Managing a successful business is a team sport. You can't do it all and do it all well, but having the wrong advisors can be just as detrimental. If one of the team players isn't a good fit, it can prevent your business from experiencing growth. No business owner has time for that!
Let's take a closer look at what makes an effective business advisor. Then, we'll explore the signs indicating you need to upgrade your team to optimize results.
But first, if you want a visual of what it could mean to upgrade your business advisors, check out this presentation by Tom Wheelwright. Tom’s a brilliant tax strategist who’s joining us inside The One Percent October 18, 2020 to help our members prepare for tax season. Tom has a unique - and 100% legal - approach to taxation that may blow your mind and save you a fortune. (By the way, you can join us inside The One Percent to get access to business advisors, investors, collaborators, mentors, and supporters anytime you want.)
Business advisors handle planning and strategies to improve your business's operational and financial management. They prepare your budget, advise on projects and marketing, and perform critical risk analysis.
Whether your business is new or well-established, an advisor serves as a strategist. They will analyze your business plan and financial statements. They will guide you on the next best steps to take for marketing, investing, and leveraging funding opportunities. Online business advisors are often able to work as effectively as an advisor who meets with you in-person.
Small businesses face unique challenges that differ from the challenges a corporation or large company has. A small business advisor can offer intensive, ongoing assistance, and support to help a small business owner implement strategies to overcome obstacles and grow the business. They have experience helping businesses with minimal funding and lack of internal support. A business advisor for a startup can help new companies get on track to succeed. The right small business advisor who understands the dynamics of competing with larger companies can help your business to be competitive—even if you are a small fish in a big pond. You might also benefit from working with an advisor who specializes in growing your personal wealth.
How can you know if a business advisor is worth the investment? The right small business advisor will have a successful track record helping small business owners with essential business-building tasks, including:
As you consider business advisors near me, ask them how they will help you set and meet long-term goals. Make sure they have first-hand experience managing small business operations and finances.
You may hear others use the words "consultant" and "advisor" interchangeably, but each plays a different role for a business. While the similarities include possessing knowledge and expertise in business planning and operations, there are some distinct differences.
Business advisors tend to assume leadership roles within a business and will be there to advise for the long-term. They are there to set and meet big goals and look at the big picture of your business. Consultants are there to solve a specific problem or meet a particular challenge for a certain amount of time.
While people may use both "specialist" and "expert" in similar ways, there is a difference between the two terms. One can become a specialist in a chosen field of work or study by obtaining degrees and certifications. But to become an expert, one must earn the title by showing expertise in the field or subject.
A business advisor can be a specialist with a related degree or certification but only becomes an expert when he or she has utilized the skill enough and can show a successful track record getting results for business clients. Someone who promotes themselves as a free business advisor may be a specialist, but likely doesn't have the experience to be an expert.
Does your current business advisor display the characteristics of a useful advisor? Or should you consider making a switch? Here are four signs it's time to upgrade your business advisors:
Your small business advisor must have a value system that matches up with yours. While it is okay to have different opinions, you must agree upon the philosophy and approach. For example, if you value business integrity, having an advisor whose approach is winning at all costs will not work for your team. Differing perspectives are fine and even good. But when the core values differ, you have a problem.
Do you have an independent business advisor who has several clients? Make sure that he or she is devoting enough time to your business. Regularly assess the advisor's performance and time commitment to your business. If your advisor is working with too many clients, they cannot give enough attention to your business. The best business advisors plan their schedules. This enables them to make sure they can provide the time and effort necessary.
Open communication is one of the keys to a successful advisor-business owner relationship. Being knowledgeable about business is not enough. They must have a willingness to share insight and listen to your feedback and concerns. They communicate their ideas and thoughts in a way that makes sense to you and your entire business team.
At times, your advisor may disagree with you. But they must provide constructive feedback. They also must be willing to listen and discuss your ideas. An inability to communicate clearly and professionally is a sign it's time to upgrade. Look for small business advisors near me.
If your business has grown stagnant, it's a big red flag you need a new strategy and advisor. Maybe your advisor was a good fit when your company was getting off the ground. But now you are experiencing a different set of challenges your current advisor cannot handle.
Business advisors have specialties and skills that are more effective during different business growth stages. Assessing your business strategies, business advisory roles, and overall growth regularly helps you know when to part ways with a current advisor and seek a new advisor who can better meet your needs.
Do you want to grow your business to seven figures or more? Choosing the right business advisor for your leadership team is crucial, but that's not all you can do. We've put our very best advice into this free video mini-series. You will find more answers to your questions about taking your small business to the next level.