An accountant who worked in large companies has started an advisory service for small businesses in her home town. The accountant is focusing on smaller businesses who often receive poor business advice which leads to horror stories.
The service for small business is mainly about financial advice, money transactions and dealing with tax. In this area, according to the accountant, businesses often close because of bad advice.
Start-ups and business owners receive business advice in many areas, not just financial. Consider for a moment the stages of a business and typically what advice may be needed along the way. This could include financial, legal, marketing, distribution, and even specialised advice when it comes to product development and manufacturing or production operations.
At each stage of the development of a small business different types of advice are needed. Take, for example, a start-up. At the start-up stage the challenges facing the small business would include sources of finance, perhaps specialised staff, a business model and product development. In certain cases, advisers could include legal counsel for patents, trademarks and copyright.
For the existing business perhaps struggling because of lower customer demand, staffing issues and poor cash flow, the adviser would typically include a business adviser, someone who has done staff selection, development and retention and possibly a financial adviser to point the business in the right direction.
Choosing the best business adviser for the challenge facing your business can be difficult. Not all advisers come with the same experience, qualifications and understanding of your particular business need. If you look at the area of marketing adviser, you’ll find so many different opinions that you may end up deciding what you need to do yourself. Today a small business has many different courses of action and options. Knowing which one to take and what the likely impact it will have is an art in itself.
The most practical advice I’ve heard about selecting business advisers is to get advice from more than one adviser. It’s not full proof. But it does give you a range of different ways to tackle a problem. We’re always tempted to go for the lowest possible price but when it comes to business advice the wrong advice or bad advice can prove to be more than costly – even fatal (for the business) if the so-called adviser doesn’t know what they are doing.
Trouble is, who do you go to if you want advice on new business ideas? Perhaps do a Google search and see what you come up with. Can you believe all that over-hyped advice out there? So here’s what you can do. Go here and have a look at “Breakthrough Ideas”. If you like what you see, move quickly. I’m not sure how long it will be available. Miss the boat on this one and you’ll have to slap yourself for not listening to good advice.