Are you wondering why I didn’t call this article Practice Management Essentials? Well, a couple of reasons: 1) you should be running your practice with the same structure as if you were CEO of a small to medium size business and 2) as a retirement plan specialist, you shouldn’t be “practicing” anything – you should have this retirement plan stuff down pat!
All kidding aside, regardless of which theory for organizational structure you subscribe to: People/Process/Technology or Tasks/People/Structure/Technology the goal is to establish a good foundation so you can drive client satisfaction, risk management, revenue growth and more. The end goal should be to make your business efficient, repeatable and scalable so that you and your team can do more with less.
Let’s talk about some of the high-level components that can turn that dream into a reality:
Data when used properly is knowledge, and knowledge is power, so having access to your data seems like a no brainer. If someone asked you what your AUM was could you tell them instantly and accurately? Do you know your total assets at the recordkeeper and fund levels? If you aren’t getting a regular feed of your plan data that includes fees, investments, plan design, and participant success metrics, you should be. This data is critical to managing and growing your business effectively.
Are you and your team entering everything you do into a system that tracks activity? What value does that provide to your practice and your clients? Are you implementing best practices? In order to build a business that is efficient, repeatable and scalable you need to implement a structure where the standard workflow for each client is created automatically, custom workflows are created efficiently, and the work that you and your team do is easily reportable as a “value” item back to your clients. Likewise, having a standard workflow for prospects will make the process of converting them to clients more efficient. Building and utilizing these workflows will help you manage the resourcing of your business and ultimately drive greater profitability.
The typical retirement plan advisor utilizes most of the following tools: email, CRM, investment analytics, RFI/RFP, documentation system, financial wellness and more… That seems like an overwhelming amount of log-ins and places to go to get the data and tools you need to run your business. If you were the CEO of another business, you would have all of the data and tools you need to run your business at your fingertips.
In theory, you could purchase a single solution that provides all the tools and data support but, do you really want to put all of your eggs in a single basket? Can one firm really provide all of the best in class tools that you need? What if you switch firms – what then?? What if instead you have access to an open architecture platform that aggregates all of your data, accommodates the best in breed tools/services you select, enables you to build workflows and is portable if you transition your business?
When you have accurate data, develop a repeatable client workflow and have the ability to scale efficiently, you will see your business from a different perspective because you’re no longer practicing, rather you are the CEO guiding your business towards greater success.
To learn more about how to run your practice like an efficient, repeatable and scalable business click here to access webinar registrations for FBi’s new Business Management Dashboard.
FBi Tools Can Help | Tool Suite
FBi offers a Value and Fee Benchmarking Report with FEEPOINT® calculation that will proactively address fees to limit litigation liability. Especially since it costs more to lose business than to reprice business. Additionally, it allows advisors to see all of their plans at a 30,000-foot level. From there, advisors can evaluate which plans are at most risk of being undercharged, overcharged, or under-serviced. This aids in saving those plans at risk and preserving revenue stream. In addition, it’s important to take good notes and to build a fiduciary file. FBi has a complimentary Fiduciary File Checklist for advisors to use.
About Fiduciary Benchmarks
Fiduciary Benchmarks was founded in October 2007. We knew the industry needed an independent, comprehensive and informative benchmarking service that would help Service Providers and the Plan Sponsors they serve fulfill their duties under ERISA regardless of plan size. We do this while making sure that the Service Providers, the Plan Sponsor and the plan participants all benefit from a determination of fee reasonableness. This means that the quality of the provider, the cost drivers and the value factors associated with supporting the plan should all logically be evaluated against the fees that are being paid.
Fiduciary Benchmarks clients include the industry’s largest and most respected Recordkeepers, Third Party Administrators, Broker/Dealers, Investment Managers and Advisor/Consultants. These firms trust Fiduciary Benchmarks because they know that all of our services:
• Use data that has integrity
• Employ a method that is fair and independent
• Provide output that is simple, transparent and practical
Our mission statement best states what drives our company: We are an independent and innovative provider of actionable intelligence to the retirement industry that’s right.
Craig Rosenthal Senior Vice President, Advisor Sales & Service
Craig is responsible for sales, service, product development and partnerships with the Advisor/Consultant, Broker/Dealer, and DCIO channels.