Outsourcing has rapidly increased in popularity across various professions over the past several years, resulting in the noticeable rise in outsourced paraplanners amongst the Financial Services industry.
Asking these financial planners about their experience with paraplanners will result in varied responses. The structure of each paraplanner company varies substantially based on individual benchmarks for quality and control. These benchmarks can move from one end of the scale, right down to the far opposite end.
So how do financial planners choose the best outsource paraplanner for their needs?
First, ensure the decision to outsource comes from a strategic perspective with senior leaders developing and approving the plan. A strategic plan will ensure company expectations and motivations are made clear to both parties. Once you know what’s required, the service offering can be made transparent to the outsource provider.
Secondly, source a reputable paraplanner company and spend time to develop that relationship. Like any good relationship, it’s important to set good foundations right from the start and continually treat the relationship with transparency and honesty. Allow each business to introduce themselves, get to know one other, and (most importantly) do their homework. Is the outsourced paraplanning service reputable, long standing, and encourage referrals? How is the service structured? What resources are available to them?
The third factor is ensuring strong communication. Accept that there is going to be some wins and some fails, and work together to identify the parts that failed to develop appropriate safeguards. Allow the key representatives time to meet regularly to discuss the moving parts and analyse the parts that need oiling – this will ensure the squeaks don’t get too loud. That is, don’t let the little things fester. Bring it to front-of-mind and allow any issues to be addressed ‘right here, right now’. Invest in the relationship so a mutual understanding and respect can evolve.
Finally, make sure the businesses evolve together. Service requirements, offerings, capacity, and resources will change over time – respect each other’s business and have those conversations, so both companies understand the expectations of one another.