An advisor can be just the big equipment to solve your lingering problems.
Gut feel’s great, but an external catalyst can make a big difference
Many owners and managers tend to manage by ‘gut’ feel, which can cause unnecessary problems, frustrations and stress. Statistics show that up to 80% of business failures could have been avoided if they had used advisors. Why would you be any different?
In regional, rural and remote areas, it was particularly difficult to find advisors with sufficient practical experience and with a cost structure to suit. However, new information technology and communications are starting to facilitate an improving situation in these areas.
In the 2000’s, with the emergence of the Internet and global competition, old ways started to change. Business today has and is becoming more complex and can be too hard doing it by yourself unless you have the right advice to guide you. Many advisors today know how to implement successful plans and strategies from start-ups to mature organisations with a minimum of costs. They realise that little businesses grow up and it they are looked after during the start-up phase, they will be good clients for life.
Business advisors are generally broken into several quite distinct categories
- Facilitator – A Facilitator is experienced in processes which can relate to specifics; planning, relationships, health and so on; they facilitate ideas and opportunities for individuals and organisations.
- Coach – These are the people who can be best summarised as general practitioners. They have had good practical experience in running a business, they act much like a coach in a sporting team.
- Mentor – Where an experienced person is assigned to an inexperienced person and assists in training or providing a general support role. Mentoring is about dealing with individuals in order to guide them with problems they may have.
- Advisor – These people have well-developed skills in one or two specific areas such as marketing, human resources, accounting, law, finance, workplace health and safety, construction, engineering etc. These are the people who can be best summarised as specialist practitioners.
- Broker – A broker is an individual or party (brokerage firm) that arranges transactions between a buyer and seller and gets a commission when the deal is executed. Examples include finance brokers, business brokers, real estate brokers.
- Counsellor – Counselling is a highly specialised helping process, used by professionally trained and certified counsellors. It involves working with people individually or in small groups. These specialists are used principally where there are personal and family relationship and health problems.
“I have found no greater satisfaction than achieving success through honest dealing and strict adherence to the view that, for you to gain, those you deal with should gain as well”. Alan Greenspan
The need for external advisors
People need someone they can share thoughts with, as traditional support has all but disappeared.
- Family units are disintegrating. We have seen fathers, mothers, grandparents, in-laws, uncles, cousins, all too busy elsewhere.
- Bank managers, the friendly ones, who would walk down the street and drop into seeing how you are getting along, don’t exist anymore.
- Accountants no longer spend an extra hour discussing business, they are too busy with government compliance and taxation issues.
- Good Business facilitators and coaches are few and far between, particularly in regional, rural and remote areas, so there are few advocates of new ideas and business development.
Advisors can help you to focus on what they want to do, and what is important to your future as well as how you’re going to do it.
Why some people don’t use advisors
These are the very reasons you need to seriously consider engaging an advisor.
- Don’t understand – consultant, mentor, facilitator, coach, advisor, broker.
- Satisfied with the status quo.
- No money.
- No time.
- Don’t know how to get the most out of them.
- Want to understand new technologies and marketing.
- Don’t take suggested action when they should.
- Too many problems, don’t know where to start.
- Not action orientated.
- No business plan or model to hang advice on.
- Don’t have direction and won’t put the time into it.
- Don’t have faith in the future of their business.
- Think they understand what needs to be done.
- They dislike being available 24×7 for customers.
Good advisors quickly understand problems, frustrations, wants and needs
What do clients say to an advisor
- “Things are not working as well as I would like”.
- “I have trouble getting my ideas off the ground”.
- “Yes, I am frustrated with this business and the community”.
- “I have a definite need, but can’t find anyone to help me”.
- “I want to make things happen, I need a breakthrough”.
What do clients feel when with an advisor
- Frustrated as their business has no direction.
- They feel embarrassed about their situation.
- Worried it is going to cost too much.
- They feel overwhelmed and workload with ideas and opportunities.
- There are not enough hours in the day to do what they suggest.
- Frustrated and desperate when things go wrong.
- Disappointed that there is no one there who wants to help when needed.
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Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? Far too many people don’t either understand or believe in the strengths they have. Chances are, you don’t. All too often, our natural talents go untapped and we are unable to focus on the things we like doing and are good at doing. Most people devote more time to fixing their problems than to develop their strengths.
More often than not a good practical advisors can act as a catalyst and change your whole outlook on your business and your lifestyle. Keep in mind experienced advisors see many of the same problems and their solutions often. This means that they are able to spot the problems and deliver a solution very inexpensively.
Certainly, they are far less expensive than continuing problems and frustrations that keep causing your struggles.
Traditionally we looked to the accountants, solicitors and specialist advisors to provide a range of services to assist in profitable growth and sustainability. Unfortunately, they were usually too expensive for the many questions you need to ask.
Many are concerned more with tax avoidance, government regulations and their own self-interests, with little concern for start-ups and the growth and development of small businesses. Start-ups were more nuisance than they were worth.