… And Have More Time to Enjoy Summer

If you had an extra hour each day, what would you do with it?

Whenever I ask this question, responses vary . . . kayaking, spending time with kids, reading, taking a bath, virtual happy hour with friends, and the list goes on.

Seldom, very seldom, do I hear “work more”!

It’s so easy for work to blend into life . . . especially when you are working remotely! Yet, when you work more efficiently, you can easily create an extra hour each day to do more of the things you love – and that make you YOU!

If you are feeling tense about how much time you are spending working and feel there has to be an easier way, but you aren’t sure what that way actually is, keep reading!

I reached out to five professionals in the financial services industry to find out the value of using automation to save time. And they have some great advice! As Sara Stanich, MBA, CFP®, CDFA™ and founder of Cultivating Wealth, tells me, “I learned a long time ago that my time is better spent with clients as much as possible.

But before we jump into what to automate, let’s talk about how to make automation easy using A.W.E., a three-part process for efficiency and ongoing success.

A – Awareness: Take a clear look at everything. What do you have your hands in? What does your staff have their hands in? Is there is a way to automate the process?

It’s also important during the Awareness Phase to have a clear objective.

  • What do you want the end product to look like?
  • What are you gaining by implementing?
  • What are you losing?

Remember, not everything that CAN be automated SHOULD be. “Sometimes you still want the human touch and delegating to a staff member may be better than completely automating,” suggested Arielle Minicozzi, founder of Sphinx Automation, CFP®, CSLP®.

W – Work: Decide what and how you want to implement. Can you implement the tech solutions yourself or do you need to reach out to a professional? The key to the work phase is to create a structure that makes it easy to get the result you want. Don’t leave it up to chance.

Daniel Wrenne, CFP®, owner of Wrenne Financial, states, “You want to figure out the process after you identify the issue – then build out the workflow.” Cameo Roberson, AAMS® and founder of Atlas Park Consulting and Finance, agrees. “Create the checklist first. A firm can then take that checklist and start to build in those workflows within your CRM so that you don’t have a paper checklist that you’re using. You can delegate or automate the steps from there.

Note: You can connect two or more apps with Zapier to automate repetitive tasks without coding or relying on developers to build the integrations.

E – Evaluation: Schedule time in your calendar to verify that automation solutions are working. Did you gain what you hoped to gain by implementing? Did any unintended consequences arise? Sometimes you can create automation and miss a piece in the process. When you evaluate the process from beginning to end, it’s easy to catch glitches.

Life is easier when you do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Take the time to identify what is working!

To get you started, here are a few tasks you can automate. This really is just the tip of the iceberg!

  • SchedulingArielle says, “I have a scheduling software program, so we don’t have to go back and forth 100 times to find a convenient time. Plus, clients get automatic reminders of what they need to do before we meet without my having to write that out and send it to them.”
  • Client OnboardingAngela Moore, MSPFP, CFP®, MPAS®, CRPC®, CFEI, of Modern Money Advisor, describes how automation simplifies client onboarding in her business:

Clients can sign up with us right online on our website. They don’t have to meet with us first. They don’t have to fill out any paperwork. They are automatically taken to an electronic client agreement that they sign. They’re given all of the disclosure documents and privacy documents, and then they’re taken through the setup process of setting up their online portal. They’re taken through a questionnaire to figure out what documents they need to get to us. By the time we meet, we have everything we need to get started talking about their budget and their numbers instead of spending an hour on administrative tasks.

  • Signing Documents – It is important to make it easy for clients to sign documents. “I love DocuSign,” says Sara.
  • Educating Clients – Another way to streamline the client experience is to provide some onboarding videos related to different services. Angela tells me, “Before they meet with us, they can watch a video on investing or estate planning or student loans. The videos educate. Then, when we meet with the client, we can advise.
  • Client Appreciation – After clients complete the onboarding forms, you can create automation using Zapier to generate a digital birthday card.
  • Employee Onboarding – One of the strategies many of my clients are utilizing as they grow their team is to use videos to streamline and standardize the employee onboarding process. Each new employee can learn about the vision, the expectations of the job, and the culture of the company through videos.
  • Social Media – Using social media scheduling software such as Buffer or Hootsuite allows you to schedule all your posts for the month at one time.

Using the A.W.E. process, you can easily identify some places in your business that are ripe for automation – and then create and implement a solution. Start with one area. Implement. Evaluate. Then add a second.

So, what will you do with your extra time this summer?

Wondering how to implement this process?

Your existing time management skills got you this far. But, your life is busier, and your business has grown. It is time to master the next level in productivity.

When you are ready to upgrade your skills, schedule an Action Call at www.ConnectWithLisa.com.