Have you ever wondered what a Business Advisor can do for you and why working with a good one can be a game-changer? You are not alone; the professional role of a Business Advisor is not well understood.

In the first of five articles, I aim to further your understanding and help you visualise how you can generate business value by working with a business advisor.

My thinking comes from my work with business advisory clients since 2005, mentoring other Business Advisors, and my knowledge of how Business Advisors operate and add value. They not only create business value but act as a conduit for the value provided by their networks.

 

How to work with an advisor to generate business value

There are three main ways an advisor can generate business value for you.

 

1. Get stuck into the detail

Business is complex and as a leader, there are times when drilling into the detail is critical. It can make the difference between making a decision based on facts or incomplete data. A quality business advisor needs to come with you on this detailed journey, or at times pull together the detail for you. They should make what is complex as simple as possible for you to digest, without losing nuance or context. This is a learned art, in my case, it has been honed over 27 years in corporate environments and 17 years whilst self-employed. Lifelong learning applies to a business advisor as much as it applies to any other professional. You will find Advantage Business advisors are all life-long learners.

 

2. Have a broad reach

Leaders also need (at times) to mentally step back and consider the big picture. It can be a big ask, given the myriad details within a business. Even with a superb team, as the leader of your business, it falls to you to assess the big picture and decide how best to act or choose not to act.

The role of the business advisor is to support you in a tailored way.

 

3. Actively listen

There is a difference between listening and active listening. Listening involves both listening to the person and at the same time preparing the basis of a reply. Business advisors who listen often miss what is said and what it means. Because in their heads they are preparing their response to what they hear.

Actively listening involves a complete focus on what is said, what it means, and what is omitted. Active listening skills separate average business advisors from quality business advisors.

An advisor who really listens to you will provide greater insight when they answer a question. They will use humour at times to lighten the more serious areas. Above all, you will have a clear sense of being truly listened to.

Active listening will provide you with,

  • Better business insights
  • Better business clarity
  • Greater leadership momentum.

If you can find an advisor who can generate business value using all three of these approaches, then you’re off to a great start.

 

Read my next article in this series: Approach and Synergy to find out what you should look for in a business advisor.

By Murray Fulton