Why do I need a Business Advisor?
A Business Advisor is a business specialist who will guide you to run your business more effectively and efficiently. Life is full of surprises and even if you are an experienced business owner, you may have one or several blind spots and there are certain situations that you may fail to anticipate. These situations bring to the mind one question ‘Should I hire a Business Advisor?’ The answer, like every other answer in life, is ‘It depends’. Whether you need a Business Advisor to guide you to your business goal is up to you, but hiring an adviser can never hurt. One thing a Business Advisor has is a significant amount of experience, very often in similar areas that you are looking for, and that always comes in handy. You may seek to have a one-on-one consultation with a Business Advisor, or you can have your executives meet with the advisor and chalk out a strategy together. An adviser may be consulted only once to seek advice about a sticky situation, or the advisor may be consulted on a regular basis to improve the business.
What can I expect from a Business Advisor
No one knows your business better than you do and hence business advisors will first learn about your business from you and your executives to gather knowledge about the nuances of your business. Very often a business advisor will seek previous records and financial statements to understand the historical aspects of the business better. Only with the complete knowledge can they advise you on how to be a successful business owner. A business advisor differs from a business coach in the fact that a business advisor will advise you on how to strategically plan out your business model to maximize market share and profit while the business coach will help you to improve yourself by time management and decision making so that you can solve all your business problems yourself.
Why settle for the rest when you can have the best? The difference between hiring a good advisor and a bad advisor can make or break a business. When you seek advice from an advisor, make sure you select them by their expertise level and experience. A degree from a renowned business school is not enough. A business advisor must have real world experience in working with several types of business, while having a profound knowledge about the financing, marketing and sales of a company. Before seeking help from an advisor, make up your mind on which business areas you will seek advice for. State your expectations up front to the advisor, so that there is no ambiguity.
A business advisor is a hired professional and as such he is an outside expert. He brings with him a whole lot of specialized knowledge which your in house employees lack. The role of a business advisor are many:
- Learn about the business: As explained above, the advisor may have to go through record, visit the premises and talk to the employees to get an overview of the business which will help him pinpointing the point of concern.
- Identify problems: There are two kinds of problems: one that is seen by the management of the business and the one that becomes apparent to an outside expert, such as a business advisor. The advisor should be hired to find out not only the current issues are, but also what other potential issues can be foreseen with the current available data. That includes issues in management or issues that may arise due to the company’s long and short term objectives. For the clear assessment of the issues plaguing the company, trust is vital.
- Provide solution: Each business has its own problems and hence each needs a customized solution. Once the issues are identified, the next step is to identify where the change is needed.
- Opportunities: The advisor will help you identify the hidden opportunities in your business that you may exploit to gain maximum profits. The advisor will also guide you on how to make good use of the opportunities so that they are not wasted or misused.
- Feedback: Both the client, i.e. the business owner as well as the advisor can use some feedback. This way both can be aware of their strengths and weaknesses and the areas that needs improvement. The customer feedback is essential for the advisor as it will help him improve his services and gain more clients. The feedback provided by the advisor is also essential for the business as they assist the company work to identify and work on their shortcomings.
A business advisor will provide the professional advice necessary to help you grow as a business. The main challenge for a business owner is to know when and how to seek advice from a business advisor, how to make good use of the advice and implement it.