Outsourcing mistakes

Do you make these outsourcing mistakes?

Avoiding these outsourcing mistakes will save you the stress, hassle and confusion that comes with delegating.

No Financial Planning business is immune from constant time and cost pressures, increased expectations to meet compliance requirements, as well as meeting client service demands.

This often requires you to outsource all or part of your business processes.

While you may have great communication skills, technical knowledge and sharp business acumen, you cannot do it all. If you do, then it can hinder the growth of your practice. So, avoid these outsourcing mistakes and you’ll save the heartache.

Why outsource?

By outsourcing your back-office tasks, you can focus your time, attention and resources on your core service.

Outsourcing allows you to focus on your core competencies. It can be used for specialised tasks such as Paraplanning. But cost containment, compliance obligations and client services aren’t everything. They’re just a few of the factors to take into account before engaging an outsourced Paraplanning Service provider.

There are many pros and cons for outsourcing. Most opinions are formed based on personal experience or business values.

From the common pitfalls to assessing an outsourcing partner’s production capabilities, this article will outline some of the many factors you should consider before engaging an outsourced Paraplanner to ensure your financial planning practice can scale for growth and better meet client demands.

Know when to outsource

This varies considerably from one practice to another. However, a rule of thumb is when you (or your current staff) are unable to manage the day-to-day business of your practice and build the business satisfactorily, it may be time to consider outsourcing.

This happens when you realise that you need outside help to complete a project that does not need a full-time employee. For example, when the right time for me was when I realised that while I wanted my business grow, I had no time left in my day to chase that growth.

I quickly decided that if I wanted my business to grow, then I need to let go and start delegating. Having someone there to help carry the workload allowed me to double my revenue in my first year.

Know what to outsource

Almost any task can be outsourced. It’s important to realise that just because you can outsource a task, it doesn’t mean you should. Sure there are some things you don’t want to do but are important to your business.

So, before you choose which tasks to delegate, examine your business capabilities and core services. Outsourcing a core service is detrimental as you would cease to offer anything that your clients couldn’t get elsewhere.

Examples of the types of tasks that are best outsourced fall into broadly three categories such as highly-skilled expertise, repetitive tasks, and specialised knowledge.

Paraplanning and Statement of Advice production falls into the highly-skilled expertise and specialised knowledge areas.

What if you’re working in different time zones?

Before committing to an offshore Paraplanning Service provider, sometimes you may not be able to receive the service you require during your normal business hours.

If you’re willing to be flexible and work outside of your business trading time, then all is well. However, it is ideal to use an outsourced Paraplanning Service provider that is able to work the same normal business hours as you do.

If you work the standard 9 to 5, then the service provider can deliver and be available for queries during those times.

Dealing with language barriers

If you choose to work with offshore providers, language barriers can be difficult to deal with, especially if you engage with those who are not native English speakers.

However, if you focus on making the communication clear from the start, this will help overcome confusion. It’s important to clearly state your expectations and what standard of English grammar you are willing to accept.

Finding the right person

The selection process is vitally important because you want to find a capable and reliable service provider. Hiring the cheapest worker and hoping for the best is not a good deal. A good starting place is to ask for recommendations from your own network, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter.

Other options include placing an advertisement in a professional association website or magazine or using virtual marketplaces like Freelancer or Fiverr.

When using virtual marketplaces, it’s important to pay attention to the feedback they’ve received from previous employers and to thoroughly check their references.

A conversation about key performance metrics is also essential so that there is a match between what you expect and what the Service provider specialises in. It is very important that the requirements and expectations are laid out in the beginning and that nothing is left to assumption.

Final Thoughts

Despite the common pitfalls, outsourcing is an important tool for building an efficient, lean and competitive business. It’s an affordable, proven strategy for growing your business more rapidly and save costs. It’s not a cheap and easy method of offloading work.

Delegating forces you to systematically consider your tasks and processes and allows you to see the activities that cause inefficiencies so that you can flush them out.

Outsourcing may not come easy, but it’s key to success.

Thanks for reading!

It is a privilege to write for you. This is not an expert’s view but rather, it is my way of sharing the lessons I have learned along the way.

If you enjoyed this article, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend or colleague or sharing it.

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