In most situations a consultant can improve the way a business is run, from improving profits to helping a business realise their risk management strategy. Even when it comes to just freeing up more of your time, a consultant can help. They are able to give an outside view of the business and you may be surprised at how many things can be identified for improvement, especially from a practical point of view when it comes to marketing and compliance. This is especially beneficial if you don’t have the resources or know-how yourself.It is good to have a consultant who challenges what you do, and how you were doing it, so you can polish internal procedures and sharpen your core delivery.
Bringing in a new set of eyes to look over your business can do plenty to help with progression, to help on specific projects or alleviate compliance concerns. Following the implementation of the retail distribution review, many consultancy services have positioned themselves to assist IFAs with a plethora of services.How do you determine if you need a consultant for your business?Of course, every business is different and will have their own views on what they want to do. Generally, you should establish what the plans are going forward for your business and decide from there whether someone can do it in-house or whether someone externally can help.This involves carrying out a risk management assessment. This can be done in-house or by someone outside of the organisation with greater expertise. Usually, someone outside of the business is more beneficial as it can be difficult to be subjective about your own business. Using someone externally can also be good from a marketing and compliance point of view. By looking at what you do, areas can be looked at for improvement and processes identified that should and shouldn’t be done.Where do you turn to find the right consultant?
A consultant is often found through introduction by other companies you know that have used their expertise. In the industry, IFAs regularly meet at seminars so you get to hear what new projects people are embarking on. When looking to go direct on a support service for compliance, simply ask around. The same consultant may be mentioned several times and become the obvious choice to you.Simply looking at an issue of Financial Planning, reading City Wire, or going to a conference is a good place to see consultants in action. This gives you the chance to witness quick, bite-sized examples of what they can do.