Ironstone has the privilege to work with phenomenal advisory teams across the country.
Each and every day they motivate us with challenges, dreams, strength, and endurance. This inspired us to share success stories from teams we work with and how they implement practice management strategies and the results they have accomplished.
In this interview with Al Wheless, financial advisor at Resource Management Associates, we explore:
- Challenges Encountered
- Practice Management Steps
- Processes Successfully Implemented
- Results Achieved
Check out Al’s insightful thoughts on communication, training, procedures, meetings and more as he and Branch Manager Susanna Robinson work to strike the ideal balance of allocated resources to achieve peak client satisfaction.
What challenges were you experiencing prior to working with Ironstone?
The workload at our firm had increased significantly due to our growing business. Coupled with that growth was a significant strain on the principle, Susanna, in that clients called on her for all aspects of their financial life. Lastly, internally our structure was fractured; communication was low, staff was not cross-trained, moral was low due to high levels of stress. No one was sure if the client’s needs were being met.
What practice management steps is your firm taking to improve your practice?
The first step to improve our practice was to hire an outside consultant, Ironstone. The commitment we made to bring Ironstone on board was the impetus for our positive change. It allowed us to put concrete processes in place that we trusted would have an impact.
We all agreed to spend the time and energy required to follow the recommendations, just as we ask our clients to do. It was a relief at the onset knowing that our problem was in someone else’s hands.
What was successfully implemented via your efforts with Ironstone?
Communication, cross-training and procedures have been our biggest successes. Opening up lines of communications, both in the discovery phase of the process and during the implementation phase has been critical.
Open dialogue amongst our team allowed us to discover dozens of tasks that were being performed by the wrong person and subsequently reassign those tasks more appropriately.
Daily meetings, called pow-wows, have allowed much less interruption of work flows throughout the day and much more efficient use of time throughout the work day.
How has the time invested to create processes and systems for your firm been beneficial (internally and for clients)?
In the past 11 months, the time that we have spent with Ironstone has already paid us back through the efficiency of our practice.
This return on time (ROT is not a good acronym, hah!) not only allows for better morale within the office but, more importantly, has created a better environment for our clients. They better understand the team approach which requires less of Susanna’s valuable time.
Client’s also have a better service experience since the procedures that we have in place are allowing for more efficient follow up.
What results have you experienced from your relationship with Ironstone?
Our results are clear: we have a more efficient practice. Are we there yet? No. But, with the practices that Ironstone helped us develop and the commitment to success, we are getting closer every month.
- We are getting client reviews out on a much more regular basis.
- We have better notes on our client meetings which allows us to make better recommendations to them.
- We have a better understanding of the clients throughout our staff which allows us to help the clients without them always having to talk to Susanna.
- We have better resources for getting and disseminating information between team members.
- We have a much more cross trained staff which allows us to continue operations as usual when Susanna or other team members are unavailable.
If an Advisor was thinking about working with Ironstone, what would you want them to know?
Take the plunge. It will be worth it. But first, you must be willing to be the client. We are almost always the consultant, the one giving the advice. It’s what we do and what we love.
In this case, you must be willing to listen and follow the advice of others. Ironstone has seen it all. They understand what you are going through and chances are, they have a plan that you can follow to improve your situation. You must be humble enough to take advice.
There is no single right way to do this business but there are often better ways. Give it a try.
Ready to take the next step for your advisory firm and enjoy similar results that will you put you on the path to better practice management and profitability? Contact us for a free analysis of your financial advisory practice.