In the past I have blogged about the importance of matching an adviser’s professional expertise and experience with the needs of your own enterprise. That’s half of the equation. The other is whether you actually get on with them.
Do you look forward to an encounter with your ‘commercial manager’ at the bank, your mentor, or consultant? Really? If you don’t, then pack it in, pronto, because you are heading for the rocks.
If advisers follow the same human traits as the rest of us (and I’m sure they do) there will be plenty who are working with clients today knowing full well that they are not a match. Like a failing marriage, those relationships are doomed from Day One.
Some of the best advisers I have come across operate through the network of enterprise agencies across the UK. Some years ago I was trying to get a new venture off the ground. The adviser I was assigned to told me in no uncertain terms that:
- I hadn't got my preparation right
- I hadn't done enough research
- there was too much competition in my chosen market
- I had no clear USP
- the forecasts I made were unrealistic.
I am so very grateful I took that advice. She saved me a lot of time, money and anguish.
Advice from an enterprise agency means you are 30% more likely to survive the first year in business. But an honest, blunt adviser stopped me from having a nervous breakdown!
There is a lot of excellent advice free online, too. For instance, Marketing Donut aims to provide answers to marketing queries for all smaller businesses. The site carries no annoying pop-ups or interruptive adverts, just practical advice that will leave you better prepared when you do contact an adviser.