During my working days, I get to speak to a lot of financial advisers and most are grappling with the best ways to structure their businesses to maintain profitability and modernise their working practises to benefit from the impact of technology.
Over the past three years, if I took a step for every minute I’ve spent with advisers who are exploring their options, I’m sure I’d have enough to take me to the top of Everest. To be honest, sometimes the process feels almost as challenging.
One of the main obstacles for advisers, it seems to me, is coming to terms with the need to change and the fear that making the decision to do so will immerse them into a process that disrupts day-to-day business by taking up so much time.
I can understand the concerns but, in reality, it’s actually procrastination that has the biggest impact on time, with many hours taken up arranging and attending meetings to discuss possibilities, considering the options and worrying about whether this is the right thing to do, or the right time to do it.
To meet the challenge of smoothing the ‘on-boarding’ process for our new partner advisers, over the past year or so we’ve quadrupled the support team to ensure the advisers spend as little time as necessary making the transition.
The team works behind the scenes building the right set-up of tools, reports and collateral for new clients and the system is designed to be quick and easy to use. Typically, it requires two hours of training for a new user to get up to speed, with the actual process of signing up clients much quicker than many of our competitors. I’ve heard it has taken up to 12 months for some advisers to transition with other firms – our latest partner firm transitioned in less than 4 days!
So, while it may feel like slow steps climbing Everest on the way up (with me as their Sherpa), once at the peak and the decision to go forward is made, the onwards journey is far less challenging and scary than expected – a bit like free-wheeling on a bike down a gentle slope of a local park. With an ice-cream on the way home.