Best Practice Processes - Why?

Our Industry is going through a lot of change (again!), a bit of chaos and somewhat of an overhaul #obvious.  Add COVID-19 into the mix and its understandably really tough times for many of us.  Maybe setting up processes for your businesss is at the top of your To-do List, maybe it's been in the back of your mind, or maybe it's not even made the cut.  Wherever it is in your life, it is time to get your processes documented and automated and review your existing workflows. Here's why:

1. You just have to    

Processes are no longer nice to have, they are pretty much essential to everything.  COVID-19 got you working from home?   Is it business as usual for you and your team or has it been chaotic getting online and working efficiently?  Have your clients embraced a new way of meeting online? For those who have invested and put the effort into technology, and who have automated their processes, the transition has been straightforward but for those who haven’t, working life has been quite stressful. 

There are plenty of other reasons that having processes and using technology to run them makes sense.  Want to sell your practice?  Can I see your advice process?  Where are your file notes? What did you do with this client?  What services have you provided over the past 12 months?  How have you interacted with them?  How did you add value for the fees you charged?  Got nothing?  Sell to me at a heavily discounted rate because I'm going to have to do a lot to get things in order around here.  If you're looking at purchasing a business or merging, the same applies.  You need to show that you have a very good grasp on what's going on in your practice.  Documenting and automating your processes will absolutely help you with this.

2. Compliance

Nobody should dread an audit either by the Regulator or by an Independent Specialist.  In fact, you should look forward to audits because if you are documenting and automating well, they can really only add value to you and your clients, and to the professionalism of our industry.  Using workflows will document your client interactions and demonstrate that you are following a clearly defined advice process. They help with tracking your FoFA Obligations, the Services you're providing and how you are implementing your advice recommendations (to name a few).

3. Happy Wife (or Staff), Happy Life

Automating your processes via your technology is an awesome way to help your staff enjoy working with you. Why? Because they know what they have to do, they can work within a well-defined construct, they can time their tasks and you can see how much they've been doing for your clients.  If you’re outsourcing your Administration or Paraplanning, utilising technology to run your processes makes even more sense.  You will be able to provide clear instructions and have transparency throughout the piece of work your outsourcer is doing for you and your practice.

4. Work/Life Balance

Groan... What even is that when you don't know what's going on and you're stressing over tasks that may have fallen through the cracks.  A well thought out process, built and automated appropriately is really going to help you here.  And the added advantage is that you CAN go away on holidays or hang out with your kids-dog-cats-hubby-girlfriend-partner knowing that those tasks are being ticked off the list.

5. Client Trust & Satisfaction 

Figuring out what it is you do with your clients, and how you should be interacting with them can only benefit and grow the trust they have in you. Being reminded to follow-up your clients up when the markets are volatile, letting them know a legislative change has taken place that may affect them or delivering ever important information about how they can get assistance with COVID-19, will show them you're the expert when it comes to their Financial Wellbeing.  For those already embracing technology, templated emails and a solution that helps you contact clients in bulk either via SMS, Email or through a Client Portal has really helped keep communication regular and consistent.  Also, keeping clients informed throughout an Insurance Claim, or the Application process also brings a lot of comfort and trust - they will not doubt that you're working hard for them.  All you need to do is to take some time to put some templated emails together to manage a defined communication process.

I could go on and on but the practices I work with that have a solid process in place enjoy all the above benefits.  You'll need time of course to sit down, get it out on the whiteboard and to build it but we promise it will be worth it.  

If you’d like some help getting started, we have plenty of templates that will help you to get the ball rolling.  Take care out there and stay safe and healthy!

Author: Danni Le Grande, Financial Services Consultant

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