What do you expect from your business adviser?

(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)
(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)

Start-ups are driven by the founder but are not a solo act. It’s challenging to plan and implement everything required for a start-up while the environment and market changes, unexpected difficulties crop up and motivation flags when things don’t go as you expected.

It doesn’t matter if your business is in the early stages of development or if you have transformed from the start-up phase into a viable small to medium-sized businesses that is generating turnover and profit, it still may pay to look at a business adviser who can help you steer your business to greater success. But although there is much hype about the need for a business adviser to help you in your start-up or small business not that many founders or small business owners turn to business advisers for advice. Budgets are tight there is a natural inclination or belief that you can do it all yourself.

A business adviser who was chosen as one of Britain’s top 50 businesses advisers says that it is easy for an early stage business to get distracted and lose sight of what is important and what they are trying to achieve. “There is a strong risk that without good strategic advice you can wake up one day with a business that is underperforming and has become a chore not a pleasure,” Janet Bebb told a provincial weekly. She says you can arrive at that point through a series of hundreds small compromises over several months which distracts you so you don’t see it coming. Good advice, she says can help put simple systems and practices in place to make sure that your business stays on track and does what you wanted it to.

Emma Jones, the founder of Enterprise Nation which ran the competition where small businesses nominated best advisers, says, “Research shows that those firms that take advice do better than those that don’t – and it stands to reason that good advice can help avoid some of the damaging, early mistakes entrepreneurs can make that can often force them to give up.”

Janet Bebb, one of the top 50 business advisers, gives this advice: build a strong network base around your business and if you can develop a mastermind team that supports each other to help grow you and your business; ask others you know who started up what they wished they’d asked for with hindsight; make sure you get around to running your business and don’t spend all your time talking about it.

This is good general advice but when you are running a start-up you want someone who has strong industry domain experience in your field, knows about financing a small business operation, can help you develop your promising new business idea into a viable product or service, can advise on distribution, marketing and selling and has deep experience in operations. Systems are also important so that you know what is going on in your business and you are able to measure results and act with proper controls.

When you choose a business adviser, do a background check and see if they meet these criteria and those of your own. Check out more than one adviser because bad or poor business advice can be costly and with a wrong turn in your business you could end up losing it.

If you are in the early stages of developing a new product or service from a promising business idea, here where you will find professional advice.

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