Checklists and flowcharts: Build the tools you need for your business

Running your financial or real estate business is complicated enough. So any opportunity to simplify is great. (Here’s a recent blog post about simplifying your selling process!)

Create checklists and flow charts to simplify your business

Here are two ways to make it even simpler: Build your own tools by creating checklists and creating flowcharts.

Yes, it seems almost too simple, right? After all, we already create checklists for when we go grocery shopping or when we have a project around the house… and our daily task list is also a checklist of sorts. But a simple answer is often the best answer! (Hey, even the medical profession has discovered the value of a checklist)

By creating checklists and flowcharts for your business, you become a master over all of your tasks. You also gain several advantages:

  • You stop having to remembers stuff, so you can free up your brain to remember that more important stuff!
  • You ensure that you don’t miss a step (which can happen even when you do something on autopilot).
  • You break something down into basic steps, which can help you to see where you are spending your time (for better or for worse… and sometimes you can identify new profit opportunities that way).
  • You identify opportunities to eliminate unnecessary steps and automate or outsource the steps you don’t need to do yourself.
  • You highlight some of the areas where you are weaker and stronger, giving you an opportunity to improve or leverage.
  • You make things really repeatable if you ever need to train someone to do what you do.
  • You turn a big task into smaller tasks which you might be able to more easily fit into a busy schedule.
  • You turn a big task into smaller, measurable tasks.
  • (For flowcharts specifically) You create opportunities to predict outcomes and identify contingencies.

So, what can you create checklists and flowcharts for? Here are a few ideas:

  • Make a list of the things you do everyday. Think of it as a HUGE checklist. Now turn each one of those things into one or more checklists.
  • Make a list of the tasks you want to outsource some day. Create checklists for them now. (Yes, even if outsourcing is a long way off. You can still use that checklist yourself!)
  • Make a list of the most important revenue-producing tasks you do. Create checklists for each of those.
  • For situations where there is some complexity (such as client interactions — initial meetings, sales presentations, fact-finding discussions, etc.) create a flowchart with all of the possible scenarios.

Still want more ideas? Here are a few specific ones for the financial or real estate professionals:

  • (For investment professionals) A checklist of the things you need to know about prospect to open their investment account.
  • (For all financial and real estate professionals) A checklist of the things you need to know about a client to build rapport.
  • (For insurance brokers) A checklist of the things you need to know about a client to sell them insurance.
  • (For real estate professionals) A flowchart of most-important to least-important decision-making factors that clients have when searching for the perfect home.
  • (For investment professionals) A flowchart of how you review a client’s investment portfolio.
  • (For investment professionals) A checklist of what you need to cover whenever your investment client stops in for a visit. (Hint: Be sure to include “Asking for referrals!”).
  • (For all financial and real estate professionals) A checklist of conversation starters whenever you meet someone. (Obviously you’ll want to commit this checklist to memory or YOU’LL be a conversation starter for them!).
  • (For all financial and real estate professionals) A checklist of things you need to do when you write a blog post.
  • (For all financial and real estate professionals) A flowchart of the most likely paths someone takes when you cold call them.
  • (For real estate professionals) A checklist of things to bring with you when a client asks to list their home.
  • (For real estate investors) A checklist of things to check for when a bird dog tells you about a home.
  • (For accountants) A checklist of things to collect from clients when they bring in their taxes