When you run your own small business, asking for help can be really difficult even when you’re pretty sure it could be beneficial.
This can be especially true of professionals like financial planners, for whom a large part of the day is spent advising others. They tend to be independent risk-takers. They started their business and it’s their baby. Obviously, they should know how to raise it.
The fact is that very few people, however good they are at what they do, know everything about growing and managing a business to its highest possible level of success. Sometimes it makes sense to seek help in the form of a business consultant.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” African Proverb
But if you do decide to work with someone, how do you know who is right for you and your business?
When researching business consultants for financial planners, there are definitely some important qualities I recommend you
They Want To Help
Is the person you are considering really interested in helping you succeed, or is their overriding goal to line their pockets and build their own business? The best business consultants for financial planners are those who show a genuine interest in you, your business, and your future goals. They’re not just interested in when you’ll be paying their fees.
How will you know if that’s the case? Do a little research. Ask about their past clients; can they demonstrate what they did to help them? Can you speak to some former clients yourself, to find out why they thought the consulting experience was useful?
If the consultant can’t demonstrate a proven track record with others, then it’s not likely they’ll be able to help you either.
They Should Not Be A Yes Person
If a business consultant isn’t willing to tell their clients a few hard truths, then they aren’t going to be much help. Being positive and motivational is one thing, but failing to tell financial planners what they really need to hear – even if it involves difficult conversations occasionally, and maybe even losing their business – means the consultant isn’t doing their job. You’re not after a cheerleader.
They Can Demonstrate Solid Experience
The best business consultants for financial planners are those who have real world experience in meeting the challenges you are facing and understand the financial planning space. Generic small business consultants probably won’t cut the mustard. You’ll spend the first 12 months educating them on what financial planning actually is. It’ll cost you a fortune.
Don’t do it. Work with a specialist.
They Should Be Great Problem Solvers
Anyone considering hiring a business consultant is doing so to address some challenges, even if those challenges involve finding the time or mastering the necessary skills to take advantage of growth opportunities.
In my view, the best business consultants for financial planners are those who are creative problem solvers, who can look at a unique business and analyse the best ways for it to expand; not follow a cookie-cutter action plan that has been thrown together to serve as a catch-all for every business.
They Should Have Great Communication Skills
A great business consultant needs to have strong communication skills, both written and in person. But they need to know how to listen too.
No matter how good they are at what they do, no business consultant will be able to help improve your business unless they really understand how it currently works, what you hope to achieve, and the challenges you face getting there. And that won’t happen if they’re not willing to stop talking for a few minutes and listen.
The right business consultant for financial planners really can make the difference you need to realise the full potential of your business. The wrong one can be a waste of money and a hindrance to growth.
So taking the time to find the right one is a must, and keeping these tips in mind will help.
Let me know how you go.