What is practice management?

Added 1st June 2016

This video series from Old Mutual International looks at what Practice Management is, how to build a sustainable business and the stepping stones to help you get there. Video 1 looks at the main components of practice management and provides an example of how it has improved a business.

The main components of practice management

Practice management is a systematic process which focuses on continually re-inventing a business in order to remain relevant in an ever-changing environment.

Let's take a look at the Seven Centres of Management Attention (as can be seen below) based on the world class E-Myth Mastery programme adapted by Masthead for the financial services. It is one-of-a kind systematic process for developing profitable and sustainable business models.



On the diagram, you can see the three essential customer-based business processes. These are: lead-generation, lead conversion and client fulfilment.

These are supported by three business-based systems - marketing, managing finances, as well as management of people, systems and resources.

Finally, leadership in the middle of the diagram. It is the vision and strategy that provide direction and purpose to everything. Leadership is about planning, measurement and inspiring team members to achieve the business vision and is an essential Business Management Discipline.

Practice management is about change - and this takes time, patience and the willingness to commit to working ON the business as opposed to working IN the business. Leadership strength is essential to drive change.

An example of how practice management has improved a business


The main challenge was delivering various services to an unsegmented client base whilst still remaining profitable. The goal was to free up time, increase efficiency and skill, and identify increased advice opportunities.

The immediate need was to streamline and systemise the office, segment the client base, and offer differentiated services based on client life-time value in a consistent, fair and efficient manner.

At implementation stage, a process of systemising the business was put in place which freed up time and enabled accurate management information. This led to the identification of increased advice giving opportunities.

The increased focus on efficiencies opened up the opportunity for everyone to become creative and contribute to re-inventing the business. Financial advisers started focusing on more client-facing time, support staff used efficiently, and the management team ensured that the business remained on track towards the strategic objectives.

Clients who required certain 'free' services were referred to strategic partners, thereby saving time and money. 

So how has the business changed?

It is now an integrated system run by well-trained staff members. Customers are being treated fairly, and the business is running profitably.

Up-skilling staff has increased motivation and efficiency.

Finding ways in which to increase efficiencies has led to increased productivity and therefore increased income.

Diarised annual reviews, combined with increased client information resulted in compliance with regulatory requirements which supported business goals.

The outcome of the practice management intervention was more effective use of time, increased systemisation, decreased costs, processes which ensure the client is placed at the heart of the business, and increased skill for team members.

I like to think of practice management as the 'how to' where compliance is the 'must do'. A combination of both is imperative to build sustainability.

Thank you for watching and you can refer to further Practice Management videos on our website: www.oldmutualinternational.com/futurefit

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About Author

Mimi began her career in the financial services industry since 1984. In 2010 she joined Masthead in her current capacity.

Prior to this, Mimi ran her own business for four years, with a focus on human resources, industrial relations and practice management. She has worked as an academic writer and examiner for the business management module of the Milpark National Certificate for Financial Planners. She has also served in financial services companies in various capacities, including broker consultant, branch and regional manager and HR director.

Mimi has a BA (psychology); she is a Certified Financial Planner and holds a Certificate in Compliance. She is also a registered compliance officer. She is a member of the Financial Planning Institute (FPI) and was a regional representative of the FPI in the Western Cape for seven years.


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