1. You phone/email to discuss us working together via contact us.
I’ll usually ask you to send me some detail by email or post so that I can think about your situation in advance. I’ll probably send you a short form so you can structure what you tell me, and I’ll let you have more detail of how I work.
2. We have an initial discussion
We’ll talk for 20-30 minutes and I’ll try to answer any questions you have and find out a bit more about you and what you want to achieve. The purpose of that is to make sure we’re both happy working together – there’s no obligation either way, but if I don’ think I can help you I’ll do my best to refer you to somebody who I think can. If we’re both happy to work together, we’ll sort out some basic details such as objectives to be achieved (and how we’ll know we’ve achieved them), the likely number and frequency of sessions, the budget we’re working to and means of payment.
3. We meet, in person or by phone/Skype:
You can travel to me (see map in contact us), we may be able to meet elsewhere (although I have to charge travel time) or we work by phone or preferably Skype. Some clients like an initial meeting in person, and we follow up by phone (Skype with a webcam is better, because it is easier to share visual information like diagrammes).
At the first full meeting we’ll look in more detail at your objectives, what issues you have, who else is involved (family, colleagues etc.) and whether there are other specialist advisors (such as financial advisors) that we might want to involve at some point. We’ll also work out the style of the consulting, how much work your going to do for yourself, whether you want to have guidance to do it yourself or be told what to do etc.
Based on that, we’ll look at the plan for the future, and get started on making any changes that you want to make.
4. We work together
If you get stuck or have a questions in between sessions contact us and we’ll sort out whatever the problem is.
The system is flexible, if you’ve achieved your objectives in fewer sessions than we thought, that’s great, you don’t pay (or you get a refund if you’ve paid in advance) for things you don’t need.
If you don’t make as quick progress as we expected or you want to tackle other issues, we can sort it out, we’ll just have to be a bit patient and flexible.
The only things that are really fixed are:
I work to a strict code of ethics, including the fact that all your details, comments etc. are kept strictly confidential and any notes are kept secure in a locked cabinet and are available to you if you want to see them.
I will ask for feedback to help me to improve, and for testimonials, referrals etc.
I won’t make specific recommendations for financial products, or tell you what you must do.