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Advice Business Consulting Firms Ramp Up Services

Two firms who specialise in delivering consulting services to advisers and financial advice business have announced new initiatives in the wake of continuing industry change…

Elixir Business Evolution Blitz

Elixir Consulting founder, Sue Viskovic

National consulting firm, Elixir Consulting, has announced the launch of a series of workshops dedicated to deliver support for advisers in what it says are two of the biggest key areas required to get their business through the changes they’re currently facing, which are:

  1. Business planning
  2. Pricing of advice services

According to Elixir ‘s founder and principal, Sue Viskovic, her firm has been inundated with advisers requiring assistance, particularly in these two areas, which has prompted her to develop this series of Business Evolution Blitz workshops.

Viskovic says most advice businesses will need to consider reshaping their business models against a current industry backdrop that includes:

  • The end of grandfathered commissions
  • Greater transparency over service standards
  • Declining business valuations
  • Decreasing insurance commissions
  • Greater compliance and education standards

She says all of these elements will affect businesses in some way: “…And right now, we’re hearing that many licensees are so focused on wrestling with their own resourcing and business planning that their capacity to assist their advisers is low.”

“…The sheer volume of advisers who need help, and the urgency with which they need it has led us to create a solution that provides the best of private coaching, peer support and group workshops to solve these challenges in a series of short intensive interventions, said Viskovic of this new service, which will deliver workshops on business planning and/or pricing of advice services for advisers in the four eastern mainland capitals.

Promoting its new service, Elixir says advisers will walk away from its Pricing Workshop “…with your own pricing model redefined and decision made on how or whether to transition your existing clients to this model.”

Its Business Planning Workshop will have participants documenting a one-page business plan (an Evolution Map) “…and knowing exactly what you will be doing to achieve the evolution and growth you are after next financial year.”

Click here for more details on Elixir Consulting’s Business Evolution Blitz.

Slipstream Coaching Expansion

Perth-based Rachel Wilson …has joined the Slipstream Coaching team

Meanwhile, Queensland-based consulting firm, Slipstream Coaching, has announced the appointment of a Perth-based business coach, in what amounts to an expansion of its existing and growing national footprint.

The new business coach appointee is Rachel Wilson, who Slipstream advises has an accounting background, and that, while the firm already boasts accounting and financial planning firms clients around Australia the intention is that Wilson, will build its services for planning and accounting firms in Western Australia.

In welcoming her new colleague, Slipstream Coaching director, Sharon McClafferty, said “We’ve known about interest in our coaching services for some time but understandably, travelling across to the East on a quarterly basis to participate in our group meetings presented a barrier. With Rachel, clients will have access to a first class coach who is based on their doorstep.”

  • Jeremy Wright

    I read with interest and watched the 2 testimonials regarding Sue’s consultancy model that is designed to help Financial Planning practices that provide a full service to their clients.

    This Business model can work, as it is designed as a holistic, cradle to grave, hold your hand and build wealth, while protecting you on the journey, plan.

    However and it is a BIG however, this service Sue provides will not work effectively for Risk advisers who only want to provide Life Insurance advice in the future, due to Australians being reluctant and adamant that they will not pay a fee that covers even a fraction of the cost for advisers to provide it.

    Sue was an early advocate for fee for service around Risk advice and she refused to listen to experienced advisers who pointed out years ago that her premise was wrong and it still stands today that Australians will not pay an appropriate fee for risk advice.

    One Testimonial spoke of increasing their staff to 10 to be able to provide the full service model, which is fine, though expensive and beyond the means of most advisers.

    It still angers me that a long established and multi-billion dollar Life Insurance Industry, could have been so foolish to think that promoting false and clearly wrong stories of Australians being willing to pay for Life Insurance advice, while behind the scenes using the FSC to spread lies and help create the chaos we face today with a destructive framework that will decimate the Retail Life Industry unless rapid change is made.

    Good luck Sue with your service and for all FULL service financial planning practices, this could be a good fit.

    • paulkate72

      She has been a strong advocate for fee-for-service. I’m wondering if Sue would be able to create and sustain a good business model over a long period if she was a life-risk specialist adviser, rather than full-service financial planning.
      And yes, she has simply closed her ears to experienced in-the-trenches life-risk advisers who have stated repeatedly that fee-for-service in risk doesn’t work as stand-alone. Heaven help any risk specialist who takes on board her well-meaning advice.

  • Gents I feel I must intervene here and correct some falsities in your comments.
    There are a lot of advisers out there who need help to evolve their businesses, and sharing your opinion based on half-truths is not helping! Too many people are suffering right now – and listening to negative views won’t help – advisers need to feel empowered to move forward, regardless of whether they agree with the changes that are happening around them; if they don’t feel that it’s possible to evolve they won’t survive in this business. And survive they must – we need a robust profession – in both comprehensive financial advice AND life insurance advice.
    I want to correct you on two facts :
    1. The premise I shared that Jeremy speaks of is that if the revenue you receive from insurance commissions is insufficient to cover your work and the value you provide, then you can supplement it with a fee. In terms of refusing to listen to experienced advisers who pointed out the premise was wrong? Au contraire – experienced advisers who have never successfully charged a fee and couldn’t imagine a life without 120% upfront commissions are the very reason I wrote my book ‘Worth Paying For’. The premise of clients paying an advice fee for insurance advice has already been proven by experienced advisers – some holistic, some risk-only advisers… who have successfully supplemented insurance commissions with fees. We did find in our research, some advisers who provided risk-only advice without commissions and served their clients on a fee-only basis in some instances, but we pointed out clearly that we’d only seen one instance – with one single client – where they were able to charge on ongoing fee for their risk-only services. At no time have I advocated for risk specialists to do away with commissions and move entirely to fees. I have – and will continue to – advocate for risk specialists AND financial advisers to evolve their business.
    2. With regards to the service referred to in this piece – risk specialists – perhaps even more than financial advisers – will most certainly need to create a Business Plan to work out how they’re going to continue to evolve their business! If they find that they can’t provide their services at a profit when commissions drop to 60% upfront in January, they will indeed, also have to think seriously about their pricing model. The program will be effective for risk-only specialists, however I’d suggest they call us first to discuss if this service option is right for them.
    I’d be happy to send you both a complimentary copy of my book, if you’d prefer to understand more about what I actually advocate, and clarify my intimate understanding of risk advice, rather than direct your anger at me in public posts. As you have so eloquently (and correctly) pointed out, it’s important that you substantiate any sweeping statements that you make in public!

    • paulkate72

      By all means send us a copy of your book please, Sue. Perhaps we can get a better understanding of your strongly entrenched position in this fee-for-service matter. Thanks – Paul Herring PCH Financial PO Box 4285 Springfield Central Qld 4300.

      • It’ll be in the post today Paul.
        Receive it with my compliments – I really do hope that it will give you some great techniques and inspiration to help you move through the current turbulence and keep servicing clients in such an important area of advice!

        • paulkate72

          Cheers, Sue…