An “advisorship” is much more than a mentorship; it is a relationship between a business and a third party that has a specific value to add. There is an implied sense of expectations and reward. Just as an Advisor must invest his or her time to serve the business, the business must invest time into the relationship. No matter how ambitious or talented, we all have our blindspots – certain obstacles or hard realities that we fail to anticipate which is why we all need some sound advice from time to time. To get it, we must engage the right Advisors along the way. When considering using a business advisor Melbourne to help with your business, it is important to get one who is not only qualified and experienced, but someone whom you are comfortable with.
Be careful of those who have experience and know little of a lot of things. There is no academic qualification that can surpass the effectiveness of a business advisor who has a proven track record in the competency that you are looking for and who can demonstrate success from a real situation. An advisor that specializes in your industry will speak your language, understand your business concerns, and know the competitive umbrella your business operates under. If you’re lucky, he’ll have some great industry contacts too. Last but not least, ask your mentors, work associates, and members of social networks who they have used and would recommend in a business advisor capacity.
It is important to determine the type of relationship you are going to have. Are you going to be tied into a long term contract, what are the options if you are not happy with the service being provided? It is fair to expect that some of your advisors will flake out, change industries, retire, or simply be too busy to help. As such, it is best to define up front what happens if either party decides that it’s not working out. Some business advisors will not tie you down to a fixed term contract or will allow you to cancel at any time if you are not happy, without any penalty. It is best to have a contract that covers details regarding any form of equity grant or compensation as well as whether or not expenses are reimbursed. Some entrepreneurs explicitly state the frequency of meetings, phone calls, and possibly the number of hours expected from a committed advisor.
It is important to establish the frequency that you are going to meet, where that will take place, what are the deliverables that can be expected as a result of working with the advisor and what are the payment terms. Once you have engaged your Advisors, you will want to ensure a productive relationship. Advisors can become a burden – in both expense and time wasted – unless they are managed wisely. Do remember though that once you have chosen your business advisor, you need to be willing to take action to get the best out of it. Your relationship with your advisors should be constantly optimized through candid feedback exchange.
Business planning, financial projections, employee management, and customer acquisitions are just a few of the issues that small business owners wrestle with. Startups and fast-growing companies have even more challenges. Small business advisors are seasoned professionals that help with strategic business planning and crucial operational decisions. Find a business coach that understands the special challenges of small business, including recruiting and retaining employees, capital funding, product marketing, and keeping up with technology. Additionally, target an advisor who had success with your biggest business challenge.