How Financial Advisors Can Excel In the Area of Practice Management

Posted: August 11, 2020

Hand holding pencil

Have you read something like the following roughly 1,237 times in the last few months?

“Financial advisors are under immense pressure, particularly with the paradigm shift of 2020. They must provide value to their clients AND differentiate themselves from other advisors.”

We too see plenty of pontification out there. Well-intentioned writers, podcasters, and vloggers are doing a great job of capturing WHAT challenges financial advisors face. But, they usually stop short of offering answers to, “HOW?”

In this blog, we’re filling the void and providing a map.

Creating Focus For Your Financial Advisory Practice

In our 10+ years of observing both best-in-class and average advisors, we’ve seen that top financial advisors seem more likely to embrace change, and we think they’re constantly seeking new ways to do their job more effectively. This was a point of emphasis in our whitepaper, “The Elite Advisor Playbook.”

If you’re an advisor who wants to improve efficiency and scale within your practice — maybe this was even highlighted as an area of opportunity for you in the “Are You An Elite Advisor?” quiz — you’re in the right place.

You and I both know that staying vigilant about constant, never-ending improvement is no easy task. And without a strategy, it’s nearly impossible.

To help with the strategy piece of the puzzle, we’re suggesting a model to help you — as well as your partners and senior leaders — get aligned around HOW to become or strengthen an advisory practice.

The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) is a set of simple concepts and practical tools that readily apply to a financial advisor practice. The model has helped thousands of entrepreneurs get what they want from their businesses, as outlined in the book “Traction” by Gino Wickman.

We partnered with our friend and coach Ray Reuter to hone the relevance of this model for financial advisors. Ray is a talented business coach, facilitator, and trainer with more than 20 years of experience — both independently and by launching his own practice, Kaizen.

Next Step: Take a Deeper Dive into EOS

To introduce EOS and its relevance for advisors, we held a webinar with Ray. The replay is available for download.

The webinar robustly defines EOS, demonstrates why we think it is an optimal model for advisors seeking to build or strengthen an elite practice, and details the model’s ability to:

  • Ensure everyone on your team is 100% on the same page about where you’re going and how you plan to get there
  • Instill focus, discipline, and accountability throughout the company so that everyone executes on the vision every day
  • Confirm your business has the right people in the right seats
  • Define key metrics for consistently monitoring the health of your practice
  • Provide a framework for your leadership team to identify, discuss, and solve questions, disagreements, and issues relevant to the business
  • Encourage the documentation and consistent following of high-impact processes necessary for effective business development, client relations, financial planning, investment/wealth management, and compliance operations
  • Gain traction for your practice by setting highly achievable quarterly priorities and establishing a consistent cadence for internal communications

Talking the Talk, Walking the Walk

Candidly, the Leadership Team at Blueprint Investment Partners can relate to how overwhelming it feels to start a journey down the path to building a better business. There’s an abundance of books, courses, and experts that all claim they can solve your problems.

We’re not saying they can’t. In fact, our bookshelves are well-stocked with titles that have helped us think in new ways about how to grow strategically, cultivate a team of experts, and enhance performance psychology. Yet, none of the resources we turned to in the past really stuck until we started working with Ray to implement EOS within our firm. Consistent with our message about how to achieve investing success, repeatability and discipline are also the keys to business success.

We had been employing lots of tactics, such as implementing technology to help us with marketing, systems to support trading, and other platforms for client management. But, they didn’t all “talk” to each other very well. More importantly, they were tools, not strategy. This reminds me of a quote in “The Art of War,” which says that strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. And, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

The model Ray introduced us to has helped us achieve better focus on the high-leverage, mission-critical activities of our business. We’re working on spending our time only on those things, while looking to outsource, partner, or leverage technology solutions for anything that falls out of bounds.

I don’t mean to make this about us, because it’s not. It’s about you and helping you take your practice from good to great. But, I thought it was worthwhile to show how, in this area, we’re eating our own cooking.

Creating Focus

We think becoming elite is difficult, staying there perhaps even more so. That’s what makes an operating system so vital, since it creates focus. We hope you will watch the webinar replay to see how it can help you.

As Al Ries said in his book “Focus,” mere sun tan lotion can neutralize the impact of billions of watts of energy being unleashed by the sun, but focus that light and you can cut through diamonds and steel.

Let's Talk

If you’d like to discuss the Entrepreneurial Operating System, “The Elite Advisor Playbook,” or how Blueprint can partner with advisors