How to utilise a Business Advisor for your Start-up

Nov 18 2019

Business advisors can be a valuable asset for an entrepreneur, particularly for a first-time start-up company. A business advisor is different from a co-founder or investor.

They aren’t looking for a piece of your business and are usually interested in a mentoring-style position where they can provide you with advice and perhaps take on some of the work for you.

This typically is a paid position, but a business owner might consider offering some type of equity in the company, in lieu of payment.

EFM Growth is a team of experienced Growth Partners, who know how and where they can add expertise and value to a business. As specialists, they can apply their knowledge, experience, and expertise to help you make strategic decisions.

Here are some specialist insights on how companies can leverage a business advisor to assist in achieving their strategic objectives:

Determine the Depth of their Role

Before you bring in a business advisor, consider how hands-on you want them to be in your business. In some cases, our Growth Advisors have taken on a very active role in their client’s daily operations. Similar to when you have investors who want to get involved and make decisions, it’s important to know in advance your level of comfort about the role the advisor will play.

The business advisor will also want to know how much participation you want from them before getting started. This will align expectations and minimise any conflict down the line. Having an agreement on the business advisor’s role will then allow them to get going on what they need to do for you.

When you have defined that role, the business advisor can focus on various areas in which you have been taking the lead, providing advise, and undertaking those tasks and projects where they have greater strength and experience than you do.

Find an Advisor who understands your industry

A general business consultant won’t be able to give you detailed advice about your market, product or service offering, or critical factors like the regulatory environment or key trends. When you have a business advisor who understands what you are trying to do with your business, their advice is much more relevant to your needs.

Our Growth Partners will have experienced the issues you are currently facing, or have a working knowledge of what your target audience is seeking, or what the competition has failed to do. This level of intelligence can help you shortcut your way to market by saving time and money on some of the efforts that would have been involved. It may even reveal information that you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.

Identify & Manage a Pivot

A business advisor is essentially another pair of eyes that can often see what an owner cannot. You may have looked at your business plan so many times that you can no longer see anything that needs to change. However, a business advisor is on the outside looking in and tends to spot the need for change — maybe even a more fundamental change or ‘pivot’ — in your company’s direction. Beyond just giving you a reality check, they can assist in overseeing and navigating that dramatic change.

Oversee Major Strategic Moves like Acquisitions

When you are at a place where you and your advisor see an opportunity to make a major strategic move, the assistance of someone who has undertaken acquisitions, sold and exited businesses, and led mergers is invaluable.

Such a strategic play takes considerable thought and planning that you may have never done, especially if running a business is new to you. A business advisor can deliver the types of agreements and due diligence necessary to make an acquisition work.

Help the Advisor Help You

While there are so many ways to leverage a business advisor, you play an important role in ensuring that they can do the most during their time with you. This means getting organised, having information and financials at the ready, and regular communication about what you are doing and any issues that arise along the way.

Of course, you won’t know everything your business advisor needs to know (hence why you are bringing one in), but be as responsive, open, and transparent as possible so their advice and direction deliver the competitive advantage you want.

Employing a business advisor is a sign of strength. Whether you’re experiencing one of the signs above, or you want help to take your business to the next level, EFM Growth can help you achieve your potential so that you have more money, more time, and more fun.

Our team of experts are here to support you and provide the best solutions to help your business achieve sustainable growth. Get in touch by email or call 01442 8176.

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