I think most of us dislike know-it-alls or the Harry Enfield character with the line “you don’t want to do that”.
Anyway one of the reasons that we start in business is so that we do not have to take instructions from other people.
Of course there are many people offering business advice and it is difficult to make a general statement that they are all good or bad, one of the most common statements I hear is “we get support from our accountants” Well good advice from an accountant is invaluable, but they are not trained in sales & marketing or HR so an accountant who is a good marketer is a pretty rare thing.
Personally I have always felt that taking advice on running your own small business from someone working for a large bank or employed on a comfortable wage by the Welsh Assembly is like Sir Alex Ferguson taking advice from a fan just because he has seen a few games and bought a replica Manchester United kit.
Equally friends and family care too much about you, know how hard you work and want you to be successful so much that they can never be truly objective!
That is why I believe most businesses could do with a good business adviser, he (or she) should be your business buddy bringing a fresh pair of eyes, asking the difficult questions and suggesting ideas.
The business advisor should really understand what it is like to worry about finding this week’s staff wages and to know that everything you own is on the line! He is there to bounce things off, before you commit your precious cash, he works for you - no one else- he should know the limits of his own expertise and work with your accountant and anybody else you choose. – But chiefly he should be value for money because he will ensure that the problems he is solving with you cost much more than his fee. As the relationship grows he might offer tough love, but you will not mind because you know he has your best interests at heart. Lastly he should always work towards his own redundancy rather than making himself irreplaceable!
Whether he is called a coach, mentor or adviser he will help you to lift your nose from the grindstone and see the horizon beyond.
So that is why I think everybody needs a good business adviser.
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