Blog and Case Studies

Improve the Client and Staff Experience with Time Blocking and a Scheduling System

It’s time for you to introduce this idea to your business. You and your staff will love the time blocking that makes your day more sane and predictable. Your prospects, CIOs, and clients will also love the 24/7 accessibility to you.

Staffing: Attracting the Right People to the Right Roles

You put processes and technology to work to reduce human labor on time-consuming and unnecessary tasks, so now is the perfect time to reassess the remaining workload and redefine your team’s organizational structure.

The benefits of automating your processes (with a few tech tips)

Has it been years since you last took a fresh look at your business processes? Efficient business processes are critical to the successful management of every financial advisory business. 

Lining up your Ducks – Get your business in good order

A week or so ago, I asked readers of Inside Information to help me compile a checklist of the basic information that would need to be passed on to a successor of your business. As you’ll see below, I’ve compiled the outlines of a checklist from more than 100 messages that I received, many of them offering a piece of the overall puzzle.

How our Boost Call moves your business forward

Our Boost Call is for businesses that need a second opinion and practical, specific ideas to move the business forward. The topics can range from client segmentation and servicing, business modeling, staffing, specific outsourced providers, technology, processes and more.

Gut check and how Women can learn from Men

I believe women have more digestive issues than men because we don’t trust our gut. After 20 years in a male-dominated industry (financial services), I watch…

Which comes first – Improving processes, Recalibrating staff, or Implementing technology?

Most advisory firms can tell a story of poor tech adoption, failed attempts to improve a process, or staff management issues. We can tell a different, happier story and share the secret sauce (that isn’t really a secret).

The crucial process that no one is building – How to Off Board a Client

We can talk about great efficient processes until we are blue in the face. However, the most important process that growing firms need is the  client off-boarding process. So how do you create this process and what does it take?

Diamond Team and what you are forgetting

The Diamond Team concept, created by Herbers, is a great piece of the overall staffing pie. However, advisor owners are ignoring the “Advisory Department” blue box and the need for C Level roles and responsibilities. If you want to develop Diamond Teams, here are 3 steps to follow:

DIY tips to improving your processes

Process improvements produce permanent solutions, capacity among staff, and a better client experience. The most difficult part of improving is getting started so here are a few tips to make it easier:

Question Bursting and how to implement this great method to solving business problems

Businesses naturally resort to quick business pain-killers and forget to ask the right questions. However, the right questions lead us to permanent, impactful solutions. Rushing to answers is like

Learn how to become a Professional Buyer of Advisory Businesses

Per PFI, numerous industry studies point to record levels of deal making in 2018. The volume of deals is expected to increase dramatically as many advisors want “out” of operational responsibilities and back office management. However,

Performance reporting is dead… a repeat of my 2014 message

In April 2014, I sent this article below to 2 major magazines in our industry. Both were shocked, reviewed it thoroughly, confirmed the trend with other sources, and then said they couldn’t publish it.

The How-To for advisors on managing Alternative Investments and examples of expert, trusted solutions

Wirehouse branch managers drill into the minds of their advisors that the RIA channel is small, archaic, and does not support sophisticated alternative investment solutions.

Follow the money – knowing how your providers get paid

  I have been interviewed by thousands of advisors over the years. Not one firm has proactively asked us to explain ALL sources of our revenue. I thought it odd as we live in an industry that believes in full disclosure and transparency. We all know that providers are crucial to the success of our … read more

Penny-wise solutions to improving your client experience and business

The client experience is directly correlated to the growth and profitability of an advisory business. So it’s no surprise that businesses are spending valuable time and money trying to improve their client experience. Unfortunately most advisory businesses aren’t experiencing the results they expected. They were hoping the improved experience would attract more clients and reduce … read more

Stereotyping and why it matters this time

Joni of Commonwealth wrote that we should all drop the ageist stereotypes. I respectfully disagree with her advice to “drop and chill”. But before I go into my reasons and solutions to this problem, I have to admit that I had to look up the word “ageist”. It turns out that reading 140 character sound … read more

The difference between a business and practice – and not getting left behind

Many experts, such as Mark Tibergien, Forbes, FP Transitions’ Grau, have written about the difference between a practice and a business. Here are our list of differences from an operations point of view. COO’S TOP TEN DIFFERENCES: Practice is the repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain … read more

Coffee shops and how business owners allow them to waste time and money

We all search for the least chaotic place to work and think. However, your location could hurt your productivity. Here’s why…. When we do our ops strategy calls with our business owners, they expect us to hear everything they say. They also expect quick, smart answers and solutions to their business hurdles. We are not … read more

Providing the best experience for consumers and advisory firms

Pershing Panel on Integration being Key to Delivering Optimized, Digitized, Ultimate Experience Gartner’s Paul Sussman, Albridge’s Tony Johnson, NextCapital’s Rob Foregger, and I discussed and answered questions at Pershing’s Integration, Optimization, and Digitization panel. In hindsight, I believe most of the crowd got stuck on the word “integration”. They thought we were discussing basic data … read more

It’s Time for Kaizen! Infuse Lean Thinking into the Financial Planning Process

Kaizen (改善?): Japanese for “change for better“. (Wikipedia) I am a Black Belt. Not the Bruce Lee, or Tai Kwan Do kind, but the Lean Six Sigma type. If you’re confused, it’s probably because you haven’t yet heard of the practice of Lean Thinking. However, you probably experience some form of it almost daily. For … read more

Case Study: JGC helps a $337m RIA transition to new owners, modern systems and higher growth

This $337m RIA firm was at a major crossroad. They had 4 owners retiring and 4 younger staff becoming owners. Their lease was renewing and they had no document management system, older server-based CRM and Portfolio Management software, and no defined workflows and process.

Building Your Virtual COO: A quick solution to improving the Staff Experience

   I’m back with the next step in building out your virtual COO! We’ve found that functions, roles, and responsibilities are not being reviewed enough to find methods to eliminate work and burnout. We all know that your people represent your firm. If they aren’t well-utilized or are overworked, this can negatively impact the client and … read more

Case Study: JGC helps a firm attract $30 mil AUM and a higher valuation

A $280 million discretionary AUM Florida firm came to us with 5 support staff and 2 advisor owners. They had hit a wall on business development due to lack of capacity, tech and operational setbacks, and a more remote location that didn’t provide experienced candidates to hire. They custodied at TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, Jefferson National, and Schwab.

A constantly evolving list of Roll Up RIAs or Equity Partners to consider

  Here is our continuously updated list of firms that you can join, have as an equity partner, or be acquired by. We also are privately documenting the arrangements offered by each firm, which include differences such as: provide cash in return for equity position provide stock options in return for equity position provide slow … read more

A few worksheets to help improve your business profitability and operational excellence

We had a great time building out tech plans and identifying capacity gaps at T3 Tech Tools this year! The take away worksheets are shown below. As always, we are here to help if you would like help navigating as you strive for operational excellence. Click HERE to do a Boost Call to accelerate your research on … read more

What Is a Virtual COO?

I am very excited that we are about to kick off a new series about how to build your own virtual COO. The following posts will pick apart each of the operations of the business and we will talk about the tools, the people, and the integration of each. Today, we want to explain what … read more

Case Study: JGC pivots a $1.9 b firm from losing clients and profits to retaining and growing

This firm had 3 locations, 44 staff, $1.9 billion AUM, and they had just lost their largest client. The firm struggled with clarity on being an investment or planning-centric firm, reduced profitability, and lack of communication among staff and executives. They had also committed to implementing complex systems and processes without having project, process, and vendor management experience, an industry-bred COO, a culture open to change and accountability, and expertise in cloud-based technology.

Case Study: JGC helps $260m AUM business provide more valuable client experience with less work

Here are the problems to solve: no online client portal, new remote clients with no process to service effectively, frequent technology setbacks, staff overloaded, marketing non-existent, no effective processes in place, stagnant AUM and client growth, and ineffective IT, Admin staff and bookkeeper.

Case Study: JGC helps a firm attract $91mil AUM within 2 years and two experienced advisors

Here are the problems to solve: stunted revenue growth, undocumented processes not followed as specified, and failed to address the fact that two different types of clients existed and each should be serviced differently to provide appropriate quality service while maintaining profitability.

Creating Better Connectivity with Clients and your Audience

We live in the age of communication. And there are more ways to communicate today than ever before. “Did you get that email I sent? Or the text? Or the tweet?” There’s no doubt you have heard these statements more than once. Communicating has definitely gotten easier but that doesn’t guarantee what you’re saying is … read more

Case Study: JGC helps firm increase AUM by $31m in 5 months, save $20k+ on IT costs, and increase valuation

Here are the problems to solve: unable to expand the client base, u nable to attract hires at all levels, frequent technology setbacks, staff overloaded, and no ability to scale the business and ensure quality service due to lack of processes.

Case Study: JGC helps firm attract $20mil AUM and reduce expenses by $80,000

Here are the problems to solve: unable to attract advisors with books of business to join the firm, unable to attract operations staff to join the firm, unable to accommodate more advisors due to lack of space, difficulty increasing the wealth management business without increasing the size of the staff, no monitoring of projects and current staff workload, unable to market to new leads due to lack of time and website, and overwhelmed and disorganized.

Case Study: JGC helps firm attract $27mil AUM, 2 new staff and maintain owner’s 5 hour workday

Here are the problems to solve: no time to network for more business, unable to attract an advisor to join firm due to lack of processes and technology, and staff overloaded with work.

Case Study: Reduced expenses by $200,000, attracted experienced advisor, and improved compliance

Here are the problems to solve: staff not working at the highest skill level and overloaded with work, lack of time to attract and onboard new clients, unable to attract new advisors and open new locations, dilution of 3 office, regional brand due to lack of standard operating processes, and unable to monitor quality of client servicing.

Top 2 tech tools and solutions to lowering burnout and the workload

  Burnout of owners is happening all over the USA. Here are a few ideas to lower the workload and eliminate burnout. #1 We did a webinar with Chris Holman, Executive Coach and discussed signs and solutions to burnout. Check it out and look for the list of ideas!   #2. We LOVE appointment scheduling … read more

Case Study: JGC helps a $337m RIA transition to new owners, modern systems and higher growth

This $337m RIA firm was at a major crossroad. They had 4 owners retiring and 4 younger staff becoming owners. Their lease was renewing and they had no document management system, older server-based CRM and Portfolio Management software, and no defined workflows and process.

Case Study: JGC helps a firm attract $30 mil AUM and a higher valuation

A $280 million discretionary AUM Florida firm came to us with 5 support staff and 2 advisor owners. They had hit a wall on business development due to lack of capacity, tech and operational setbacks, and a more remote location that didn’t provide experienced candidates to hire. They custodied at TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, Jefferson National, and Schwab.

Case Study: JGC pivots a $1.9 b firm from losing clients and profits to retaining and growing

This firm had 3 locations, 44 staff, $1.9 billion AUM, and they had just lost their largest client. The firm struggled with clarity on being an investment or planning-centric firm, reduced profitability, and lack of communication among staff and executives. They had also committed to implementing complex systems and processes without having project, process, and vendor management experience, an industry-bred COO, a culture open to change and accountability, and expertise in cloud-based technology.

Case Study: JGC helps $260m AUM business provide more valuable client experience with less work

Here are the problems to solve: no online client portal, new remote clients with no process to service effectively, frequent technology setbacks, staff overloaded, marketing non-existent, no effective processes in place, stagnant AUM and client growth, and ineffective IT, Admin staff and bookkeeper.

Case Study: JGC helps a firm attract $91mil AUM within 2 years and two experienced advisors

Here are the problems to solve: stunted revenue growth, undocumented processes not followed as specified, and failed to address the fact that two different types of clients existed and each should be serviced differently to provide appropriate quality service while maintaining profitability.

Case Study: JGC helps firm increase AUM by $31m in 5 months, save $20k+ on IT costs, and increase valuation

Here are the problems to solve: unable to expand the client base, u nable to attract hires at all levels, frequent technology setbacks, staff overloaded, and no ability to scale the business and ensure quality service due to lack of processes.

Case Study: JGC helps firm attract $20mil AUM and reduce expenses by $80,000

Here are the problems to solve: unable to attract advisors with books of business to join the firm, unable to attract operations staff to join the firm, unable to accommodate more advisors due to lack of space, difficulty increasing the wealth management business without increasing the size of the staff, no monitoring of projects and current staff workload, unable to market to new leads due to lack of time and website, and overwhelmed and disorganized.

Case Study: JGC helps firm attract $27mil AUM, 2 new staff and maintain owner’s 5 hour workday

Here are the problems to solve: no time to network for more business, unable to attract an advisor to join firm due to lack of processes and technology, and staff overloaded with work.

Case Study: Reduced expenses by $200,000, attracted experienced advisor, and improved compliance

Here are the problems to solve: staff not working at the highest skill level and overloaded with work, lack of time to attract and onboard new clients, unable to attract new advisors and open new locations, dilution of 3 office, regional brand due to lack of standard operating processes, and unable to monitor quality of client servicing.

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