The role of an outsourced service provider by today’s standards

Who wouldn’t prefer a full time employee to an outsourced service provider? It’s time to stop beating around the bush and face reality, even if it’s not what we want to hear.

It’s a fact that outsourcing is cheaper and requires fewer headaches than a full time employee. It also helps for a best targeted spend Vs result. If money is not an issue though, with the cost of hiring full time is often 4 times that of a service provider – not to mention the recruitment agency fee – then outsourcing is not on the table even for discussion.

 

The realization process – Service Provider is not an option yet

It takes a significant amount of time to realize you’ve made bad decisions. When you start counting your spend Vs income, when you quantify how much you progressed with your team and where you stand in the industry as a market player, you finally start pondering on alternatives to your current structure.

 

The scenarios – Could a Service Provider be an option?

There are only two scenarios to consider; in the first one you know what you’re doing and you’ll probably spot the problems before they become “make or break” holes draining your bank accounts. Outsourcing is now an option…

In the second scenario, you don’t know what you’re doing, the bank accounts drained already and the costs associated with your current structure are no longer viable. You then begin looking for alternatives, you probably decide to downsize and take over parts of the business that once belonged to your very expensive head of department. To make things even worse, all decisions are now biased and you’re looking for the cheapest solution to your business needs. And what do you know..? Outsourcing is now an option…

 

The facts – Which Service Provider do i choose?

If you are a broker of more than a year in the business, I guarantee you can associate yourself with the second scenario, since most brokers raise share capital as well as enough operating capital to start their business. The capital is then spent in the first year of operations in the battle to position the brand for the desired market share.

In an ever increasing industry such as the consulting services industry, the possibilities are endless; countless agencies are popping up, ready to serve on a small budget, whispering all the right words, words that you need to hear. Words that provide the feeling of “salvation” since you brought yourself at the brink of closing shop.

 

Conclusion – The correct Service Provider, is the only option

The point is not to allow yourself to reach that point. Evaluate all options when the business is strong, well-capitalized and allows room for changes that can be adopted fast. All necessary considerations must be put on the table at an early stage and educated decisions to be taken always based on industry standards and correct competitor analysis.

Once there is a strong base and foundation set-up, be sure that you secured a few more years as an industry player and can reconsider your spend accordingly. An absolutely fantastic time to employ more employees and heads of departments. Not to set up your structure, but to strengthen it with their expertise and hard work.

Departments that are built around people are the most costly and least viable.

Departments that are built around industry standards, competitive analysis and decades of experience, will be with you fora long time.

Why outsourcing to call centers and/or lead generation companies, for FX leads should be avoided

Our industry receives daily harsh critiques from investors, economists, regulators, any professional academic or not relative to the intentions, practices and professional conduct of brokerages. Now the disappointment continues with the uncanny practices of call centers, proving once more that things are not getting any better.

Back in 2006 when we first joined the industry, our Sales tactics were limited to an introductory script and our willingness to learn, a much needed tool to help close a sale. You see competition was not as fierce as it is today, products were limited to simple structures and the idea of trading in foreign currencies was as simple as 1,2,3.

Today though, with the number of brokers increasing rapidly, systems and product diversification, personnel being recycled like beer bottles and the cost of base salaries doubling or even tripling – not taking into account commissions on earnings – we resulted in practices that make no one proud, conduct far from professional and continuous loss of the potential customers of tomorrow.

 

Call centers in a nutshell

The latest trend in outsourcing, are the call centers; boiler rooms with hundreds of uneducated people (uneducated relative to the market), following scripts and lists of unaware “potential leads”, being funneled like dirty laundry and categorized according to their interest.

Not only are these “potential leads” being bombarded with daily calls, but we found out that they are also being harassed even when they say they’re not interested. Through categories, the “potential lead” just moves to a different person whose role is different than the previews caller and so on and so forth.

It’s inevitable that while industries grow, chop shops like these pop up taking advantage of the market’s needy and greedy faces, disregarding human rights, privacy and ethics. And due to our competitive nature, we continue to follow one another, while these chop shops take advantage from the scraps. Unfortunately the scraps in this case are decent people that found themselves in these lists and are being harassed day in and day out.

Using high pressure sales tactics, uneducated and scripted words, begging if nothing else works and inappropriate follow up methods, it’s time for brokers to open their eyes and stop being part of this madness before it spirals out of control. If you’re lucky, these call centers are not using your company’s name to sell your product, although highly unlikely. Therefore their practices are now your practices, for which you have absolutely no control of.

 

Our advice to all brokers who are reading this article is to avoid FX call centers and FX lead generation companies.

It is a counter productive method of acquiring clients and it causes “prospects” to want to disassociate themselves with the market completely.

There are simpler ways to acquire new customers, if no-one in house can help, outsource it as a needed service to people/companies that can create positive steps ahead for your business.

FX Sales is a lot more than a cheap chop shop; it’s art and should be a treated with respect just like the people you are selling to.

SPREAD THE WORD; Fight Unemployment in Cyprus

An initiative of allFX-Consult

 

If you look up definitions relating to unemployment you will see terms like voluntary, involuntary, cyclical, Keynesian, frictional, structural, classical, seasonal, hardcore and hidden unemployment.

So many “names” for a very straight forward issue. Do they really matter?

As of June 2015, cystat published that the unemployment in Cyprus is 40,876 persons, up from 39,672 persons, according to the previous month report. You can click here to see the reports.

The recent crisis in Cyprus as well as the current economic situation in Greece, has left us to ponder on whether or not it is logical to expect a better, stable and more promising tomorrow. That is not only for our own personal finances but also for our community. With financial statistics and economic speculations bombarding us every day through the media as well as informal discussions, some of us raise the stakes and wonder “what are WE really doing to help with the situation”?

 

About allFX-Consult

 

allFX-Consult is an FX Sales and Operations consultancy; we train the non-experienced and give equal opportunities irrespective of one’s background or if they have a client base and/or portfolio. Since before its inception, allFX-Consult has always favored motivation, hard work and individuality, three very important characteristics one would require, in order to become successful in such a competitive environment.

The forex industry in Cyprus, has over the years supported the Cypriot economy by becoming a hub, for international entities that choose the island as a destination to establish their operations. Whether or not it’s due to Cyprus tax benefits or strong regulatory environments, the point is that these organizations choose Cyprus to carry on with their business. And yet, the majority of these entities still look for experienced candidates to fill their positions.

Decisions like this are what we at allFX-Consult consider a gamble. Why? Because it is an unfortunate fact that the greater percentage of experienced candidates, come with attitudes and needs that most of these organizations, especially start -ups cannot handle. This costly recruitment decision adds up to the constant recycling of personnel, moving from one organization to the next, hoping to find what might never be found.

 

SPREAD THE WORD; ight Unemployment in Cyprus

 

Within the 9 plus years, in which the consultants of allFX-Consult have been training candidates to fill sales related roles of forex brokers, we have come to the conclusion that if you give non-experienced individuals the necessary tools and knowledge, they can be as effective and productive, as the experienced ones, if not more.

allFX-Consult initiated the program “SPREAD THE WORD; Fight Unemployment in Cyprus”, a program that will give equal opportunities to hard workers, motivated individuals with no previous experience to join this ever increasing market.

All CV’s are welcome, from any background and any nationality, so be a part of this fight against unemployment in Cyprus and SPREAD THE WORD that allFX-Consult is ready to help build a stronger, financially stable community for all and crush the statistical numbers that plague our community in the recent years.

Opening a brokerage; achievable goal or far-fetched dream?

Opening a brokerage; achievable goal or far-fetched dream?

Published on iGB Affiliate magazine, issue 51 June/July 2015, page 50

If you are an affiliate and currently working with an FX or Binary Options broker, have you ever been frustrated at low conversion rates on your traffic? Have you ever asked yourself whether or not you could run the operation on the other side of the affiliate program you are signed up to? Opening a forex brokerage is not as big a stretch as you may think, although few are aware of what comes with it.

According to the Bank of International Settlements, trading in foreign exchange markets in April of 2013 averaged $5.3 trillion in daily turnover, up from $4 trillion in April of 2010. With estimates of nearly $8 trillion by 2019, there are no signs of slowing down. And still, recent years have left the forex industry with more challenges than solutions, more questions than answers and a lot of money and time wasted in advertising and selling the non-salable. Not only is the competition constantly growing, the regulators are placing more and more obstacles in the path of brokerages, thus making client acquisition harder, but the client base has also transformed into network and individual trading abusers resulting in low income generation.

How can a forex brokerage survive today’s climate of ever-increasing costs over income? How can business development be guaranteed in this unstable environment and how can wasted time/money be avoided in order to allow the establishment of a solid foundation and infrastructure to support future growth?

Forex Brokerages start out with set plans and proactive methodologies, but over time, they allow themselves to become reactive, a systemic approach towards operations that will eventually kill the running system and require refreshing and starting over, if not a complete shutdown. So it is imperative to build strong foundations that will work as a base for tomorrow’s activities.

 

Do you have the data to kick-start your forex brokerage?

It is a fact that the more data you have, the better your chances to acquire sufficient market share, expand your operations and grow. With targets hovering above every decision you make and every day costing more than the previous one, income generation is imperative, if not vital, to your rise or fall. Given the importance of data, this is an area where affiliates and participants in the gaming industry would have a clean head start should they ever decide to branch out and utilize their resources to start a forex brokerage.

 

Spend

Spending money to acquire data does by no means guarantee income. It is however among the first of steps required to get you where you need to be. Questions such as “should I spend?”, or “How much and when should I start spending?”, will puzzle you in the beginning, while over time, you will grapple with questions such as “is my spending enough?” and “should I spend more or stop spending completely?”. Marketing spend always played a big role in brand awareness although with today’s social media and free educational material, this has become a little easier for start-ups, because as prospects strive for quality in their decision making, they will need information.

 

Educate

Education will be imparted by your team which needs to either have acquired this from past experience or from you. Hiring experienced people can reduce training costs and the time it takes them to get up and running but they can bring with them bad habits and divergent ways of working that you may need to control. Are you capable of training newcomers and developing fresh ideas to push your business forward as fast as possible?

Putting the right team together is among the most important things you will do. The time when we could give our sales team one page with reading material, send them off to call prospects and generate income has passed. Not having enough knowledge to promote themselves and their organizations will result in a complete alienation of your lead database. The prospect will immediately see through the weak sales rep, the conversation will be over, and it’s then very hard for any future positive interaction to take place.

The above is but a short introduction to the back-end of running a forex brokerage. There are various solutions when it comes to deciding how to start, and these can be discussed with any broker directly, or a licensing agency that can set you on the right path. It is imperative that you pay close attention to the overall operations and correctly structure your strategies towards income generation, from the very early stages. While the level of competition and the challenges have increased in recent years, the overall market is only growing stronger, offering plenty of opportunities for a newly formed forex brokerage.