I have worked with dozens of firms (50+) at all different stages of their growth trajectory (1 advisor, one admin to a $1B+ firm and everything in between, including a project that I built for Loring Ward). It’s CRITICAL that growing firms pump the breaks to get their systems in place…otherwise, you’re just amplifying a problem. Workflows within your CRM (we use Redtail) do many things, but I think it can all be boiled down to three themes: scalability, transferability, and transparency.

Scalability: the workflows are written in a way that you’re able to add new team members into the mix as you grow your team simply by adding them into the CRM and then changing the “assigned to” in the templates. Easy peasy.

Transferability: this speaks to the intrinsic value of the firm. Show me two firms with the same revenue, same client base, etc. but one has a demonstrated SOP/workflow system in place and another doesn’t. From a buyer’s perspective, the predictability of that firm being able to operate post-sale with a new owner is much higher than a firm that’s just “wingin’ it.”

Transferability can also be interpreted as easing one’s ability to delegate tasks to team members. If all it takes is reassigning a task in the CRM to a new team member (and then they get notified of this new assignment, it shows up on their dashboard, etc.) it makes it easier for the advisor to “get out of their own way” and delegate.

Transparency: at its core, a workflow system tells your firm “who should be doing what, when it needs to get done, and for which client.” Before a workflow system, most firms are having to guess where they are in the process by assembling data from a variety of sources (Notes in the CRM, internal emails, Post-It notes, Slack messages, or any combination…believe me, I’ve seen them all!). Having a workflow system in the practice allows a greater sense of transparency in the practice to see who’s working on what and also a great management tool so that you can better track the progress of projects and ensure your team is getting their tasks done on time.

I love workflows for projects that require you to work IN the practice (client service, etc.). I love Asana for projects that involve you working ON the practice.