client, and your team. Wealthbox and Redtail are both prime examples of this. Both systems also offer integrations with other technology to simplify your processes. For example, Redtail seamlessly integrates with MailChimp, which has a free platform available for newsletters and email marketing.
Think In Terms of Client Experience
As you build out tech processes and best practices for your business, you always want to reframe decisions in terms of your client experience. You may find that it’s worth it to pay a little bit extra each month to ensure that your clients are well taken care of. What we typically recommend at New Heights Solutions is to find tech that does three key things:
- Provides a user-friendly interface for clients who will be using the software to upload files, pay invoices, view their financial information, etc.
- Simplifies the client experience. You don’t want your financial planning clients jumping through hoops to give you their information, or pay your invoices. The easier you can make these processes for them, the better.
- Makes it possible for you and your team to do efficient work on the back end of your practice to give your clients the best level of service possible.
If your tech can achieve these three things, you’re on the right track.
There’s no need to recreate the wheel when building your tech stack. Don’t be afraid to ask other advisors, or businesses who serve advisors, what tech seems to consistently work the best for them. How are they using technology in a way you hadn’t thought about before? What do their processes look like? How can you revise your own processes to reflect better, more efficient best practices?
Many advisors feel that their lack of tech-savvy is a point of embarrassment, and we completely disagree. Nobody ever made any progress by hiding their weaknesses. Instead, stretch outside of your comfort zone and be open to trying new things. Admitting that you don’t know what you don’t know can help motivate you to ask someone who does.
Find Someone Who Can Help You Build a Tech Stack
There are so many options available for advisors who are looking to build an optimized tech stack. The good news is that you don’t have to make all of these decisions in a vacuum. In fact, the easiest solution is often to find someone to help you put all of the puzzle pieces together in a way that fits your financial planning practice. Working with a service business who specializes in process efficiency can help you to maximize the technology you’re already paying for, and develop clear-cut processes that you can repeat again and again as your practice continues to grow.