When it comes to launching a successful career in any industry, the first piece of advice fresh hires receive is often to “get a mentor.” These mentors can play an invaluable role in helping you navigate a new workplace, new goals, and new expectations.
But once you’ve left the rat race to launch your own business, the value of a mentor can pale in comparison to that of a business advisor—someone who is intimately familiar with your specific industry and who can provide you with balanced and impartial advice for the challenges you face. Rather than reinvent the wheel and learn from your own mistakes, you can build on the expertise of those who have come before you.
This post will explore the varied roles a business advisor can fulfill, as well as how taking advantage of the opportunity to add an advisor to your team can significantly boost your business’s growth.
a bUSINESS aDVISOR’S ROLE
Business advisors can come in a variety of forms. Some are part of a collaborative group of local leaders who have similar goals and face similar challenges—a club of female Silicon Valley CEOs, for example—while others may work as paid consultants after retiring from their own C-suite gigs.
A good business advisor will do the following:
- Review your internal systems. After an in-depth analysis of your current strategies or practices, a good business advisor will add value to your company by revising your current practices or offering alternative methodology. Always approach your advisor with a teachable attitude. Your current internal systems may be in desperate need of updating from a professional perspective.
- Help you identify your long-term goals. During the first few years of business ownership, many entrepreneurs are too preoccupied with keeping day-to-day operations going to spend much time focused on their business direction. Working with an advisor to identify a solid, reliable financial vision can give you new direction and help you put productivity measures into place to meet these goals.
- Share your business values. Just like entrepreneurs, business advisors come in all shapes, sizes, and business philosophies. It’s important to find someone whose goals and values line up with yours. No matter how well-intended, guidance from a business advisor whose style is diametrically opposite yours may not provide you with the best decision-making tools.
How an Advisor Can Help Your Business
By finding an advisor who fits the above description, you’ll be well-equipped to begin growing your business. A business advisor can even recommend other consultants to help you with specific tasks (for example, hiring an accountant to audit your finances or hiring an HR consultant to design a nondiscriminatory hiring policy).
It’s important to iron out a clear work plan and scope of duties for your business advisor. You don’t want to risk any miscommunication that could impact the quality of work provided. Don’t be afraid to schedule regular status meetings to assess your progress on identified goals and brainstorm ways to improve matters.
If you’re interested in hiring a business advisor but aren’t sure where to begin, Klein Hall CPAs can help. In addition to general accounting and bookkeeping services, we provide business advisory services to businesses of all sizes and types. To learn more about the services we offer, get in touch with one of the members of our dedicated and experienced team.