by Carl Widger
As the managing director of a small, dynamic, and growing business, I am always looking for the best ways for Metis Ireland to deliver world class financial planning to our clients. This is a journey, not a destination, as we continually look for ways to improve.
As a growing business, we’ve often relied on outside inspiration and expertise. Sometimes “consultants” get bad press. I’m sure some of it is probably justified, but our experience at Metis Ireland has been excellent. We have a golden rule before we engage any consultants – that is, if they don’t have the t-shirt (from real world experience), then we won’t consider using them. When consultants are good, they’re great – you can’t put a price on learning from other people’s real-world experience.
Here are some ways that we’ve used outside experience to enhance what we deliver to our clients and to build a high-performing, motivated, and inspired team.
Client Advisory Panel
Our client advisory panel meets every six months or so. We bring together a bunch of our clients and we outline our short- and medium-term strategy. We then ask for feedback and guidance on what they, as clients, would like us to do.
This has helped us to ensure that our strategy is always very client-centric. There have been occasions we’ve ditched certain ideas that we thought were great, because our client advisory panel told us it was not the best way forward.
We’ll always, always put the needs and wants of our clients before our own. That’s a promise, and the CAP helps us to make good on that promise.
Chairman and Board
Very early on in our journey as financial planners, I had the good fortune of being introduced to Tom Tierney.
Soon after bringing Tom and his wife Breda on board as clients, I approached Tom about the idea of coming into Metis Ireland to act as Chairman. Tom accepted the role and continues in that role today. I see Tom as a mentor as well as our chairperson, and there’s no doubt that his experience has helped Metis Ireland develop over the past few years.
Tom has always kept me accountable. We brought this accountability to a new level three years ago when we put in place a proper Board of Directors. We meet every three months, and we treat these meetings like any large company would treat their quarterly board meetings.
Coaching and Consultants
Something that I’m really passionate about is creating a great environment for our people here at Metis Ireland. I want it to be a place where people enjoy coming to work and feel like they’re developing and adding value.
In order to bring this to the next level, I contacted Tommy Geary from Cinco Coaching & Consultants to see how we could get ahead in this area. We spoke about broadening the focus and really needing to understand our team’s wants, needs, and concerns in a quantitative way.
This led to us doing our first Employee Satisfaction survey. The findings were really insightful, and we had quite a bit of work to do. We upgraded our Employee Benefits significantly, focused on creating a better work/life balance, improved communication, and used Cinco to train and coach our Leaders.
We’ve seen tremendous results and have recently completed our second annual survey, which shows us where we’ve improved and also what else we can do to take it to the next level.
Using Cinco’s expertise helped us to know exactly what was going to make the biggest difference, and also showed our people that we are open to listening to them and will act on what concerns them. Without Cinco’s help, I’m convinced we wouldn’t have got to where we have so quickly.
I’ve written before about how we create the best possible team culture at Metis Ireland. Much of this has been the result of the work we’ve done with Cinco. You can read all about it here.
Since Metis Ireland was born in 2014, we’ve always used specialist marketing agencies to help and develop our brand. I don’t think that there is any doubt that this significant investment has more than paid off. It helps us not only when talking to prospective clients, but also when we are recruiting new team mates.
It makes everything easier – having marketing that reflects your values, your mission, and your purpose will only ever do you the world of good. I can’t ever envision not investing in our marketing activities and I would highly recommend that all small business owners invest in marketing (digital and otherwise).
Of course, the right software is an outsourced cost that every business (big and small) needs to consistently resource.
We’ve always been early adopters to new technology. As one of the very first firms in Ireland to adopt real financial planning software to show real lifestyle financial planning, we’re firmly committed to always being innovative in this regard.
As I write, I can hear the naysayers saying I’m mad incurring all this cost! My counter argument is that all of these costs are investments in our people and our clients.
I believe it dramatically improves the experience of our clients and also the experience of our team. I believe it makes Metis Ireland ready to scale and I believe that every one of these investments ensures that we always with act with integrity.
Finally, I believe it makes it a more fun place to work!
Metis Ireland Financial Planning Ltd t/a Metis Ireland is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
All content provided in these blog posts is intended for information purposes only and should not be interpreted as financial advice. You should always engage the services of a fully qualified financial adviser before entering any financial contract. Metis Ireland Financial Planning Ltd t/a Metis Ireland will not be held responsible for any actions taken as a result of reading these blog posts.