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Are you part of someone else’s plan?

If you don't make plans yourself you will become part of somebody else's. It's an old saying but it’s true.

Monday, October 2nd 2017, 10:23AM

by Russell Hutchinson

Of course, sometimes its fine to drift along with the current. I have no objection to being part of the sales figures of people that make suits, run restaurants, and sell ice-cream on summer evenings. Sometimes it is good just to be a customer, just queue up, and be looked after.

But, do you want to do that with your business? I like my business choices to be intentional. I like to do this kind of planning annually, in an organized way, but every now and then a challenge comes along and one just has to go back to your criteria, your reason for doing what you do, and check - am I on the right path?

That challenge is, of course, the proposed new compliance regime. It isn't here yet - heck, we don't even have a new government capable of passing the law yet - but it will come. Besides, you are already being asked the question.

There are dealer groups, and even some insurers, asking you to take action right now. Some want you to start courses, sign up for things, indicate intentions, and more.

They may offer great solutions. Or, perhaps, solutions that will be great for some and not for others. That will depend, more than anything else, on you.

Before you make decisions about how you are going to meet compliance obligations, it is good to take stock. You have the time. If you’ve been worrying about how to meet possible compliance obligations, it may be comforting to know you aren’t the only one. At the FMA, they have been thinking about it as well, and they want to take a managed approach to the transition arrangement to smooth the workload over time. I suggest you use some of the time to make sure your decision isn’t one you come to regret.

The key is to think, first, what's important to me? Do I like my freedom? How much would I spend to keep it? What parts of my work do I like best? If it is getting out and meeting people, then maybe I don’t care about process being managed by someone else. But if it’s the technical bits of constructing recommendations, maybe I do… What about product range? Would I want complete control of this myself? Or am I happy to have someone else set the approved provider list? Think about the where, when, what, how, and, most especially, the why of the business.

Think hard, write it down, put it in your pocket and carry it around for a while. Ask your partner, ask old friends that have known you well. Use it to change the conversation with your accountant, lawyer, and best mates. Revise it a couple of times, check again. Get it really solid, and then use it as the criteria over the coming year or two to make your compliance choice.

Tags: compliance FMA Russell Hutchinson

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