A Good Advisor Can Take Your Business To New Heights

Date PublishedNovember 15, 2014
CompanyResource Management Innovations
Article AuthorDanielle Klooster
Article TypePULSE Interactive Newsletter Nov. 2014
CategoryPULSE Interactive
Tags, , , , ,
PULSE Interactive

A Good Advisor Can Take Your Business To New Heights

fcae4558-0c01-4856-934f-f4369d7562e9.jpgAs a small business owner, you work hard at your craft and put plenty of blood, sweat and tears into your company. However regardless of your investment of time, your talent or your ambition, there will inevitably come a time in your business when you hit an obstacle and realize that what you really need is some sound advice. Who you gonna call? A business advisor, of course!

business advisor oilfield hubGood business advice can help you effectively and efficiently meet your business objectives, save you money, give you a competitive advantage and help you avoid disaster. But advisor is a broad term. How do you know what kind of advisor you need? You can’t just walk into Advisors R Us and pick one off the shelf. Finding an advisor you like and trust is just as important as finding one with the required expertise. Think of yourself as an airline pilot, and the advisor as the air traffic controller. You might be the one flying the plane, but there are key times when your success is completely dependent on a competent, trustworthy air traffic controller. They can see things you can’t. They have big picture knowledge you don’t have. Their entire success as advisors is to help you successfully taxi, take off and land. That’s what a business advisor does for your business.

Here are eight tips to help you choose well and get the most of your advisory experience:

1. Identify your objectives: Some of the reasons or seasons when you may require the services of a business advisor may include market research and opportunity assessments, getting through a growth hump, attracting investment or securing financing, exploring new markets or preparing for sale or succession.

2. Get a referral: Everyone in business already has advisors in positions of trust. Your banker, your accountant and your lawyer no doubt have people in their networks – or sometimes even within their organization – who can help. Since he/she comes recommended by people already in your confidence, really pre-qualifies that advisor.

3. Do your homework: Once you’ve narrowed the field to a few top choices, it’s time to dig in and do the background checks (yes, even if they were referred). Visiting an advisor’s website is a good place to start, but don’t stop there. Check out his or her full profile on Linkedin, including recommendations and endorsements. Do a Google search; read online reviews. Call references.

4. Conduct an Interview: You are hiring this person. You are entering into a legal contract for services, and as such, you have a right, and a responsibility, to engage your potential advisor in an in-depth dialogue to determine fit before you sign on the dotted line. Some things to discuss:

– Your business objective

– Your expectations of the advisor

– The advisor’s expectations of you

– The advisor’s related experience and expertise

– Timeframe and deadline requirements

– The scope of the engagement

– The advisor’s personal and professional values and priorities

5. Never stop asking questions: Once the engagement commences, it’s a mistake to think you can just go back to work while the consultant gets on with it. Remember the air traffic controller analogy; you and the advisors are partners in landing the plane. For full, long-lasting value, you need to be fully informed and have a solid understanding of the process at every step.

6. Trust your instincts: Often, business people do what they do because it is a passion, and extension of who they are. While you should never disregard or dismiss the counsel of your advisor, it should mesh with your core values and corporate culture and fit with your leadership style. In a phrase, the plan you and your advisor develop should feel right. If it doesn’t, it’s likely it will never be implemented.

7. Pay the money: It’s not about how much it costs; it’s about the return on investment. A good advisor works diligently to mitigate risk and maximize value for your business; a practice that will ensure that the money you spend comes back to you with interest as your business is propelled forward.

8. Plan for a long-term relationship: Choose your advisor well, for competence, character and chemistry, because you are trusting this person with sensitive information about your business. There are only so many people on the planet you want in that inner circle. Once your advisor has earned your trust, stay in the relationship. That relationship can be of tremendous benefit to you throughout the life of your business.

The global business community is dynamic, filled with opportunity and challenge, changing rapidly and fraught with risk. As your lifeblood, your business deserves your careful planning and due diligence. It’s your advisor’s job, as your air traffic controller, to help you successfully navigate all the obstacles and to partner with you for a clean take-off, safe journey and happy landings.

Danielle Klooster

Danielle Klooster - Resource Management Innovations
Business Advisor
Danielle Klooster of Resource Management Innovations, Okotoks, Alberta