Intrepid Wealth Partners

How Delegated Virtual Assistants Helped This Financial Planner Spend Less Time on Non-Revenue Generating Activities and More Time Growing His Business and Working with Clients.

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I’m not paid to answer the phone, or to file, or do marketing. Those are all crucial pieces of running a business, but that's not why I do what I do.

Derek Notman, Founder and CFP

Industry: Finance
Entrepreneurs, business owners, and C-suite executives
Too much time spent on non-revenue producing activities
 General administrative virtual assistant

Hours Per Month
10+ Months
Customer Duration

1. Background

Intrepid Wealth Partners is a virtual financing advising firm. Derek Notman, the founder and certified financial planner (CFP) behind the company works virtually to help entrepreneurs, business owners, and C-suite executives create a comprehensive roadmap for reaching their financial goals.

After running a traditional brick-and-mortar business, Derek transitioned to an all-virtual company about 6 years ago. That switch led him to question a lot of the traditional ways of doing business in his industry—including having full-time in-house staff.

“We do everything virtually, and that's one of our distinguishing factors,” Derek said. “We’re very bold about being virtual and setting that trend—especially in times like we are right now.”

2. Their Challenge

According to Derek, his biggest problem was all the time he personally spent on activities that didn’t generate revenue for his business. Activities that aren’t typically the responsibility or strength of financial advisors.

“I’m not paid to answer the phone or to file or do marketing. Those are all crucial pieces of running a business,” he explained, “but that's not why I do what I do. I needed to outsource those tasks to somebody that could do all of those things for me.”

Prior to hiring his first virtual assistant (VA), Derek had two in-office staff members on the payroll. But around the time he made the switch to a virtual firm, he started to wonder if he really needed full-time staff. “I still had someone working in my brick-and-mortar office and I realized… I didn’t need that person there. That person could’ve been anywhere.”

In Derek’s view, hiring someone to sit in an office for forty hours a week wasn’t the right solution to his problem of offloading non-revenue-producing work.

“As a business owner, you want to make sure you're running a lean operation, you're managing your cash flow. And when you look at the costs of having in-house staff, it's really expensive and there’s a lot of time wasted,” he said.

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3. The Solution

“There’s really nothing I can’t outsource.”

Derek saw virtual assistants as a potential—and better—solution. So he began his search for a firm to connect him with a great VA.

According to Derek, his biggest concern was finding a VA and VA firm that felt like a partner.

“I wanted a firm where I would get a dedicated assistant. And I wanted a firm that was willing to partner with me and feel like they were part of my team instead of just another number,” he told us. That led him to us.

After an introductory interview, we matched Derek with his own dedicated virtual assistant. She started out handling service requests for Derek and scheduling meetings with his clients.

Then he started to gradually assign more in-depth projects. As his VA got to know his brand and processes, Derek felt more and more confident handing off more complicated, one-off projects to her. “I continued to push more and more non-revenue-producing activities off onto my VA. Let them go do what they do—they do it better than I can—and let me do what I want to do. And it works really well together.”

Now, according to Derek, “There’s really nothing I can’t outsource.”

4. The Results

“Getting my time back by delegating (to a VA) has been a game changer.”

Derek has been working with Delegated and his VA for over a year and half now, and he’s incredibly happy with both the time and cost savings he’s experienced.

“If you think about it, if I spend an hour a day on admin stuff—five days a week, say fifty weeks a year. It may not sound like a lot, but when you do the math, that's more than six 40-hour work weeks when I'm doing stuff I shouldn't be doing.”

Plus, “[with full-time staff] there's a lot of downtime where you're paying people to sit there and twiddle their thumbs,” he explained. “But with my VA, I'm paying for so many hours a month and we know that those are productive, getting-stuff-done hours.”

With his 250 extra hours, Derek has been able to focus his efforts on helping his clients reach their financial goal—on doing what he likes to do and what he’s good at. So, as Derek put it, “there's no question that you're going to save a ton of time and money by utilizing a structure like this [virtual assistants].”

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There’s no time like the present to try out your first virtual executive assistant.

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5. Q&A Section

Q: Who do you recommend VAs to and why?

A lot of service based businesses—like an advisor, an insurance practice, CPAs, attorneys—I think a lot of them could benefit from it.

I think a good place to test that a little bit is if you need some extra help with administrative work—scheduling, maybe reception. Those things tend to be able to be done remotely for almost all businesses. So for anyone considering [working with Delegated], that might be a good place to start dipping your toes in. How does this work? Does it feel right? How are my customers responding to it?

Q: In your mind, what’s the most valuable part of working with Delegated?

Peace of mind. Especially now that my VA is trained because once we built up the infrastructure and processes, I don't have to think about it anymore, which is so nice. Now I can think about the stuff that I want to do and that I'm good at.

It’s like this weight off your shoulders, knowing that there's competent people taking care of the things in your business that need to be taken care of.

Q: What has made you stay with Delegated for over a year and half?

At the end of the day, it matters what my clients think. The biggest thing for me is how do my clients respond to working with my virtual assistant? That’s the biggest barometer of how it’s working. And I’ve never had a client say anything bad about my VA—it’s all been positive and respectful.

Q: What challenges did you face in getting set up with Delegated VAs?

You need to have different roles defined before you start looking for a VA. It's very important as a business owner, if you're going to be incorporating a VA, you need to know your processes and systems ahead of time, and know what roles you want to fill within your business. If you just try to hire someone who's a catch-all for everything, it’s going to be really confusing for both of you.

Q: Are there any keys or magic tidbits you can share about how to be successful working with VAs?

Having strong communication with them is a must. Regardless of whether they're in your office next door or in a different time zone, you have to have good communication. My VA and I have biweekly video check-ins where we'll talk for half an hour or an hour and go over things that need to get done—just look at each other and communicate. It's a nice way to connect.And we email with each other almost daily.

[Also] be very clear on any tasks that you want them to do. Don't just say, “Hey, I need you to fill out a form for a client.” You have to get super specific: “Here's the exact form I need filled out for this specific client. This is what we're trying to accomplish.”

Q: How about specific tips for other advisors and financial planners who want to start working with a VA?

Advisors tend to overthink things and they need to not do that here. Working with aVA is a game changer for a financial advisor. Not only does it drastically reduce their overhead, but it gives them their time back to go do what they're actually good at.

Background checks, giving access to systems and logins—you can do all of that stuff remotely. 

Advisors can really maintain a lot of control over their business and what they have staff do, even though they're remote. They can still build an awesome relationship in the process, but they get their time back and they do it at a fraction of the cost of a normal staff person.