2013 is now a reality and very recent research is showing us that after getting the exams, many advisers may be taking some time to review their business plan, their business goals and the business’s resource requirements.
This is not a process to rush, but it is a pressing one if the year ahead is to be a success.
Many smaller adviser firms may not fully appreciate that paraplanning, a huge time saving opportunity to embrace, is a vital, yet often confusing part of the business to resource – is it better to outsource or is it better to undertake the function in-house?
Given that there can be as many answers to this question as there are businesses we endeavour to provide you with some factors to consider for your business needs.
1. Do you currently have an in-house paraplanner?
- Is this working as effectively as you would like? If so, are you and your paraplanner on the same page when it comes to matching their aims and aspirations with yours?
- Are they a career paraplanner or likely to want to transition to become an Adviser.
- What could be improved?
- Is your paraplanning process as efficient as you would like? Is the quality up to scratch? Do you have the time and resources to put into developing and training your paraplanner if this is required?
- Do you have a solid, quality workflow process?
2. Do you want the additional responsibility of the requirement to manage, train and develop people or is your real passion in networking, business development and managing your ongoing relationship with clients?
3. Is managing your multi skill aspects of the business eating away at your time and energy to do the things you love and want to do?
4. Will freeing up the time you spend doing these tasks enable you to see more clients and generate more income?
5. Is business succession important and do you see the paraplanner being part of that succession plan and if so, does your paraplanner realise this?
6. Are you having trouble hiring a paraplanner? Are you in a remote location? Do you have the cash flow to support the level of expertise that you would like?
7. Would you like to partner with an expert in their field who has additional experience and insights that you may not ordinarily consider?
8. When it comes to the costs and cash flow in running the business is it important to you whether costs are fixed or variable? Would you like costs to fluctuate in line with how the business is going? Or would you like to know exactly what your costs would be regardless of your level of activity? Do you have the capital to support – additional technology requirements, hardware, log-ins for software, office space and recruitment fees?
9. How important is it to you to control the paraplanning function? Do you want to work on the strategy together or do you want to provide the recommendations and get assistance with the technical and compliance requirements in forming a Statement of Advice? Do you wish to have access to a “sounding board” for your strategy and recommendations?
10. How important is it to you that plans are completed within agreed turn-around times? What is your time lag between seeing a client and providing them with a Statement of Advice? Does your outsource provider give a guarantee or are your in-house paraplanners KPI’s aligned to this?
11. Are parts of your advice process heavily segmented with people in your office sure of your expectations of their work and a clear job role? Or is your business more fluid – with people changing from administrator to paraplanner to client services depending on the needs of the business?
12. Do your staff have the expertise and training required for this?
With staffing costs accounting for over 50% of the total costs for boutique financial planning practices getting the correct mix of resources for your business is critical.
The mix of resources is likely to change over time depending on the requirements and nuances of your business. So what is the answer for your business? Pure in-house support? Partnering with an out-source provider? Or a combination of the two?
You may wish to start with a discussion with a Paraplanner, to assist in this process we have created a new zone with links to many of the leading outsource firms. Do make contact, it may change your life?