What (or Who) Makes a Truly Great Business Advisor?

Even well-intentioned friends can become advisors to your business, despite the fact they may not have any relevant experience. But what are the key differences separating a great business advisor from a mediocre one?

Finding the Right Person for the Job

Here’s some of the factors that I think are important:

1. Exposure to a variety of scenarios and situations in the business world.

2. The ability to synthesize information learned from relevant experience with the current context faced by the business. Then, being able to form a pragmatic recommendation based on sound assessment.

3. The ability to communicate in a way that is easily understood.

4. To help provide a pathway to achieve the desired outcome, taking into account the resources available to the business.

So, based on these factors, would an accountant or a solicitor make a good business advisor? I believe yes, providing the individual is able to do all the above in a way that is understandable and can provide the ‘light bulb’ moment. Most will profess to be able to do that, but not all can.

It’s like I always say, “The right business advisor can take your business from good to great

The Things to Look for

How then would you go about assessing whether a certain party would make a good business advisor? I Here’s a few useful things to look for when seeking professional advisory help:

Ability to work with you
You’ve got to feel comfortable with the person you are going to work with. You need to be able to trust them, as you will be revealing confidential information about your business. If you’re not comfortable with the Business Coach, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to help you on any meaningful level.

Business Model
What is the main cash-flow generating activity of the business you are looking at? If their main arena is via an area other than business consulting, then it is likely that their expertise is predominantly based in that area. Try looking for an organisation that has a track record of working with companies from a business perspective.

Experience
Do they have the breadth of exposure to business that you require? Do they have an in-depth knowledge of working in various stages of business growth and will they be able to work with you from an experienced perspective? Experience is vital – you want to know that they’ve succeeded with others before you can trust their advice.