Brokers either pick up the habits of their mentor or use their existing knowledge of processes and procedures.
When you start getting busy and want to hire help, you usually train an assistant yourself, spending valuable time out of your working life. This can take anywhere between a few weeks to a few months depending on you as a trainer and the candidate.
Now imagine that this person learns the tips and tricks and goes away to start their own business or it just doesn’t work out between you. Then you have to go through the whole process again.
Who has the time for all this?
This is why you need to have systems, processes and procedures documented as a manual for your business. Once you have created the document, you can then hand over the document to the new person as a part of your on-boarding process. This is how the big companies do it – but in this case, remember, it saves you a lot of hours for any number of future assistants.
It may seem daunting to create this manual, but here are some easy steps to get that manual written.
Part 1: documenting systems
Systems include your aggregator software and any other software you may use in your business. Most aggregators generally run training sessions for their software and you can get your assistant to attend to this. A good example of other software is Google Apps. Google and most big software companies will have online/offline training and you should definitely make use of this.
Part 2: documenting processes and procedures
Every business has a way of doing things. You may not realise it, but it is all in your head. If you want someone to learn your way, then you have to document it.
Step 1 – make note of processes and procedures: You can either do it yourself or get your existing assistant to do this step. Let the recorder on your phone become your best friend.
Here are some processes and procedures you should be recording – audio, video and written content.
• Sales process
• Email templates and when to use them
• Once a client signs up, what happens from then to loan settlement – break it up into what happens every two to three days, including client touch points
• Documents that you use in your business every day – information collection, funds reports and so on
• A list of most frequently faced issues and what to do when it happens
Once your recording is available, you can then get this transcribed into a document.
Step 2 - Outsource tasks: If the last sentence sounds like Greek to you, don’t sweat. Most brokers try to do all things themselves. You only have 24 hours, and as you get busy you need to prioritise.
So here is the secret. Hire a virtual assistant online on websites like Odesk and Elance to perform tasks like data transcription, creation of manual, editing and so on. This can cost you as low as $6 an hour. Once your voice recording has been transcribed, you can tidy it up using an editor found online and you have your manual ready.
Initially, it may take time to get this done. But once you have it ready, remember that you may never have to spend another hour trying to train a new assistant. If systems and processes can be documented, it will save a lot of time for brokers.
Obu Ramaraj, chief executive, Smart Money Solutions