If you have a Practice Manager in your business, take a moment to consider your business without them. If you don’t have a Practice Manager, take a moment to imagine your day dedicated only to clients, completely focussed on your client to-do-list with the knowledge that the entire team is working to their strengths and on the tasks that only they can do. That is the primary difference between the haves and the have nots, you will already see the competitive advantage but there are so many other benefits too.
Part of our service at RIE Solutions is assisting with recruiting, developing and supporting Practice Managers in financial planning firms. It takes a certain type of person to make a good Practice Manager, they essentially run your business and the key to their success is that you give them the freedom and authority to do so, but always in line with your agreed business plan, values, and company ethos.
Does size matter? Not in our view. A small aspirational firm will have issues such as IT, people management, facilities, finance, marketing and compliance that require professional attention no different to a larger organisation. The Practice Manager role may need to grow with the business, but it needs to be there at the outset – a defined role that doesn’t creep into for example paraplanning blurring the lines of responsibility.
Who else can bring your vision to life?
So, what are the qualities of a good Practice Manager? We believe their role is all encompassing, an over-arching commitment to the owners of the business and their values is primary. Successful practice management is a real art. A Practice Manager will be the glue that holds the firm together. They coach and manage the team, are great at project management and can diplomatically keep the business owners in-check. At RIE Solutions we consider a Practice Manager as the ‘Integrator’ (Traction, Gino Wickman) making sure everyone is on board with projects and progress, communicating the vision for the business as well as being that one person who has the time to listen and take appropriate action to keep the business running smoothly, they bring your vision to life – pure gold.
Keep an open mind
Our one top tip if you are considering appointing a Practice Manager would be to have an open mind when it comes to candidates. Experience in financial services may seem advantageous but candidates with the right personality and attitude to the purpose of the role may stand you in better stead longer term. Professional protocols relating to compliance, for example, can be learned and developed over time whereas a ‘can do’ attitude or exceptional communication skills are must haves that will define the success of the role. In our Master Practitioners Club, we have many Practice Managers with experience and background in people, business management and process efficiencies from outside of the financial services that put them in a fantastic position to excel in the role of a Practice Manager.
Read more about this topic on the PFS POWER website here.