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Business Strategy

Navigating the outsourcing landscape

MatTenison's avatar
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2 months ago

In an industry marked by regulatory pressures and the soaring costs of advisory services, many advisers (myself included) have turned to outsourcing to streamline operations and reduce costs. Whether it's paraplanning, administration, marketing, or leveraging fintech solutions, the outsourcing trend has become increasingly prevalent in our industry.

My outsourcing adventure began in 2019 when I decided to delegate administration tasks to Vital Business Partners (VBP), an offshore service provider. This ended up being a game-changer for us; the VBP team quickly integrated into our operations, becoming an indispensable part of our business. 

One of the key advantages of working with them has been their handling of logistical challenges. Whether it's managing staff leave, ensuring data security or providing necessary equipment, VBP's support has alleviated the burdens that often accompany remote operations (even managing the staff through COVID).

It's worth noting, though, that my experience isn't exactly universal. I've seen some very mixed reviews from fellow advisers who have also tried outsourcing part of their operations. From what I can tell, one of the biggest issues they've had stems from a lack of structured processes as well as inadequate communication channels.

For those contemplating outsourcing, it's crucial to conduct thorough research and identify a reputable provider. Moreover, success in outsourcing hinges on the commitment to invest time and effort upfront. By meticulously outlining workflows and gradually expanding responsibilities, we laid the groundwork for a smooth transition.

Effective communication is the beating heart of a successful outsourcing partnership. Implementing daily work-in-progress (WIP) meetings helped us provide clear direction, address queries and monitor progress. While these meetings may seem time-consuming initially, they proved instrumental in accelerating skill development and mitigating workflow bottlenecks.

The right tools and technologies can also make a huge difference. Leveraging platforms such as Xplan, Astute Wheel, DocuSign and Calendly, alongside customized systems, facilitated seamless collaboration and task delegation within our team. Communication tools like Zoom ensured that we stayed connected despite the physical distances involved; this fostered a a culture of transparency and responsiveness.

As you can probably tell, a lot went into getting this right. The advantages of outsourcing are compelling, but success hinges on meticulous planning, effective communication, and the adoption of suitable tools. 

If you put the work in, though, outsourcing can be a tremendous aid for your business: both for maximising efficiency and helping you navigate the evolving landscape of modern advisory services with confidence.

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