The Advisory Career

Staff and Technology – The Perfect Pair

Hiring, training and development are key

by Julie Patterson

Ms. Patterson is the Director of Operations at Centinel Financial Group, LLC with offices in Needham Heights, Marshfield and Cape Cod. She can be reached at 781.446.5018 or [email protected].

 

“Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other.” – Bill Gates

Technology can play a role in your practice and either help you run your business, or make it feel as though you are in an all-terrain vehicle running over crater-sized potholes at every turn. The latter can cause frustration, angst, and be a major source of inefficiency (and lost revenue!) within your practice. How do you stay out of the ATV and opt for smooth sailing? Have someone you can rely on to be the tech guru in your business.

That may be easier said than done, but in this day and age, it’s imperative to hire based on strengths such as technology knowledge, or at a minimum a proven track record of the ability to learn it, understand it, and know how best to utilize it. The results can be unsurpassed – your clients and your sanity will thank you for it in the long run.

A successful “Practice Manager” can either be a stand-alone employee within your business, or be the lead administrator on your team. Regardless of how big or small your practice may be, set your sights on hiring, training and developing this key individual. This is a person who will be that proverbial “right-hand-man/woman” and provide what might be lacking in the everyday operations in the office. Depending on the size of your staff, the management of that staff should be delegated here. Beyond that, it becomes centered on technology – which system to use, for what, and when? These are all questions that are difficult to answer, and the wrong choice can lead to a path of frustration and wasted resources.

Prospecting Pipeline

Client Relationship Management systems can systematize many initiatives within your practice – Do you have a prospecting pipeline? Your CRM should be able to help you manage that. Are you utilizing a marketing calendar to help you map out those ever important client touch points throughout the year? The data that brings your marketing calendar to life should be housed in your CRM system. But, as the rainmaker of the practice, it shouldn’t be YOU that gives life to these systems. A strong Practice Manager will have these items running so smoothly, you’ll think that they are on auto-pilot. The reality is, they take time, effort and energy to provide an impact, and that’s exactly what a Practice Manager should focus on.

Technology is constantly changing, improving, and adding new features. It would be impossible and impractical to attempt to utilize every option. The decision to make changes to technology within your practice should not be taken lightly, and conversely should not be made in a vacuum. Utilizing the expertise of your staff should make this process easier and more economical – all the while ensuring that the implementation is as smooth as possible and there is little to no disruption to your practice, but most importantly, to your clients.

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