Many companies exist from day-to-day in survival mode, barely scraping by and certainly not growing in any meaningful way. In tough economic times like the present, this is understandable, but there comes a time when you need to take a good hard look at your processes and see where improvements can be made. Unfortunately, unless you are an expert in everything from accounting to IT and marketing, there are bound to be gaps in your knowledge. This is where a business advisor can come in useful.

What is a Business Advisor?

Business advisors are specialists in their individual areas of expertise. This could be anything from corporate finance to social media marketing or network security. You may not need an IT expert if your business is in the IT sector, but if you don’t have a background in finance, a business finance advisor could be helpful, and vice versa.

How can Business Advisors Help?

A business consultant or advisor will normally come into the company and examine your processes and the way you do things. They will look at areas where there are inefficiencies. They might assess how viable your business is in the long-term, your risk profile, how you can accelerate growth, and whether it’s time to diversify.

In short, a business advisor has the experience and expertise to offer useful insights into areas you are less knowledgeable about. By asking the right questions and listing to your answers, it’s their job to make your business more efficient and successful. In turn, this ensures your business has a better chance of survival.

Azets, an accounts and business advisory service, is a good real-world example of how this service works. Their experts focus on helping SME’s with tax, finance and banking, insolvency, and other areas. Because they have the largest spread of local offices, your company can enjoy a more personal touch.

Why Work with a Business Advisor?

Operating in survival mode is not a long-term strategy. If you want to grow and future-proof your business, you need to look at how you can improve the way you manage your operation. An outside pair of eyes scrutinising the business can be enormously helpful.

People not closely affiliated with the company can be more objective. They are not emotionally invested in the business, so it is easier for them to offer advice that might not always be welcome.  As well as streamlining the business and making it more efficient, you will be able to save money, which is always a bonus.

How to Choose the Right Advisor

It’s important to work with the right advisor, or your time and theirs will be wasted. Not to mention your money!

Decide what you need help with and look for an advisor with extensive knowledge and experience in this area. The less knowledgeable you are, the more important it is to work with someone experienced.

If your business is a niche one, try and work with an advisor that has experience in that niche. For example, an agricultural business will get more value when working with a financial advisor that has experience with agricultural businesses, as they’ll better understand the cyclical nature of income and expenditure.

Ask for references before you decide to work with an advisor. It’s important that you can build a good working relationship with them. Not all personalities are a good match, so if the person you meet with initially rubs you up the wrong way, move on and look for a different advisor.

Running a business is stressful, so it makes sense to take as much help as you can get. Don’t try and go it alone – be proactive and reach out to an advisor before the business is in trouble.