Do you need a paraplanner?
Simply Paraplanner makes the hiring process easy
Are you working alone right now? Are you feeling overwhelmed with all the work? Can you afford a paraplanner but don't know where to look? Look no further than Simply Paraplanner!
Their business model is completely unique and one of a kind compared to the other offerings in the market. It is designed to help both paraplanners and advisors better their business.
Essentially, Simply Paraplanner is on a mission to improve employment within the financial services industry, guiding financial advisors to make smarter, more profitable hiring decisions, and providing paraplanners with the tools to create the work environment that fits their lifestyle.
While they don’t have any in-house paraplanners, we help financial planners connect with the best hire for their firm, whether that be a 1099 contractor or W2 employee. Their platform consists of a job board to easily connect their advisors with paraplanners, as well as a portal community dedicated to educating and advancing the careers of our paraplanners.
Through our job board, they offer candidate screening services to help advisors find the perfect match for them. They offer three different levels of service:
- Their Premier Candidate Screening service is for busy advisors that want to be minimally involved in the process. They work with you to identify the qualifications for the role you are looking to fill, and from there handle everything until the final pass-off of the top three candidates.
- Their Guided Hiring service requires a little more involvement on the advisor’s part. They will still work with you to craft the job description, but it is up to the hiring advisor to screen the candidates and conduct the interviews. However, their team is behind the scenes to answer any questions along the way.
- Lastly, their D.I.Y. job listing is exactly what it sounds like. Do it yourself. For a small fee, a hiring advisor can use their platform to create and post your own job description, screen your own candidates, and make your own hiring decisions.
On the paraplanner portal side of things, they are continually evolving their content offered to their paraplanners. Inside, it is a virtual academy of sorts where their paraplanners have access to software platforms, software training, case studies, sample contracts, resume reviews, webinars hosted by guest experts, and more.
These resources help both aspiring and established paraplanners improve their careers. They currently have a network of over 2,000 paraplanners, with 100+ of them rotating through their paraplanner portal community, and have filled 116 jobs at the time of this post.
Welcome to digital marketing for financial planners. The podcast where you learn which digital marketing strategies are working best for advisors. We interview financial planners who share what is working or not for their practice. Here is your host, Jake Wagner.
Jacob Wagner 00:18
Hello, and welcome to digital marketing for FP. This is your host, Jake Wagner. And on today's show, we have Jen Prichard and her associate Rachel from simply paraplanner. How are you ladies doing today? Welcome to the show.
Jen Pritchard 00:32
Man. Thank you for having us. Yeah, thank you.
Rachel Munzer 00:34
We're excited to be here.
Jacob Wagner 00:35
I'm excited for you to be here, too. And could you ladies Chen, maybe she could start just tell us a little bit about your firm and and why everyone in the audience should be really keen to know and what you have to share with us today?
Jen Pritchard 00:48
Yeah, of course. So simply paraplanner was actually founded in 2015. By my business partner, Alex Hopkins, she is a military spouse and has moved quite a bit. And she had a hard time finding experience in the industry and experienced towards her CFP, I was able to find a job remotely after moving from Japan to Oklahoma. And now she's in Hawaii. And she wanted to create a platform to connect other military spouses and create job opportunities for them within the industry. So she started simply paraplanner to basically find military spouses who are interested in being in the financial services industry and provide a platform for them to connect with advisors and find jobs. Alex and I met in 2016, and our values aligned and our passions aligned. And we were both working as virtual paraplanners. So we decided to join forces, and I joined her as a partner. And we've expanded beyond military spouses. And now we are bringing in all kinds of virtual paraplanners that are looking to just work remotely and have more control over their lifestyle. So what we do is, we have two sides of our business, the one side is the job board, it's essentially someone can an advisor can go in and do what we call a DIY job, where they actually post to their own job listing, they screen their own candidates, they do everything, we're just providing them with a platform and an audience that they're looking for. So the other side is that we do candidate screening. So we it's where the advisor is a lot more hands off, and were more hands on as a business. So what we do is we actually will write the job description for an advisor after doing a discovery call. Okay, john, can you tell us what kind of clients you work with?
Jacob Wagner 02:34
It sounds like you work with both planners and paraplanners. How does that work?
Jen Pritchard 02:39
Yeah, so on the the job board side of things with the advisors, we work with advisors who are looking to hire remote employees. So whether our core is paraplanners, but they can also hire associates or operations people. And so people come to us when they're looking to try and grow their business, but not looking to necessarily expand their office, or even if they want to bring someone in on a contract basis and just kind of test the waters, they can hire 1099 or full time, or they can hire a part, or 299 or w two, or they can hire part time or full time. So it really kind of brings flexibility to them growing their firms and creating more capacity for themselves. I think kitsis has done a couple surveys that show that advisors spend way too much time doing tasks that could be delegated to someone else. And so a lot more advisors are wanting to now delegate those tasks, either to an outsourced person, or even to someone that they bring in house. And then on the paraplanner side of things, we have all kinds of people that are coming to us, I started doing virtual paraplanning because I just wanted more control over my day and doing this remote paraplanning thing. And I started as a contract worker allowed me to just have a little bit more control over my life. My business partner was a military spouse, so she had to work remotely. My best friend, she lives in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico, and doesn't have the option but to work remotely. So we have a lot of different people on the paraplanner side who come to us looking for these remote opportunities so that they can have more flexibility in their lives.
Jacob Wagner 04:15
So what are some of the applications the if someone who's listening to this right now, and they have tasks that they know someone else can do if they don't have enough time in the week? And if they and also succession seems like a really important question for what it is we're talking about. Because succession, it's always unique story. And it's always complicated, and it's almost always messy. And so it seems like one of the things that you're enabling an IRA to do here is feel how those relationships could work and start off on a really strong foot. So that that way someone can see like, is this a fit or you know, some people are business owners and some people would rather be employees. That's just kind of what I've seen in my life.
Jen Pritchard 05:02
Yeah, and I think those are some really great points and as a lot of our paraplanners, so we do have a mix of people who want to create their own paraplanning business, where they want to even hire their own employees that they outsource to. But then we have a lot of people who are looking for long term fits. And so if an advisor is looking for that succession plan, or to kind of just even have that first hire, that's a really good place to find those people.
Jacob Wagner 05:28
So are folks generally like if someone's needing that first piece of support? Are they going for? Are they looking for a pair of planner, as that first piece of support, at least when folks are coming to you, or are there some other needs that you're seeing pop up a whole lot, I would
Jen Pritchard 05:44
say that's kind of the first hire tends to be kind of a jack of all trades. So they tend to hire someone that can do paperwork, they can do paraplanning, they can maybe take some client meeting notes. So a lot of times that first hire really kind of can do a lot of different things, the firm's that are a little bit larger, are coming in and hiring more niche. So they're saying I want a paraplanner. Like, I want someone who's going to do all of my data entry, I want them to create the plans, I want them to come up with recommendations, I don't want them touching account paperwork, I don't want them leading client relationships, they're becoming more niche. But we see that a little bit more with firms that are a little bit larger. So it's kind of a mix as far as what firms are looking for.
Jacob Wagner 06:27
So as one part office manager, and then another part paraplanner.
Jen Pritchard 06:32
Yeah, for those first hires, we typically see that down.
Jacob Wagner 06:36
Okay, and what are some of the different like some of the folks we're working with or through you, how, what are some of the different ways that they've been able to benefit the firms that they're working with?
Jen Pritchard 06:48
Yeah, so there's been quite a few. So we've actually had a couple, not a couple, quite a few paraplanners, who have been hired and started with maybe 10 hours a week, part time. And they have been with the same firm for a couple of years now, and are now working full time. But a lot of things that they can bring to the table is things like creating efficiencies around processes. So whenever it's just you and your company, a lot of times, everything's in your own head. And so bringing someone else and kind of forces you to have to write things down and create those processes. And these paraplanners able to come in and help with that. And then a lot of paraplanners also have experience with a lot of different software. So they're able to come in and also suggest new software, depending on your client based on the different analysis that you're doing, they may be able to come in and create more efficiencies and even better client service because they know more about the technology.
Rachel Munzer 07:41
Also, as part of our product offerings that we have, we have the job board, but we also have the portal. So a lot of our paraplanners are in our portal. And you don't have to be part of our portal to apply for these jobs. But as part of the portal, they are being trained on different software's, they are gaining more skills, they are able to network with other pair of planners to be able to bounce ideas off of each other. So when they do get placed into a job, they do have additional tools and skills that they've learned and trained on within our portal. So that also helps with them what
Jacob Wagner 08:16
they can bring to an advisor. Well, and that really sounds like something that is just a really good point of proof that that enables somebody to really bring a whole lot more to the table that by having it doesn't matter whether it's as financial planners come to these conferences, I have different places that I go to talk to fellow agency owners, being able to have a good community where you can go and just keep on knowing what's the current and the latest and greatest is pretty darn incredible. And also like, I mean, I still see advisors that like use gold mine, for example, I didn't know that thing and actually sold anything since the 90s. And there are some older technologies out there. And some of these are good companies, some of them have some stuff to offer. But also, I mean, there's a lot of efficiencies that's being made with technology that's being built now. And being able to introduce a firm to that is just a really incredible resource.
Jen Pritchard 09:14
But I'll add on to that as well. We see firms that are still desktop based and don't have all their documents in the cloud. I'm sure that's changed now with just the environment of 2020 and everyone having to go remote. But we were coming across firms that were just very, I guess I could use the word old school and their technology. But in order to hire someone remotely, you have to up your game technology wise, and that I don't see any negatives to that, at least from my viewpoint. And if anything, it just makes everything better. And so by looking to hire a remote employee, that just makes your friend better.
Jacob Wagner 09:51
Mm hmm. And I'm a strong advocate of distributing your work into the cloud and in person why I offer comm Connect file sync planners because you know, really yeah, it's good to have it in in the room with you even for speed and for security. And you also want to have it somewhere that's not in the room with you, mostly for security. But yeah, and all of those God forbid perils, you know, if the building burns down or other things that you really kind of want to have the best of both worlds with that. And it seems like the COVID situation is really making everybody need to step into that very quickly, which is exciting for some of the work that we're doing getting to do together. So what are some of the ways the firms have talked to you about the they've truly appreciated the impact that simply paraplanner has made in their business, I would
Jen Pritchard 10:42
say a lot of them come to us. And it just, it frees up so much of their time to spend more time with clients. And I think that's a big part of being able to delegate all these tasks. And it's not that they're admin tasks, and I and they're actually professional CFP task. But they're things that a client facing Relationship Manager shouldn't have to do. And it allows them to work with more clients, and also have more connection with our clients, because they're not as focused on doing all of these tasks. And they're more focused on being one on one with our clients. And so I think that's one of the biggest things that people come back to us and say, it's just really helped free up their own time, so they can focus on what they truly enjoy, and what brings joy to their life. To that point, Jen,
Rachel Munzer 11:27
Michael kitsis, came out with a study in 2018. And he actually just revised it, we haven't had a chance to go through the latest updates. But the study in 2018, he said that solo advisors who leverage a pair planner are able to service an average of 64% more clients and generate 80% more take home pay by better aligning the tasks being done to the skill and experience level of a team member. So by outsourcing that, advisor is able to generate more take home pay for himself, or herself.
Jacob Wagner 11:59
That's incredible. And that is also a part of the magic of having wonderful support staff. You know, one of the things if you can listen to my podcasts from years ago, and I tend to talk about how we all have 160 hours every week, and that you can roll that up into pretty much 10,000 minutes. And the only way I have found in order to be able to add more time into your week is to add good support staff, folks who can take over that stuff can take care of some of the stuff that is left replicable something that also you can if you can have a standard operating procedure for something that just seems to help so much as well. Is that something that you help firms out with with making those procedures or do and just inherit what they have? How does that work over simply paraplegic?
Jen Pritchard 12:44
So right now, we don't do any kind of consulting, when it comes to like processes and things we typically refer people out to some operations consultants that we know are really great. But we also know that a lot of our paraplanners are able to come in and do that work as well. So advisors can either go hire one of these really awesome operations, things that are out there, or they can even depend on the paraplanner that they hire through us to start putting those operations procedures in place.
Jacob Wagner 13:12
So it's wonderful that we're adding the folks who work with you are able to add more time into their week. I know what a relief that is for me when that happened. And it seems like a part of that is that it's allowing you to open up your time and take on some tasks that have been on the back burner, which is my experience. And part of why I work with planners is that the marketing piece ends up going on to the backburner too much which can be it can either be deadly to the firm, it can make it so that work shows up in accordance where you might get like six people at once and then have a pretty good dead period. How has the marketing practices of the folks that work with you changed by working with you?
Jen Pritchard 13:54
That's actually a great question. And I that's something that we haven't really talked to our advisors about, but we should definitely ask them because I'm sure it has positively affected them.
Jacob Wagner 14:03
Okay, well, we'll have to check in on that for the part two of this conversation that we'll do like a year from now or something. That sounds great. What are some of the other impacts some of the other benefits the folks receive? And actually, so we've talked a lot on the paraplanner front, but just to make sure that we have this broken down for the audience there is a job board, the any firm because that correct? Could that any firm can come to you guys and that they can put up a job listing and that that's a powerful resource and it's also a little bit smaller than like something that you might find with like the CFP board or the FPA which is great. For me it's about filtering the noise from the signal from the noise. So I'm really appreciative of that. Then it also sounds like that we have these services that are either part time or full time higher than really allowing someone to fit in? And that's the paraplanner for. But it seems like you're also providing a lot to the firms, can you just speak a little bit more about how it is that you're helping helping a firm on a day to day basis.
Jen Pritchard 15:12
So we're actually I'm a once a firm hires a paraplanner. through us, we're pretty we're hands off. So we're more of kind of the matchmaker, I think we mentioned this earlier, the kind of like the dating app, or whatever it is, that matches the paraplanner. With the advisor, I would say, on the paraplanner side is where we do a little bit more servicing on a day to day basis. So in our paraplanner portal, which is our membership group, Rachel mentioned this earlier, it's where we actually do ongoing kind of coaching and webinars and training and all of those things with the paraplanner. So that they can then take that to the advisor, whatever they get hired by them.
Jacob Wagner 15:49
Well, and that's a good reason for someone to prefer working with you. And it also seems like how many other groups are there out there that do anything like what it is that you guys do?
Jen Pritchard 16:01
None that specifically. So I think we've we've noticed ourselves, which I think has been, when we talk about marketing, I think that's been a big part of our success. As humans, like people pay to post a job, even if they're not paying for our candidate screening, where it shows our more hands on way of hiring, if they're just posting a job on our website, as if they're going to any other job board. They're getting in front of an audience that wants to work remotely and wants to be paraplanners. And so they're getting a very niche group of people, which I think is just a huge value add and the only requirement to your point earlier about people applying. We're fee agnostic, but the only requirement that we have for the job listings is it has to be for a remote job listing. And so if someone tries to post and say we want someone in Houston, Texas, we don't allow the job postings on our job board. So it has to be a remote hire.
Jacob Wagner 16:53
And how does it work if someone has a paraplanner designation, versus if they're a full CFP.
Jen Pritchard 16:59
So that's something that we've actually we actually recently looked into or not recently, but within the last year, dug a little bit more into and the paraplanner designation is actually a portion of the CFP. So you if someone doesn't have the experience or education requirements, like they can go and get the paraplanner certification to start that process and to be able to put something next to their name. If someone already has their CFP, it doesn't quite make sense for them to go back and get the paraplanner designation because they already have the skills that they would have learned through that designation.
Jacob Wagner 17:31
So is it kind of like locking in your associate's degree and a two year school and then going over to a four year school to get your bachelor's diploma?
Jen Pritchard 17:40
Yeah, I think that's that's a really good kind of comparison to that. Okay.
Jacob Wagner 17:43
I mean, I remember back in the day with just when the paraplanner designation came out, which is just a part of my fortune with this is because that, yeah, no dad really wanted to call it CFP light. And he had a, he was not a fan of it at first. But a part of what I see has gone on is that just basically business is growing, how we do business is growing and evolving. And the what really could have been done by one planner, with everything that's you know, one one designation, one profession, what the campaign was talking about with all of that, and that's wonderful. And we still want that in a cfps head. But at the same time, like there is a whole bunch of regular tasks and just work that you do need to have that expert eye you need to have that level of education, it's not common education, it's special. It's you know, it's specific to our profession, but at the same time it uh, it's a very different skill than to be in a full CFP, you know, it really seems like they have it's a different career path. And there's different opportunities as well. How's that work with, with folks and within your world?
Jen Pritchard 18:50
Well, I would actually say so we encourage all of our paraplanners to go for the CFP and Rachel, where are you going to speak to the CFP?
Rachel Munzer 18:57
I yeah, I was just going to say that you can have the designations but it's also not that's not a requirement to apply or jobs or be part of our portal. It could be career changers that then pursue the associations or even people that have been in the industry for 10, five to 10 years that may never have pursued any of these designations but have that experience so they can still become a quote unquote paraplanner without the paraplanner designation and the CFP but to Jen's point, we do encourage the CFP as the paraplanner designation is just the first step of CFP.
Jen Pritchard 19:32
And I'll go so to Rachel's point we do so a lot of people come to us as career changers, and so they don't have the designations yet. And so they're looking more to gain that experience. And that's actually a really good time for someone to get the paraplanner designation whenever they're just needing that kind of base level of knowledge. But we do encourage people if they do want to go through this career path that they still need to get the CFP and also I think kind of I may have heard this wrong but let me know if this is kind of where you are going as well Jake is Well, the way we see the two paths is that there's a relationship manager. And then there's a pair of planner. And you can have a senior pair planner, a lot of people call them just financial planners now, but they're both on a client team. And while the relationship manager still needs to probably be a CFP and have all of that knowledge and have that really in depth, knowledge, their focus starts to become more on coaching and the client relationship and doing more of that behavioral work with clients. And then you have your technical expert, which is why we want them to be cfps. Because they are our technical expert that comes in and helps with more of the detailed stuff in that there's more research that needs to be done, you kind of have basically two people on a client team that serve different purposes. And they both still need to be professionals and have all of this knowledge, but how they utilize that knowledge is a little bit different.
Jacob Wagner 20:50
Thanks for sharing. So my next question for you is what are some of the challenges that the firms that work with you and the individuals who come to you that they experience?
Jen Pritchard 21:01
Yeah, I think, um, the first hurdle is hiring someone remotely. So a lot of people are really hesitant to do so I think our we think that with COVID, and everything that's gonna change a little bit, because people have been forced to work remotely. And so they see that it's possible. And but so working remotely and making sure all of your technology is on the cloud, a lot of people are hesitant to hire someone if they don't have processes in place. So what we tell people, there's two options there, go get your processes in place, either on your own or hire an operations person, or hire this paraplanner to help create these processes for you. And so I think a lot of people have some mental barriers to hiring, because they think they have to do all these steps before they're able to hire, but we say no, you can hire someone to help you actually implement these steps that you're having a hard time with, I would say once they hire a lot of our, our firms are smaller. And so there's not like a structured career path or training. And so there's, there's a little bit of hurdles there. But most people just kind of figure it out. And that first hire really helps kind of form what that looks like. And then that actually first hire ends up having a lot of buy in to the firm, because they were able to create all of these things with the firm. Who do founders ever come in? And are like, do our founders end up feeling like I mean, if they don't have those standard operating procedures in place, so they like this, you know, this person who I hired is coming in telling me how to do my business or other gentle or process than that? Yeah, I think that so that that's one of the reasons why we do the Colby and we're really big on personality, if it's because we don't want to put a really, really strong personality paraplanner with an advisor who is going to get really upset if someone comes in and starts kind of telling them hey, like, I think we you know, these might be some ways we can make improvements. And so we do a lot of discovery with the people that we connect, to try to make sure obviously, it can't be 100% every time but we try really hard to make sure there's going to be a personality fit there. So that there is not a struggle and that their the way they go about working and process improvement and all of that kind of stuff is more aligned.
Jacob Wagner 23:12
So are you doing the like obviously anyone who's applying to find work for you? They're taking the Colby, do you have the RA or senior leadership of the ri take the assessment as well? And do you do the if you're not aware, and it is for romance, but it's also helpful in these situations, but it takes two.com and it's Colby testing that you can actually do some pairing of personalities together to see strengths and weaknesses.
Jen Pritchard 23:39
So we always have the primary advisor that's going to be working with the paraplanner do the Colby and then we also have this are the top three candidates for our candidate screening all three do the Colby, we don't do the notch the What was it called the
Jacob Wagner 23:52
it takes two I found it because of COVID and and my own homework from FPA retreat a couple years ago to do it myself and with everyone who works with me. And and then just yeah, that website showed up and they had free or cheap offers at the beginning of the pandemic. And so yeah, I've been enjoying their information. And also and do you do do other assessments as well? I mean, because like one of the the first podcast in this second season of our of our show here was crystal nose and they concentrate on disk and enneagram. And do you check with some of the other profiles as well as actually Jody Jacobson who came out right before this, she will give somebody like three or four different assessments because they test different things. It's really important. You know, psychometrics is a really complicated subject. And each one of these tests does actually look at something very different. And you can't just do one and say that you got and now you've done it, you know your Myers Briggs or whatever. Mm hmm.
Jen Pritchard 24:51
So we do so the main one is a Colby but we do ask in our questionnaire for them to provide us with the Myers Briggs and we have the link for them if they haven't taken it. We just have them go take the free one online just to give us a base level knowledge of kind of what their Myers Briggs is. And then we just spent a lot of time doing a lot of discovery with the adviser, we are trying to find other sources for this as well. So enneagram is something that we've looked into a little bit, and we're just kind of right now in that discovery phase to see what other tools may be helpful.
Jacob Wagner 25:21
I highly suggest looking in this is to the audience as well, looking at Crystal nose comm they're free testing that they have out of the box is incredible. And frankly, being able to go to a prospect on their LinkedIn profile, click a button and get some insight on how they want to be approached is really incredible. I'll have to say that their tool and the public says that I'm a DEA profile, which is a part of how I want to put myself out there. But also on the internal operation side, I'm more of an AI, I've got a lot of intuitive that I'm doing a lot of processes a lot of high level thinking. And it's Diane, it's more of that approach than telling people how to do their whatever task is next, though, sometimes it still got to do that, too. So why has you know, this is a long, strange trip that you got yourself into here, Jan, I'm glad that you have a good business partner and a great team. But you know, just tell us a little bit about how has it been? Why is it been worth going through this for you? And then also, let's just extended a little bit on, you know, why is it worth it for some of the folks that find you and work with you, I mean, how they're benefiting from that,
Jen Pritchard 26:27
of course. So just so that the audience knows as well, I am actually a full time financial planner and addition to being a partner with simply paraplanner. And I had a really hard time finding my place in the industry. And having the ability to expand beyond where I'm located to try and find a home firm to work with has was amazing man, it really helped me get the experience that I was looking for and work with, really, I've worked with some really amazing people and worked with the clients that I really want to work with. And so I've seen firsthand the benefits of being able to work remotely with a firm. And so I am very passionate about helping other people be able to do that as well. I'm fortunate that like if I wanted to go find a job in person I can, but I don't want to. And I love my flexibility. And I love being able to have more choice over who I work with and the clients that I work with, which I don't think employees have had as much options in the past. So that's why I'm kind of I'm passionate about it personally, for other people, you know, it's for the adviser side, one you're getting to grow your business, as Rachel pointed out, you can potentially majorly increase your income, but you're also giving back so for those people who live in the middle of nowhere, for our military spouses, we found that a lot more women have been hired remotely. So we've we felt, I don't know the actual numbers. But we do see a lot more women applying to our jobs, and getting hired the rest. There's people who have been stay at home moms who are trying to get work experience. And so not only are you getting to grow your business and your own salary, you're also giving back to the next generation of financial planners. And then on the on the paraplanner side, it's just getting a little bit more control over your life and getting to choose the firm like I did getting to choose who you want to work with it without it being location dependent.
Jacob Wagner 28:22
So how about you, Rachel, how some of this crazy journey that Jen's dragging you along? Why is it been worth it for you? Yeah, so
Rachel Munzer 28:31
same thing about being able to have a little bit more control over the freedom and flexibility of where, how, when and who you work with. I actually stumbled upon simply paraplanner exactly a year ago and joined the team of these awesome women. And it's been a really fun journey this past year. I have been in marketing for the past 10 years. But I also have a very strong interest in personal finance as well as the financial services industry. So it just kind of it was a natural fit. My fiance, he's actually a full time paraplanner and he's a member of the Sibley paraplanner portal. So he is the bridge that brought me to Jen and Alex and team. And so I just really enjoyed working with the team here and really being able to make an impact in the space and be able to help out paraplanners and get the word out there and spread the awareness that financial advisors don't need to do it all themselves, they can outsource the work and paraplanners can involve their own careers and yeah, so it's been it's been an awesome ride.
Jacob Wagner 29:39
That sounds awesome. And sounds like you got a lucky fiance there on husband to be on your hands right there. I'm glad he was able to bring you into the fold. Yeah, and um, what would either of you and this following questions probably more oriented towards Jen. But if you were starting this over again, what would you do differently and I guess Along with that, if someone's in the middle of starting over again and coming to you, because they need the help in which they keep an eye out for,
Jen Pritchard 30:07
yeah, I would say the only for the most part, I wouldn't do anything differently. The only thing I wish I would have done a little bit differently is put more value in my own skill. When I started as a virtual paraplanner, I read an article that said that I should only be paid $20 an hour and I had my degree in financial planning and had already passed the CFP exam I was only about a year away from being a CFP, and one should be paying a CFP candidate $20 an hour, I would say that's the only thing if I was looking back at starting over as a virtual paraplanner that I would change other than that, as far as how simply paraplanner has grown. Alex and I have been very mission driven. And a lot of people kind of has have suggested a lot of things to us, that could have potentially made us grow faster or done other things, but it wouldn't have fit in with our mission. And I think Alex and I are extremely happy with the impact that we're having, and the intentional growth that we've had. And so I don't think I would change anything on that front.
Jacob Wagner 31:14
Well, then how about this for the next question that what if someone's listening to this podcast, who knows that they need this help? What would be some of the challenges that they might be running into, so that just as our listeners, they can recognize that you are a potential solution for them?
Jen Pritchard 31:32
Yeah, on the adviser side, I would say if you find yourself doing tasks that don't bring you joy, if you find yourself just not having enough time to meet with clients, or even having enough work life balance, if you just find yourself, overworking. That's a great time to actually that's past the point why you should probably start looking to hire someone. But those are kind of the main pain points is, are you actually spending your time and I think this is a Strategic Coach term on your unique ability as something that you're good at, and it doesn't bring you joy. And if you're spending time on things that don't bring you joy, and that you may be good at it, but it's just not something you enjoy doing. Why not delegate that. And so I think that's probably the biggest pain point. And again, it may seem like it is a big leap to use funds to hire someone, but ultimately, in most cases, it actually improves your revenue over time and your profit.
Jacob Wagner 32:25
Yeah, I mean, one of those, to me right then is what if the the person who's listening to this doesn't think they can afford the person they're like, well, frankly, chin $20 an hour is a serious stretch for my budget right now. So I guess this just isn't gonna work. What would you tell that person?
Jen Pritchard 32:42
Yeah, I mean, everyone has to make the decision based off of themselves. But I'm not going to say like force anyone to say like, you know, you, you're making 50 grand a year in revenue, you should definitely hire someone like that may probably doesn't make sense. But if you are at a point where you can afford to pay yourself a salary, and you do have a little bit of a profit, and you just find yourself at ends with capacity, then it makes complete sense to hire someone and increase your revenue. We do have people who hire someone for only 10 hours a week. So that's an option as well. And also, it's about work life balance. So one of the first advisors I worked with, she hired me, not because she can necessarily, I mean, she could afford me but it wasn't because she had all the money in the bank, and she wanted to be able to spend money on me it was she wanted to spend time with her daughter. And that was so important to her. So it's one of those things where an advisor has to step back and say, Where do I want to be spending my time and is this hourly rate that I'm going to pay someone else worth it for me to free up my own time and my own hour? I don't know. And I'll also just
Rachel Munzer 33:47
add there that we are open for consultation. So like if you have questions on if hiring somebody was worth it, you can contact us and and have a conversation with us. And as Jen mentioned are paraplanners you know, some are looking for full time opportunities. Some are operating their own businesses where they're willing to accept five to 10 hours a week. So it is very flexible and you can outsource in as Jen mentioned, you know, it doesn't like as a CFP candidate you may be you expect to be paid more, but it doesn't need to be a CFP candidate, it could be somebody that's entry level that can just take off some paperwork from you. So it varies on the on the level of what you can pass off and how much you can afford and what your objectives are. So
Jacob Wagner 34:30
are there certain criteria that are good to let someone know that they're probably like either, they wouldn't be a good fit as a pair of planner for your services or an RA. There's just it's also it's really not going to be a fit, who fits that description.
Jen Pritchard 34:47
We don't work with people who are not willing to work or not willing to hire remote employees. So that's kind of our one of our shark things. And I would say you just have to be open minded to it. technology because again, if things are on desktop, if things are just in files in your office, like, if you want to hire a remote employee, you have to be on the cloud, you have to have good technology in place. And I'm not saying you have to have like Salesforce and all of the really expensive stuff. But just like the basics, and just openness, openness and willingness to bring in these different technology platforms that allow you to have a remote employee. And that's kind of it, it's it's an it's a matter, I guess, also just advisor personality, if they feel comfortable being a manager, because whenever you do hire someone, you're no longer just that solo advisor, your job title changes. And so just being aware of that whenever you do bring someone in, but one of the benefits to hiring someone through us is that because you can hire someone for 10 hours a week, as a contractor, you get to Towson a little bit and see do I actually enjoy being a manager? Do I actually want to scale my business to bring people and so it's a way for people to kind of test it out as well.
Jacob Wagner 35:55
And I know for myself, one of the hardest things I've done is bring on the first person. But the thing that's definitely harder than that actually is bringing on the second with the first person, you can still you can have a close enough communication that you can figure out the standard operating procedure stuff without having to have it documented and written down. And after you start to scale past that you really need to you know, sometimes you can find that a jack of all trades that I think Rachel, you mentioned the beginning of the recording. But once you start getting past that, you're also starting to really bring in someone with specialty, and just acknowledging how the job changes. And understanding that you're taking the job that you want, is a really big deal. Sometimes folks just really want to be like on the ground and doing the work. And I really love that sometimes. But there's also places where I also really love being able to be that visionary high level and really being at the 50,000 foot, you know, advising a firm on how to grow next. So I have one last question for you guys. But in some ways, it's the most important one, because it lets everybody know where to find out more about your stuff and any other resources that you'd like to share.
Rachel Munzer 37:03
Yeah, so our website is simplyparaplanner.com. And on there, you can find resources for both the portal and the job board. At the top, there's tabs. So if you're a pair planner, it's easy to navigate, you'll just go to the pair planner tab that'll provide more information on the portal. And then if you are an advisor looking to hire, we have an entire employer section where you can go and search our services. Also, if you're just a paraplanner, looking for jobs, not necessarily the portal, we have the job board on there as well. And then if you're interested to just engage and keep connected with us, we do have our Facebook page as well as a simply paraplanner community. So it's a private group where you can request to join and collaborate and network with other planners and advisors.
Jacob Wagner 37:49
Do you have to be a member of simply para planner to be a part of the Facebook group? Or is that an open offer.
Rachel Munzer 37:55
So it is an open offer to our simply paraplanner community. We do have an exclusive portal only community as well on Facebook, where you do have to be a member of our paraplanner portal. But our general simply paraplanner community group is open to all wonderful.
Jacob Wagner 38:14Well With that, I want to say thank you, Rachel, thank you chin It's a pleasure to have you on the call and pleasure to be able to spend a little bit of time with you guys and really learn and get into some of the the nitty gritty about what it is is simply paraplanner does and how it can help the profession. And folks, I hope you've really enjoyed everything that we've been able to share today. And please make sure to share this episode listen into some of the others that we've got. And I will see you on the next episode of there's remarketing for FP. Thank you and have a great day
About the Author
I help manage our content and other projects to take a load off of Jake’s plate. My design eye comes into play in quality assurance checks, high-level planning meetings, and sometimes in quick or specific design projects.