February 18, 2016
- Director, Business Performance Solutions, TD Ameritrade Institutional
Even superheroes need help sometimes! Admitting you can’t do it all is the first step. And, if you are truly honest with yourself, you most likely don’t want to do it all.
As a registered investment advisor (RIA) running your own business, you are challenged to perform a wide range of functions, including investment management, client service, practice management, marketing, and back-office activities. Depending on your firm’s size, number of employees, expertise, and experience level, it may be difficult to excel—effectively and efficiently—at all of these tasks on both a day-to-day basis and over the long term. So why try to do it all? Perhaps try to not do it all.
Making the decision to outsource is a big one—your firm’s brand and reputation could be at stake, as well as your client experience. However, the benefits can be substantial. Advisors who outsource cite common benefits that include cost and time savings, efficiency gains, and increased capacity, as well as access to external expertise.
So how do you decide what to outsource? Most firms start with administrative or low-value tasks where they either lack the expertise to perform well—or just don’t enjoy particularly.
Think about all the functions performed at your firm on a day-to-day basis. Then consider and review each function based on the following:
• Is it a differentiator for your firm?
• Does it provide a true value-add for your clients and their experience?
• Do you have the capacity to handle it with your current staffing?
• Do you have the talent in-house to excel at it?
• Could it be performed outside the firm, delivering the same quality at lower cost?
Following this careful review, create a short list and pick one function to test. This will help you determine if outsourcing will have the positive impact you seek.
Remember, no decision is set in stone. As your team expands, technology evolves, and new investment solutions come to market, you may need to adjust your outsourcing strategy to maximize the potential benefits. Then come back to this list and consider what additional outsourcing opportunities may be present.