Nine Factors To Consider Before Seeking Out A Business Advisor


Hiring a business advisor can be an incredible way to energize you and your business. Bringing on a business advisor can open the creative floodgates, assist with perfecting your margins, fulfilling your demand, improve customer relations, surpassing benchmarks, etc. According to Forbes recent article “Nine Factors to Consider Before Seeking Out a Business Advisor,” not only can they help you rework any failing processes or initiatives, but they can also provide inspiration and insights into what might be the “next big thing” for your growing business. However, like with any new hire you make, you’ll want to be thoughtful about your choice and avoid rushing into a decision based on desperation.”

There are nine factors to consider before seeking out a business advisor:

  1. Whether You Fully Understand Your Business First
  2. How Well They Align With Your Vision
  3. How You Can Play To Their Strengths
  4. If You Understand What You Hope To Gain
  5. If You Have Clear Goals & Objectives
  6. Whether The Advisor Has Demonstrated Success
  7. Whether They Are Invested In You Beyond Financial Gain
  8. If They’re Willing To Challenge You
  9. Whether You’re Ready & Open To Receiving Guidance

It is imperative that you fully understand your business operation before hiring a business advisor. An effective way to gain more insight is to conduct a S.W.O.T.T. analysis which reviews your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Trends and Threats. Utilize this information when seeking an experienced business advisor. The S.W.O.T.T. analysis will be informative and allow the business advisor to hit the ground running once he/she is hired.

A second factor that we must consider is how well the business advisor aligns with your overall vision, not only your current operation but where you want to take the company moving forward. Do their values, beliefs and business background fit the missing piece to propel your business? You will know within the first 60 seconds if they align.

Third, all business advisors have a specific background with 10, 15, 20+ years of experience. What is their business acumen? Review their resume and professional experience. Request references of prior advisory work which will be huge in determining how well they collaborated with other business owners and executives. Once you gain this valuable insight, you will then know the business advisor’s strengths. Use their strengths as fuel to accomplish goals.

A fourth factor you will want to consider when hiring a business advisor is understanding what you hope to gain. Is there a specific problem or issue to be solved? What areas within the company’s operation is lacking results? Having a clear plan and purpose from the beginning will provide immediate clarity when you begin the process of collaborating with the new business advisor.

The fifth factor that will need to be executed before hiring a business advisor is to have clear goals and objectives written down on paper. We want the goals and objectives to be precise where we follow the S.M.A.R.T. system which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound.

The sixth factor to analyze is whether or not the business advisor has demonstrated success with other companies. How long did it take for the advisor to reach pre-determined objectives and S.M.A.R.T. goals? How immediate was their impact at other companies? Calling business executives from their previous work will shed more light on whether they are results and solution oriented. Word of mouth marketing is the most valuable marketing tool a business advisor can have. Previous clients will be honest and open regarding their experiences with the business advisor. Seeking this information is imperative before finalizing a contract with a business advisor.

The seventh factor we must consider before hiring a business advisor is if they are invested in you beyond financial gain. Is the advisor showing passion with their voice? Does the advisor make time for your phone calls and emails? Answering your initial phone calls and replying back to emails within hours will show they’re invested not only to your business but your personal success. Does the business advisor request a retainer from the start or do they make it more results oriented with clear itemized actions that they need to solve before getting paid? How often do they reach out as an advisor? Do they check-in with their clients hourly, daily or weekly? Do they travel to your office or place of work?

As a business executive or owner, hiring a business advisor will have an adjustment period. The 8th factor you will want to consider is if the business advisor is willing to challenge you. This is a long-term mutually beneficial relationship where both sides need to be transparent and open to new ideas. The business advisor cannot be a “people pleaser” or “yes coach” personality. This is a collaborative effort where you foster an environment for the business advisor to be real and authentic with their analysis and thoughts.

Last, are you fully ready in receiving guidance from someone else? Are you a lifelong learner? Are you willing and open to change? Change can be hard but change also brings growth. Having a growth mindset is key.

For more insight, read this awesome Forbes article: