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Imagine your practice a few years from now. Your practice runs efficiently, and your advice documents are prepared in minutes, not days. Those painful administrative tasks, which don’t add any value to your business, are now automated.

Suddenly, you have more time to focus on servicing your clients and taking on more clients. Your clients are ‘wowed’ by the extra attention and service they are receiving and are now sending more referrals your way.

And because your system works so well, you can take on more clients without increasing your costs. Every extra client… every extra dollar translates into profit.

Sound fanciful? Well, it’s not actually. At least not if you’ve built scale into your process. Allow me to explain how and why.


Growing versus scaling

Many practice owners fall into the trap of growing for the sake of growing. And while it’s nice to grow, it’s also important to look at your margin.

A scalable practice is one where its margin – not just its revenue – grows over time. It’s best illustrated in the graph below.

Say, a company sells services for $100 per unit, but it costs $80 to produce the unit, it’s margin will be $20 per unit. If its sales double from one to two units, but its margin stays the same, then it can only ever achieve linear growth. Its profit will double to $40.

But, with a scalable business, revenue increases at a far greater rate than the cost to produce it. So, every extra $1, leads to an exponential growth in profit.


Why is it so hard?

Scaling a financial advice practice is difficult. In fact, practices often go backwards when they enter a growth phase.

A firm grows by gaining new clients, but without the right systems, it will quickly hit a capacity wall. The practice owners are left with a decision: do we invest more for future growth by hiring more staff – at the expense of our margin, – or do we stay put and go into ‘maintenance mode?

In our experience, practices tend to hit a capacity wall of approximately $250,000 of revenue per staff member. So, for example, a firm with seven staff, would, on average, have a total revenue generating capacity of $1.75 million. Of course, there will be exceptions to this rule, but it does provide a useful rule of thumb.

But, with more scale, could that same firm of seven staff double the size of its capacity wall and increase its revenue generating capacity to $3.5 million?

In our view, it is entirely possible for a well-run practice, with the right leadership and a strong value proposition, to double its productivity. But to do so, it must build the right system.

How do you build the right system? Well, there are two components: (1) choose the right technology; and (2) commit to implementing it properly.



Choosing the right advicetech is a business-critical decision.  So, it’s important to invest time into the decision-making process.

By far, delivering advice – both for new clients and review clients – is the most time-consuming area of practice for most firms – and includes everything from fact finding, strategy development, product selection and advice documentation.

You need technology to do the heavy lifting. There is no point having the latest, shiny app, if it doesn’t cut down your time spent on advice delivery.

Often, we see practices cobble together different tools to handle different aspects of the advice process. But this just adds more duplication, data entry and human error.

In our view, it is better to use a single comprehensive piece of software – and to use it well, than to break up the advice process onto disparate systems.


Implement it!

Technology, alone, is not a silver bullet. You must commit to implementing it properly. A great starting point is to build out your new and ongoing client workflows.

By redesigning their review process, a practice we worked with cut down the time spent on client reviews by 68% per client on average.

That time saved, multiplied by hundreds of clients, resulted in the practice doubling its EBIT margin!

With the extra capacity created, staff could be mobilised to more value adding roles focusing on business development, client experience and marketing and opened the door to more client acquisition opportunities.

The point is: scalable growth is possible when the right system is in place.


To find out more about Plutosoft, book a demo on our website at:


Vincent Holland is a co-founder of Plutosoft, a comprehensive financial planning software system (