Effective delegation is a significant and often difficult goal for almost any business. This is especially true for individual financial advisors who do not have the staff to assign tasks. Still, it can be challenging for large companies – from group practices comprising only a few consultants and support staff to large companies or consulting firms with a regional or national presence. No matter the size of a business, hiring staff is considered the first step when the consulting firm faces growth challenges, yet there may be no budget space for full- or part-time employees. Furthermore, at least in the early stages of the growth barrier, the financial advisor may feel stressed due to the workload and may need to assign tasks, but there may not be enough work to support the employment.
Fortunately, virtual assistants can help with the main administrative tasks that allow the consultant to spend more time with the client and what they do best without the additional complication of hiring staff or against the costs of hiring a full-time staff. In addition, in an age where it is possible to work with an internet connection from anywhere, a virtual assistant can help individual professionals overcome growth barriers or help large companies achieve headcount for specific tasks without living in the same geographical area. As virtual assistants become increasingly popular in the financial services industry, here are the top five tasks you should consider outsourcing as a consultant or proprietor.
Front desk support/prospect management
The consulting firm has simple responsibilities typically required of a traditional secretary or front desk staff. It starts with checking incoming calls and inquiring about potential customers, which a virtual receptionist or answering service can handle. Instead of interrupting or potentially missing incoming calls, a virtual receptionist service can ensure that all calls are answered directly by the agent, even after business hours, and sent or received to the appropriate clerk. Some outsourced experts may perform additional functions for you, such as determining if a potential customer is right for your company, scheduling meetings with clients, and adding contacts and notes to your CRM software.
Client account maintenance and back-office support
A new client needs a few minutes to sign their investment advisory agreement; however, most financial advisors know it can take weeks or months to open an account and facilitate account transfers. Setting up account apps and handing out related documents to a virtual assistant can save time with the right process. This is an area where you have to pay to work with a virtual assistant with knowledge of your industry. Better yet, an expert who works with financial advisors and has experience working with your customers. After reviewing and submitting the paperwork, the virtual assistant can track a new account status, transfer, or account maintenance request and follow up with you to ensure things stay on track.
Process and create a workflow
When consulting firms of all sizes struggle to document how they do the work effectively and organize it to understand current and future employees, virtual assistants come in handy to comprehend the whole system. Creating procedures is also a project that most consulting firms delay completing until they are fully compelled to, which usually (and incompletely) occurs when hiring employees or making mistakes. Virtual assistants are uniquely positioned to handle processes and create workflows, as they can view your organization independently and provide honest feedback. Furthermore, the more tasks you outsource to the virtual assistants, the more they will be able to directly document their work, suggesting improvements to make them and your work more efficient. This is another area where working with knowledgeable industry assistants help, as they can get experience from other companies to help you improve your business.
Financial advisors love to work with numbers; managing their books can be difficult for some. For others, staying on top of their accounts may seem like a chore they can’t wait to outsource. You will be fortunate if the assistant is an accountant or provides external bookkeeping solutions for financial advisors. An expert virtual assistant will probably handle management accounting tasks more efficiently than a consultant and possibly more efficiently than dedicated bookkeeping staff. In addition, getting support from a virtual assistant familiar with your accounting software provider is not difficult, as most consulting firms work on popular accounting software tools. Having expertise working with companies using the same software, many of them will be more familiar with accounting software tools than you or your employees.
Marketing / Social Media Management
Maintaining an engaged online audience is a daunting task for any business and can be daunting for many. Furthermore, creating unique content is an in-depth process, and most consultants struggle to find the time to do it regularly. Virtual assistants or external marketing services can help consultants create unique content for their blog, website, or another channel. Consultants can act as responsible partners while sticking to a regular content calendar. They can also take over the consulting company’s social media management by scheduling posts and sharing them with the company’s online community. This can help consultants who know they need a long-term marketing strategy but don’t feel they have the time or motivation to create or commit to one. In addition, consultants who are not marketing gurus can make the best impression on potential clients based on the skills of virtual marketing consultants.
Ultimately, financial advisors will find that their business will benefit from using more than one virtual assistant, who is expected to handle everything from bookkeeping to account opening. This should be accepted, as it allows each assistant to focus only on the tasks they perform best, providing maximum value for your business. For the growing popularity of virtual assistants in the financial advisory community and the fact that almost all day-to-day work can be done in a consulting firm, there are many advisory-focused service provider; such as Perfect Virtual Team to choose from and many tasks to be outsourced.