Increasing your chances of success by engaging with a niche consultancy


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Fortunately, there are more positive alternatives to using a smaller consultancy compared to the Accentures, McKinseys or the big accountancy firms like Deloitte, E&Y etc. We not only consider that size doesn’t matter, but large size can actually be a disadvantage in meeting your needs.

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Increasing your chances of success by engaging with a niche consultancy

  1. 1. However, we wary of the self-professed experts
  2. 2. • Every business occasionally needs outside help. Even well-run giants deliberately choose to bring in consultants on a regular basis to cover key strategic and important areas. One HP executive was allegedly asked why she hired outsiders so frequently, she reportedly answered, "So we don't exclusively breathe our own exhaust.” • An outside consultant offers many advantages: • Objective advice, not geared toward political advancement or promotion. • Frame of reference and best practices from other clients. • Models and methodology to gain results more quickly than internal trial and error. • Permanent transfer of skills to internal people. • Industry cross-skills training as well as own professional development.
  3. 3. • A paradox to this, however, is that external consultants can often create as many problems as they solve. • These potential issues include: • Employees threatened by the mere presence of an "outsider." • Senior Managers threatened by mere presence of “experienced outsider” • Reliance on "off-the-shelf" methods which don't fit the current client very well. • Lack of sensitivity to the client's business, culture, and environment. • "Ideal" solutions not really practical for the client's business. • Pigeon-hole appraisal of clients needs
  4. 4. • The Compliance Doctor has been consulting for a number of years and, to our continuing astonishment, we find currently that about 50% of those calling themselves "consultants" don't really know what they're doing; but almost 90% of those buying consulting services don't know how to tell the difference!
  5. 5. • To remedy that, here is a primer on how to hire the best possible consultant for your needs: • Referrals: Ask business colleagues you trust for names of people they have used for similar needs, and find out specifically what the results were. (Don't ask the consultant for references, because they will be hand-selected, wonderful, and meaningless.) • Credentials: Has the consultant ever worked in a conventional job? What are their academic qualifications? How many similar organisations have been clients? Every consultant has to start somewhere, but I'd strongly advise that their start not be with you! (They should start in a larger consulting firm, and should also have "real world" experience.)
  6. 6. • Chemistry: Meet with the prospective consultant several times before hiring. Ask yourself if you see the other person as a peer and a potential partner. If you don't respect them, or see them as merely a vendor or subordinate, don't hire them. You don't need another employee; you need a business partner, even a mentor or professional guide for a particular issue. • Demeanour: The individual should look professional and act accordingly. (Don't worry if you get their voice mail because good consultants should be busy. The key is, do they get back to you promptly?) Their language should be clear and articulate. At meals, they should know which silverware to use and not spill their soup on your lap or theirs.
  7. 7. • Proposal: The consultant should provide you with a proposal that is based on achieving clear business outcomes, and not on merely delivering technology or methodology. In other words, running focus groups, performing a gap analysis or delivering training programs is simply a task; an activity, whereas improving sales results, accurate completion or analysis of needs, providing robust and suitable recommendations or enhancing customer satisfaction is a business outcome. Achieving the former without the latter is worthless. Measuring the former is pointless. • Fees: The consultant should provide a fixed fee for the project. Hourly or daily rates are not as effective, because there is a "meter running" as long as the consultant is working, and there is a built in conflict of interest, since the longer the project takes, the more the consultant is paid. Insist on a fixed fee or at least a cap on the hours. If there is no clock running when you need to discover possibilities, there is no pressure to form solutions.
  8. 8. • A good consultant frames an issue quickly but doesn't suggest solutions too rapidly as they realise that they don't know what they don't know until they begin to gather more data. A good consultant will not promise the moon and the stars, and will never base an approach on tests or instruments that are borrowed or purchased for a few pounds from other companies. You get what you pay for. • A good consultant is someone you'll hate to see go when the project ends on time, and who you'll want to invite back at the first appropriate new challenge.
  9. 9. • Generally, No. •Its usually just more expensive • Fortunately, there are more positive alternatives to using a niche consultancy compared to the Accentures, McKinseys or the big accountancy firms like Deloitte, E&Y etc. • We not only consider that size doesn’t matter, but large size can actually be a disadvantage in meeting your needs.
  10. 10. • You are always dealing with the principal when you are dealing with my firm. This means that I am the relationship manager and there is no junior partner to whom responsibility will be transferred. There is no decreased accountability, no "hand-off" to a less-informed colleague. If your interests are at stake continually, shouldn’t you reasonably expect my continual involvement? • We can usually provide resources on a "just in time" basis. That is, our projects do not have to cover excessive overhead, such as multiple offices, large administrative backup, recruiting, partner perks, etc. We are organized to efficiently provide everything that you, as the buyer needs, but nothing more than that which means that you are paying for value and results and only minimum overhead.
  11. 11. • There is more likelihood of your privacy and confidentiality being observed with fewer people working on the project. We (and/or the few people we might also involve) are constant which means that there isn’t the need to sift through dozens of differing perceptions. • We’re faster. We can respond to requests quickly, and return all calls within four hours which means to you that there is no need to worry about a bureaucracy, delays and unknown people on the other end of the phone.
  12. 12. • Since we handle fewer concurrent projects than larger firms, our attention is focused on the job at hand. This means that you don’t have to "compete" with another dozen or so of our clients, which may be larger, paying more or are more time-demanding. We structure our work so that every client receives maximum attention. • Your investment is controlled. There is no "meter running". We work for a fixed, value-based, project fee. Large firms can’t afford to do that as readily because of all the people involved and their own insistence on measuring their success by billable hours. We measure our success by client objectives reached, not in “time units”.
  13. 13. • The expertise that larger firms use is often whitelabelling for them by a pool of consultants available in the marketplace at any one time. We select our consultants from practising subject matter experts which means that you obtain the same or better expertise for less money, because; • Inevitably, we are less expensive. There are economies to using someone who can base their fees on each situation and not on a predetermined service scale or need for reaching a practice quota. This means quite simply better value to you.
  14. 14. • The benefits of dealing with the “Compliance Doctor” and Compliance Consultant is; • A firm with experienced and qualified former advisers; • A firm that can apply changes and needs in a common sense way that is practical and effective; • A firm that is considered and respected as independent and reliable by the FCA (previously appointed as a “Skilled Person” by the FSA) • A firm that provides you with unfettered access to the principle immediately and on demand;
  15. 15. Phase 1 We will conduct an initial appraisal at our cost – only charging for expenses (UK only) Phase 2 We will make a proposal based on our appraisal with your outcomes and needs Phase 3 We will discuss the precise scope with you and provide you with a project price Phase 4 We will complete the work to your original scope and satisfaction Each proposal deserves to be as unique as a fingerprint
  16. 16. text. We have a wealth of Financial Services Experience, and due to the remedial and sensitive nature of our work forming over 60% of our business and that is conducted under a Non Disclosure Regime, we cannot demonstrate every client.
  17. 17. We Do have a large amount of experience in a number of other fields and industries within the major utilities and even Local Authorities.
  18. 18. We can provide all manner of assistance in • Initial risk assessment or audit — an initial analysis to identify higher risk areas of the business and weaknesses in procedures. We also do risk management design. • Business development — business analysis advice or advice on particular issues — for example, how your firm is Treating Customers Fairly and an action plan for implementing TCF across your business. • Help with setting up procedures — for example procedural manuals for recruitment, training and competence, complaints handling and anti-money laundering. May also include templates for disclosure documents, fact-finds and registers. • File audits — checks to ensure that procedures are being followed and identify good practices and weaknesses • Complaints Handling – cost effective and project managed from start to finish making your response robust and consistent
  19. 19. • Technical support — may include advice on particular products or regulatory reporting. May be available in various formats, including website, helpdesk and individual technical advice. • Training — for example competency assessments, training opportunities or product risk guidance. May be online support, regulatory updates or seminar based. • Support on individual issues — for example in dealing with a complaint, a financial promotion or a particular suitability letter. • Financial promotions (all areas of advertisement) - full support which would include websites, brochures, DVD's, email templates, client mail shots, adverts, contacting existing clients and so on. • Remedial work — helping to action remedial work required by the FCA/PRA and even ICO. • And much more … just ask!
  20. 20. Tel +44 (0) 7801 864980 Tel +44 (0) 7092 289901 Int & Fax Email: We operate across the UK, Europe and the Middle East. Currently exploring opportunities in Latin America