What Is a Business Advisor?
Although every business has one main leader or CEO, even small companies have management teams. Ship captains have officers to delegate responsibilities to. Similarly, a business owner must also use business advisors.
But, many small business owners or entrepreneurs have never used or hired a business advisor before. This guide will break down what a business advisor is and explore the value they can provide to your company.
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
Business Advisors Explained
A business advisor is an economic strategist that can help your company in several ways. Business advisors come in many types, many of which have certain specialties or focuses.
In most cases, business consultants help with:
- Planning the short-term or long-term development of your business
- Organizing or analyzing the finances of your business, such as financial planning
- Helping with marketing your business or revitalizing your brand image
- Developing your business’s supply chains for greater durability
- Reaching your business goals
- Pursuing profitable product development methods
- And more
In short, business advisors are specialists you can hire to tackle the biggest business challenges. For example, your business may be about to release a new product for its core consumers. You need the launch to be successful to turn a profit this fiscal quarter.
So you hire a business advisor to assist with marketing the new product and ensure supply chain stability. Then you, as the business leader, can focus more on managing your business. In many ways, business advisors share the burden of leadership.
Types of Business Advisors
Business advisors come in several types, including:
- Marketing advisors. They assist your business by analyzing customer behavior and adjusting brand image.
- Strategic advisors. These professionals assist with long-term business planning. They are helpful when trying to expand your business or during a period of economic instability.
- Financial advisors. They assist with accounting and investment for your business. They can also help with financial projecting and estimations for long-term business health.
- Operations advisors. These advisors assist with day-to-day business activities and operations.
- Management advisors. They can assist with leadership, personnel development, and more.
- Tax advisors. They help your business get through tax season as efficiently as possible.
- Legal advisors. A legal or academic advisor can help you navigate complex legal situations, like lawsuits.
- IT advisors. Such professionals can help you modernize your business and its technology. They can also assist with digital security.
- Recruitment/HR advisors. These advisors help your business find the best talent and staff and ensure you have a nondiscriminatory workplace.
How to Find a Good Business Advisor for Your Business
While there are excellent advisors out there, there are also subpar business advisors. To ensure that you only hire great business advisors for your business, look for these major attributes.
A good business advisor needs at least a little management experience. Even if they aren’t specialized in management, they should know how to organize other people and delegate response abilities. Management experience is also a good proxy skill set for business knowledge.
The best business advisors will focus on one or two areas. Jack of all trades business advisors may not have the expertise or knowledge necessary to do what you need.
Instead, it’s best to think about which type of business advisor you need most. Then look for a business advisor to specifically fill that role. For example, if you need help with taxes, a financial advisor is the best person to look for. Need help with your business plans or business strategies? A business strategist is the person to see.
Naturally, an exemplary fit for your business advisor job will have at least a few credentials. These can include college degrees in a relevant field, a special license, and more. You should specifically look for individuals with:
- Business degrees
- Coaching credentials like CPCP (Certified Professional Coach Program)
- TAB Business Owner Advisory Board membership
- And more
Lastly, any business advisor you hire should have referrals from past clients or partners. Contact these past partners and ask about a prospective hire's performance. You don't need to rush picking out a business advisor. So it pays to take your time and select the best of the best based on their previous clients' satisfaction.
In fact, consider joining a business owner network when looking for a new advisor. Fellow business owners could help you find the perfect specialist for your needs.
In the end, a business advisor can do more than merely bolster your own management efforts. They can help your business reach its full potential. Some business advisors can also shore up weaknesses in your current leadership roster. Examine the available business advisors in your area carefully and consider hiring at least one. You might be surprised at how much value they bring to your company!
Read our resource guide for more information and resources for running your business.