Tools to Increase Productivity and Profits for Factor Consultants and ISOs
Do you feel like you’re working as hard as ever but not accomplishing what needs to be done to be successful as a factor consultant or independent sales organization (“ISO”)?
Take a minute to do a quick assessment of how your business is doing.
- Is your client list growing?
- Is your volume increasing?
- Are you contacting enough potential clients to keep your pipeline full?
- Is your percentage of conversion of prospects into clients improving?
If the results of your assessment are not in the affirmative, then you need to take steps to increase productivity, business volume, and profits.
There are three actions you can take to improve your results.
- Avoid distractions
- Focus on value-added activities
- Use technology tools to eliminate manual activities and improve productivity
Email, text messaging, smartphones, and social media can be powerful tools for communication, but they can also become a source of distraction and reduce your productivity. It’s very easy to let yourself become a slave to answering emails and text messages, and fall into the habit of reading and responding to social media postings and surfing the internet.
A simple internet search will provide a plethora of tips on how to use these communication tools without becoming addicted to habits that can sap your productivity. These tools should work for you, not vice versa.
Focus on Value-Added Activities
Value-added activities such as prospecting for clients, making presentations to prospects, onboarding new clients, and building volume with existing clients help to increase your business volume and profits. When you are distracted or your day is filled with busy work, you will not have enough time to devote to value-added activities. Planning is the best tool to use to focus on activities that will grow your business volume and increase profits.
An annual plan can help guide you to the areas you need to focus on to achieve your objectives. A weekly/monthly plan laying out what you need to do to keep on track can help to synthesize your annual plan objectives into the value-added activities you need to focus on in the near term. And of course, a daily To-Do list is always a helpful tool to use to maximize your focus on the value-added activities you need to work on.
When you develop plans, short-term or long-term, be realistic. Don’t try to do everything. Planning too many activities will reduce your productivity and you won’t do the activities as well as you should. Focus on value-added activities and work toward your plan goals.
Use Technology Tools to Eliminate Manual Activities and Improve Productivity
Time is a limited resource. You need to conserve time for value-added activities. Manual activities waste the limited time you have available. Technology tools can help you to minimize the amount of time you spend on manual activities.
Here are some technology tools that can help you be more productive.
Automate Business Processes
If you still have manual business processes, it is essential to automate them ASAP for two reasons.
- Your clients and business partners, e.g. factors, probably have fully automated business processes. It will be difficult for you to continue to do business with them if you don’t automate. And, they may not want to continue to do business with you if you don’t automate.
- Manual business processes can consume a huge amount of your time that could otherwise be spent on value-added activities. List your manual business processes and estimate the amount of time you spend on them weekly/monthly. You’ll probably be very surprised at how much time you could save by automating your business processes.
When you own a small business of any kind, including a consulting firm or ISO, the boundaries between your personal time and business time can be opaque, which makes time management critical to your success.
- If you aren’t using a calendar software application such as Google Calendar or Apple Calendar which are free, or Microsoft Calendar for Microsoft users, you will probably do a better job managing your time by planning your week/month and benefit from the automated reminders they provide.
- Use online retailers, consumer apps such as grocery shopping and delivery, and restaurant meal delivery to free up time to spend on your business.
Marketing and Communications
The value-added activities you want to focus on revolve around identifying, attracting, contacting, and communicating with prospects and clients. Following are some tools that can help you be more productive in these areas.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can increase your productivity by streamlining customer interaction. CRM organizes client profiles, history, and conversations in one location. It gives you a concise overview of your client interactions with dashboards that provide the information you need at a glance and also allows you to schedule and automate communication. It is not uncommon for consultants to have several thousand client prospects and networking contacts so therefore you cannot effectively build relationships without this tool.
- Email Management Software (EMS) applications can help you to manage large volumes of inbound emails. EMS helps you to track and respond to priority messages and quickly archive and retrieve emails.
- Social Media Management (SMM) tools can help you engage with prospects and clients. SMM enables automated and real-time posting to multiple channels. It gives you the ability to monitor social media and learn about client preferences. SMM allows you to post to multiple platforms at once and can be used to consolidate a number of networks with just a few clicks.
- File sharing tools can help with document management and the deal submission process. It enables you to securely distribute, collect, and organize documents more conveniently with clients and other third parties. This tool can be particularly useful in efficiently working with large clients or with complex transactions. It also will expedite the underwriting process once the deal is submitted to the factor company.
Technology tools, focusing on value-added activities, and avoiding distractions can improve your productivity and profits. This will help you work efficiently and effectively with clients and will greatly improve the probability of approval by the factor company during the underwriting process. Your business volume will grow and so will your profits.
Capstone works with factor consultants and ISOs to help them be successful. Capstone has the resources and experience to help you increase your business volume and profits. For additional information on resources to assist you, please read: consultant Resources – Capstone Capital Group (capstonetrade.com)