Blog Post

Advice Efficiency

How are practices building their teams?

MatTenison's avatar
Icon for Advisely Board rankAdvisely Board
5 months ago

If QAR isn't the panacea for the industry, what should advisers focus on?

I often find conversations with my fellow advisers veering into some very familiar territory.

Stop me if you’ve heard any of these before: how can we trim down the time spent on preparing advice documents? What's the most effective way to streamline our investment offerings? Is recommending insurance still worthwhile given the increased time commitment? Where can we enhance business efficiency to gain more time? What resources are essential, and how do we find the right people?

If there’s a common theme here, it’s time – or lack thereof.

These concerns are further compounded by regulatory uncertainty, especially in light of the proposed changes following the Quality of Advice Review. Wondering how these changes will play out, and determining what steps we’ll need to take to accommodate them, takes further time away from what we do best: serving our clients.

With all this in mind, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the most frequent “silver bullets” cited by advisers are:

  • technology aimed at reducing the time required for preparing and delivering advice and
  • legislative changes that would minimise red tape and alleviate current time constraints.

While the QAR’s launch sparked optimism across the industry, my two decades in advice have somewhat tempered my expectations. So, if legislative change isn’t going to be the panacea, what should advisers focus on?

I’ve dedicated the past few years to finding an answer to that question. That’s involved learning from others, acknowledging that you don’t always need to reinvent the wheel and making use of any available tool or resource I could find.

The conclusion I’ve come to is that building an effective team is the most successful means of boosting productivity and providing a superior service to clients. My primary role – assisting my clients by understanding their situations, providing tailored advice and ensuring successful implementation – hasn’t changed, but being able to work with a team (rather than trying to juggle all of it by myself) has made the biggest difference to the efficiency of the advice I provide.

None of this happened overnight, of course. Building the right team requires a significant time (and financial) investment. I started with an administrator and subsequently refined the team’s composition as needed.

I had a lot of help along this journey. Lacking prior experience in staff management, I sought the guidance of a business coach. Their valuable advice – which included initiating quick catch-ups at the start and end of the day, discussing daily tasks, offering assistance and encouraging reflection – significantly improved my managerial skills during the early days.

I invite our community to share their experiences in scaling up or venturing down the self-licensing path. What was your starting point? Who did you hire first? What training did you provide, and what incentives kept your staff motivated? Share insights into the processes you implemented.

Updated 5 months ago
Version 7.0


  • Great write up Matt. I couldn’t agree more. Part of the skill of running a business is not only recognising what you should be doing, and your strengths - but also what you shouldn’t be doing and your areas for improvement. No one can do it all and building the right team around you will only facilitate achieving your goals much faster. I think scale is important for business enablement, but not all staff have to be employed. The trend of outsourcing is certainly more prevalent and cost effective whilst still yielding great results. 

  • DebKent's avatar
    Icon for Advisely Index Top 10 rankAdvisely Index Top 10

    Thanks MatTenison for your article, I have been advising for around 35 years in the early days like you I did a lot myself, the first thing I realised is writing SOAs just sucked up my time, like you back then I had a business coach and he first thing I gave up was writing my own documents, I still dont write them today! I have had in house paraplanners and other staff who could write them, however for me oursourcing to a good organisation has been my game changer.  I also outsource most of the accounting another task that can be time consuming for a business owner, we outsource IT as we are not experts in this area.  I agree building a solid team is key to excellent client service

  • Tamara-Morey's avatar
    Icon for Advisely Partner rankAdvisely Partner

    MatTenison we are absolutely speaking the same language. The right support team (internal or external) is the ONLY silver bullet that will significantly release adviser time to focus on their clients or build their business. Technology is not there (yet) and we simply can’t keep waiting on legislative relief. Part of the challenge I see with advisers is helping them see the exponential benefits of increasing their support team when often they can’t see past the additional salary cost. 

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