Size Does Matter – when it comes to choosing your outsourcer
Choosing an outsourcer for your Paraplanning can be an overwhelming process. Just a simple google search will bring up pages and pages of options for you to wade through.
Right off the bat, there are the obvious metrics you can look out for to narrow your search, like whether they’re onshore or offshore, their price, and who they work with.
However, there’s one simple, not so obvious consideration that can make all the difference to you as your business grows: the size of your outsourcer. The size of your outsourcer does matter, but it’s not always ‘the bigger, the better’.
Not to be the bearer of bad news, but come with me for a second while I take you on a journey of ‘what ifs?’
What if your Paraplanner goes on holidays or falls sick?
Now believe it or not, Paraplanners also do like to have some time off (gasp) and sometimes this leave doesn’t fall on the obvious public holiday periods. What you need to know is, who’s doing your work while they’re away?
As great as Sole Traders can be with the quality of their work, they may not have a back up plan. In this case, you have 2 options:
- Agree on a plan whereby they give you notice of their leave to give you time to get things done before they go.
- Take on the work yourself while they’re away.
If you have a consistent workflow that can’t really be put on hold for a few weeks, or the idea of writing the plan yourself doesn’t sound appealing, you need to find a bigger outsourcer. Why?
Medium to large outsourcing firms generally have back up Paraplanners. If you have a dedicated Paraplanner in one of these firms, best practice would be for the work to go to a well versed Senior Paraplanner while yours is away.
If your outsourcer has the ‘pooled work’ approach where there’s no dedicated Paraplanner, you should notice no difference in the workflow, leave or not.
What if your workload changes?
I know it can be hard to know how many plans you’re writing each month. I know it’s also likely that estimate will vary frequently. But what happens when your workload sees significant and consistent changes in volume?
If your workload drops, have the conversation with your outsourcer. It will give them the ‘heads up’ and allow them to plan their work accordingly. Some of the larger companies will require a minimum to be met, so having this conversation sooner rather than later is imperative.
Sole Traders are unlikely to have minimum volumes, but it’s still best practice to communicate this to your Paraplanner.
If your workload is consistently increasing, you may need to review your outsourcing structure. If you’re working with a Sole Trader, you will need to be frank with them about their capacity and what you need. Bigger firms too will need the ‘heads up’ to make sure they have the Paraplanner team to take on the work and meet demand.
Generally speaking, the higher your volume, the bigger the outsourcer you will need to work with.
There are heaps of pro’s and con’s when considering working with contracting businesses of any size. Your process should be around deciding what is most important to you. Once you’ve ticked those boxes you can then refine the smaller stuff, like size.