The number of people seeking personal financial advice is growing steadily, as they begin to understand the benefits of speaking to a professional about the options available to them.
A 2018 study by Aegon into how people make financial decisions found that one in ten people now speak to a financial adviser about their money.
Although this figure is still relatively low, it’s a 25% increase in the number of people seeking financial advice since the last Aegon survey, which found that only 8% of people spoke to a financial adviser about their financial decisions.
For businesses, there is an even greater incentive to seek professional financial advice. All the basic principles are the same: growing wealth, planning ahead and protecting resources and income. But, unlike personal finance, there are laws which force businesses to be more proactive and responsible with their finances. For example, under the Pensions Act 2008, employers have to provide a workplace pension for eligible staff as soon as they start work.
As a business owner or director, your focus will be on providing a financial framework that allows your business to grow and prosper. A financial adviser will help you ensure that you don’t fall foul of regulations, while helping you fulfil the business’ growth potential.
Picking the right person to advise you in your business’ finances is hugely important, as their knowledge will dictate how effectively you manage your money.
Here are our tips on how to find a good financial adviser:
1. Understand your options
Do you need advice for a single issue, for example which pension scheme should you auto-enrol your staff into? Or do you need ongoing advice?
Let your business’ needs dictate which option you opt for, as well as your knowledge of the financial landscape. Then, when you start your search for an adviser, you’ll have it clear in your head where they can add value.
2. Check out their CVs
Treat finding a good financial adviser like a recruiting exercise – gather all the CVs of the advisers in the frame for the job and examine their experience and qualifications.
The Retail Distribution Review (RDR), introduced at the end of 2012, requires that all advisers are qualified to a certain level. But it’s diligent to double check and look out for any extra qualifications, especially those in the area of corporate finance.
3. Get some references
In keeping with the new-hire strategy to finding a financial adviser, it’s time to get some references. Perhaps you know a fellow SME owner who has used the services of the adviser in the past; if not, ask to speak to some of the adviser’s existing clients to understand the level of service they received.
Alternatively, you could talk to a business consultancy group who will be able to put you in touch with some good advisers, based on your individual circumstances.
4. Meet the adviser in person
Location isn’t everything when it comes to finding a good financial adviser, but being in close proximity can help foster a closer relationship. By meeting advisers in person and talking to them openly and honestly about your financial situation and objectives for the future, you’ll get a better idea of whether they’re a good fit for you and your business.
Ultimately, you’re placing a lot of trust in this person, so it’s important that you have a good relationship – meeting in person can be conducive to that.
5. Ensure you’re not going to be ‘small fry’
In order to get the best service from your adviser, you need to matter to them. If all their existing clients are large organisations, far wealthier than you, they might see you as ‘small fry’ and put you to the bottom of their priorities.
So, try and find an adviser who specialises in helping small businesses, which should go some way to ensuring that you’re not forgotten about.
By following these tips, you stand a great chance of finding a good adviser who acts and advises in the best interests of your business. But if you want some further assurances that you’re teaming with the right adviser, talk to Outbound Solutions. We can connect you with financial advisers and wealth managers who can really help you unlock your financial potential.