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It's Lonely at the Top, But You Don't Have to Go It Alone

Business planning, financial projections, bookkeeping, payroll…this is just a short list of tasks small business owners need to tackle. To make sure everything gets done, many business owners tap into the services provided by accountants to record financial transactions and historical data. And while accounting expertise is a vital part of any business, today’s business owners and entrepreneurs also need advisors who can think beyond the numbers.

Where should they go for advice? How can they grow the company? How do they know if the company’s mission or vision should be changed in response to the current health and economic climate? There are volumes of information on the web, but the writers likely were not privy to the nuances of a particular business — so is the information even relevant?

A business advisor is someone who offers strategies to help with the planning and growth of your company. While you focus on the day-to-day tasks involved with running your business, think of your business advisor as an extension of yourself, someone who looks at the big picture and spends their time working to improve the specific areas of your business that need it most.

Based on my experience, here’s how you can get the most value out of your relationship with a business advisor.

Take advantage of a fresh perspective

Sometimes it takes a fresh set of eyes to see potential opportunities that exist, as well as present and future threats. Your advisor should provide an objective opinion, and they shouldn’t be swayed by any prevailing ideas within the business. Look for an advisor who won’t let you fall back on the excuse of “that’s how it’s always been done.”

Ask what works and what doesn’t

Because many advisors work with businesses in a variety of industries, they have broad and deep expertise, and they have seen things go right — and wrong.

Develop unique solutions

Just because advisors have probably seen it all doesn’t mean yours should offer one-size-fits-all solutions. A reputable advisor should learn about your business operations, your goals and your challenges in order to provide tailored guidance and advice.

Be strategic about your time

When you bring on an advisor, you should think more strategically about your time. Advisors are subject matter experts in their fields, so you should commit your own time to focusing on your strengths and the reasons you became a business owner in the first place.

If you’re just starting your business, you might consider looking to an advisor to help you get past the ideation stage. Your advisor should be able to help you develop and execute a business plan. A reputable advisor will also help you avoid costly mistakes so that your business runs effectively and efficiently from the start.

Find an advisor who shares your core values and can give you expert advice. Working with the right advisor should provide you with the tools and support to correct any missteps you may have taken in the past and propel you into the future.

First published on website, April 28, 2020

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