We love to make our business plans for the upcoming year – crunching the numbers and considering the possibilities for growth and expansion.
Your business plan may include a market analysis, a plan for expanding your offerings to a new vertical such as commercial transactions, marketing plans for reaching your target market, a comprehensive sales plan and, of course, financial projections and cost analysis.
But before you jump into that business plan, it might be good to give your company a health checkup to ensure you have the necessary pieces in place to actually accomplish your goals.
Whereas the business plan is WHAT you want to accomplish, business operations are HOW you get it done. A business health checkup evaluates the operations side of things to see if you have any gaps in your staff or systems that will prevent you from meeting your goals.
For instance, you can put together a dynamic marketing plan but if you do not have the bandwidth on your staff to accomplish that, you have to either go back to the drawing board, hire new staff or find someone to whom you can outsource some of the tasks.
Here are some areas of analysis that can help you make improvements now, before launching into the busy year ahead.
It’s all about technology in a title company and looking at every level of your technology investment can help you identify where you may be spending too much and where you need to consider new investments.
Your staff will work more efficiently if they have updated equipment, including replacing older laptops that may slow them down. Look at all of your software systems and determine if there are new additions to your tech stack that will provide new efficiencies or if there are legacy systems that you can dispense with.
And of course, work with your IT staff or provider to ensure your security systems are up to date.
A process analysis looks at how the work flows through your office from the time a title order is received until the transaction is closed, payouts are completed, and documents are filed with the recorder. To do this analysis you need plenty of input from your staff. Be willing to hear what they have to say, as they are in the trenches every day and know where roadblocks exist.
One aspect to identify in this analysis is whether there are processes that are better handled by outside providers. For instance, at Network Transaction Solutions, we have a host of services that can fill in the gaps for you, including eClosing with RON, municipal lien searches, mortgage payoff ordering and tracking, post-closing services, mobile home title services and short sale services.
Shifting even a few processes or reassigning tasks can vastly improve speed and efficiency.
In a title company, the staffing analysis should not only look at how many people you have in the seats, but what they know. Staffing in a title company tends to ebb and flow with the market. It is imperative that your staff is cross trained so that in lean times, your employees can take on additional responsibility seamlessly.
Your evaluation may also include looking at outsourcing possibilities for certain activities for which you may not have the expertise, or which may require more minimal time. For instance, if your agency is small, you may want to outsource some of your marketing efforts to an outside agency.
A business health checkup can go a long way to ensuring a successful year ahead. At Closing Suite, we are here to help you streamline your agency services so you can focus on growing your business. Contact us today to learn more.