Having the right business advisors can help give you a crucial leg up when it comes to running a successful small business. But if you and your advisors are not on the same page regarding your goals and business philosophy, getting their advice can be worse than getting no advice at all. In order to prevent bad advice from derailing your business, follow these steps to help ensure that you and your business advisors remain in sync.
1. Regularly Communicate About Your Goals, Mission and Vision for your Business:
Working with a business advisor is a long-term relationship, and we all know that communication can make or break any relationship. Therefore, it’s important to regularly check in with your advisors to make sure you understand each other. You’ll want to make sure that your advisor understands what you are trying to accomplish with your business, and that you are correctly interpreting the advice they are giving you. Pay attention to how you communicate with each other in meetings and over email so you can assess what’s working and what could be improved in your communication style. Asking questions is key to making sure you are on the same page, so don’t hold back if you need clarification. Starting the relationship with honesty and clarity will help make for a smooth process for however long you work together.
2. Take a Hard Look at Why You Chose Your Business Advisors:
Were you drawn to your business advisor because of their impressive resume, glamorous client list, prestigious academic credentials, or because of a genuine connection or shared enthusiasm for your business? If you find that you’re just not gelling with your advisor or are unhappy with their ideas, it’s worth it to go back to the drawing board and assess if this person is truly meeting your needs and expectations. Even if an advisor comes with a sterling reputation, they might not necessarily be the right fit for you. If you find that’s the case with someone you’re working with, think of it as an opportunity to realize what you truly need out of a business advisor relationship and restart your search.
3. Keep That Grain of Salt Handy:
One of the most important parts of receiving advice is learning when not to take it. While you want an advisor that passionately believes in their ideas, you also want them to recognize your authority as a business owner. Remember that you are still the ultimate authority when it comes to your business. The good news is that a simple disagreement doesn’t have to mean the end of a business relationship. If a suggestion or piece of advice you receive from your advisor doesn’t feel helpful or ring true to you, it’s okay to trust your instincts and ignore it. A good advisor will respect your decision and hopefully go back to the drawing board to help come up with a new solution that takes your feedback into account. If not, you now have the tools you need to look for an advisor who will truly help your business thrive.
We sometimes try to act as the coordinator of all the client’s advisors and act as the project manager. We assess the business owner’s goals, dreams and objectives to build a plan that requires the owner’s other advisors to participate and help implement. Many owners like the idea of having a lead advisor managing the other advisors and getting everyone on the same page so that the owners can remain in their business and not have to take extra time to coordinate their advisors themselves.