Deciding to purchase new technology for your business is the first step toward creating a better experience for both you and your clients.
But once you make this decision, you’re faced with a new challenge: Which technology is right for your business?
Since researching the overwhelming number of technology solutions available to financial advisors can be time-consuming, here are some tips to remember when choosing the right tech.
1. Identify Your Needs
Seems like a logical first step right?
Yet, for some reason, many advisors skip right past it and arrive at the decision to purchase technology based on the bells and whistles of a new tool, rather than their own needs.
Start by taking an inventory of what technology tools you currently use and assess whether or not they’re out-of-date.
Next, prioritize any updates that would improve your business. And be realistic when brainstorming different options. For example, if you have a diverse set of clients, look for planning software that can accommodate a multitude of planning scenarios.
2. Don’t Forget to Set a Budget
Purchasing new technology is an important, and oftentimes sizable, investment. But if you devise a well-structured budget, you’ll have a sensible understanding of both the initial and subsequent costs.
But don’t forget the most overlooked line item when creating a budget for new technology: the costs saved by that technology. Will it eliminate back office work and free up staff members? Will it drive new business and pay for itself? By adding these metrics to your budget, you’ll have more accurate costs to compare for each tech solution.
3. Compare All Options
Researching all available technology options will help you get a clear picture of a potential match. Most companies make this process easier by offering free trials, which allow you to see how compatible the technology is with your business model. You can also examine each company’s content output – white papers, videos, blog posts, etc. – to get a better idea of their approach.
And aside from your own due diligence, you can also ask your fellow advisors about what tools they use and why. This will give you an objective frame of reference when deciding the effectiveness of each technology.
4. Include Your Staff
Employees may be resistant when it comes to change, but one way to avoid this tension is to involve them in the decision-making process. Be sure to welcome their input so they feel involved and have a positive outlook on the initiative.
Remember: you need your employees to make any new technology a success.
5. Embrace Training
Any new technology will bring with it new challenges. When shopping around, look for technology solutions that provide robust training and implementation resources. After all, what good is new technology if neither you or your staff can use it effectively?
6. Be in it for the Long Haul
As with any long-term investment, purchasing a technology solution for your business requires long-term effort. So before choosing new tech, make sure you understand all the implications involved with your new solution. You may need to replace an existing employee, or hire a new one. Consult with a developer. Spend time training staff. Regardless of what is needed, if you take the time to uncover and plan for every long-term implication, you’ll pave the way for future success.
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