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Advisors Who Do More With Less

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Those of you who saw Dean Holmes of Absolute Wealth speak at XY Adviser last year will already know his story.

I met Dean a few years ago and remember very clearly him sharing his plan to move to London whilst continuing to run his Sydney-based advice firm.

Two years on and the experiment is not only a success, but has actually improved his firm.

Yesterday, whilst enjoying a beer overlooking the surf off North Bondi, another two Aussie advisers shared with me their plan to head to the US for the ski season and run their advice firms remotely.

They’re not alone. The era of the Digital Nomad, first championed by Tim Ferriss in 2007, is fast presenting itself to advisory firms large and small.

I also work with a client who lives abroad, has former Aussie-based staff who also now live abroad and a remote working strategy for all staff that is making the need for an expensive office less and less obvious.

If you’re one of those advisers starting to take more of an interest in the idea of greater freedom in how and where you work, but you don’t want to see the value your business delivers diluted, the good news is this.

Making it happen could easily make your business better.

I was recently chatting with a coach I know who told a similar story. He was working long hours, taking phone calls at night and weekends. His wife was not a happy woman. So he stopped. Got his plan together and decided to work office hours only.

His business doubled.

So, he went again. No client meetings except Tuesday to Thursday.

His business doubled again.

Again he went. Client meetings from 10am to 2pm Tuesday to Thursday.

You guessed it. Business shot up again.

The lesson is this. The act of designing the business you want will usually also get you the better outcomes you want too.

Here’s six strategies to kick you off:

  1. Start mapping processes in your business using screen capture video, not written instructions. If you absolutely have to design process maps, whiteboard before going digital. Even better, come along to my webinar on Thursday and I’ll show you a way to get other people to map them out for you.
  2. When you start to have enough of the “secret sauce” in your business out of your head, you’re ready to start outsourcing the tasks you really shouldn’t be doing in house. The most amazing freelance economy is at your fingertips. Use it.
  3. Commit to an operating rhythm. Managing remote staff requires regular, consistent communication. Book a daily 5-10 min check in and a longer debrief at the end of the day.
  4. Scrap email. It’s the worst way to communicate at length with staff. I use an audio app on my phone instead and can tell you how much more productive it’s made me.
  5. Get comfortable with online meetings and get a decent setup. I use Zoom over Skype, but whether you choose that that, GoTo or SuiteBox isn’t the important part. Getting the right mic, camera, setting and being adept at using them is.
  6. Pre-book your calendar for the year. Start with your holidays and work backwards, including the days you’ll see clients and the days you won’t. If you’re someone who likes structure, you’re going to love the afterglow of this one. This is classic Big Rocks strategy at work.
     

That’s just 6 strategies to kick you off. 

Running an advice firm hasn’t become any easier over the past years, but as you can see there are plenty of people who have managed to reverse the trend. The key question is how long you keep plugging away before you take notice of how they’re doing it.

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