29 February 2016

Are Your Advisers Proactive or Reactive?

Running a business is not something you

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and the same idea can be applied to your business – it takes an army of specialised experts to keep it humming and developing.

Often, most business owners will engage the following professional service providers or advisers to help guide and assist their business.

  1.    Accountant
  2.    Lawyer
  3.    Financial Planner
  4.    Banker

The issue with many of these service relationships is they are often reactive and very much treated as independent suppliers, when they should ideally work as a collective to optimally guide your business.

In fact these scenarios are all too common:

  • You only speak to your accountant when it’s that time of year to prepare your financials, process your BAS, or when a financial issue arises.
  • You only speak to your lawyer when you need a new contract drawn up for employment or agreements with suppliers and agencies, or a legal issue arises.
  • You only speak to your financial planner every few years to update your insurance, diversify your superannuation, or for the odd piece of timely advice.
  • You rarely speak to your business banker who is always changing and only gets in touch to service your loan or pitch you a new service.

So, what should you look for in an Adviser?

If you are running a small business or private enterprise, you want to engage professionals who are passionate about helping these businesses thrive and actively engage you with ideas or opportunities because they have their finger on the pulse of what is happening in your market and industry.

Rather than merely waiting for you to contact them with requests, a proactive adviser will:

  •         Seek ways to utilise technology to improve your systems and processes for efficiencies and business growth. For instance, transitioning your data processing to the cloud.
  •         Come to you with business case studies they believe can be applied or adapted to your business to mirror the success of others or mitigate comparable risks.
  •         Think strategically about your business’s expansion over the long-term, flagging potential risks and threats, and advising on funding solutions.
  •         Request an introduction to your other advisers in an effort to service your needs more holistically.
  •         Be active in their space, often contributing to the development of their industry by running workshops and seminars, and are sought after by the media to provide their expert opinion on trending stories.

Like most business owners, your focus should remain on what you do best – delivering your product or service to your customers. The advisers you hire, therefore, need to advise you in areas you are weak in to guide and protect your business. It’s their job to intimately understand your business, how it operates and the financial situation you are in so they can provide you with tailored, practical and effective advice.

Where can you find a worthy Adviser?

So, what can you do if an existing adviser doesn’t fit the bill? Social media is a fantastic starting point, particularly LinkedIn where you’ll be able to identify the professionals who are actively sharing their expertise and commentary about current affairs in their space.

This may take the form of an active blog or participation in relevant forums; promotion of events such as seminars and workshops; making guest appearances in reputable publications; or providing helpful and authoritative content such as whitepapers, reports, case studies, and checklists. This demonstrates they are active professionals who are passionate about their specialty and strive to serve as opposed to just “pushing paper” or doing the minimum required.

In time, you want to build your “board” of strategic advisers with people you completely trust and value when it comes to the guidance and counsel they offer.

Once you find these first-rate individuals, it’s up to you to encourage them to work as a team and leverage their combined expertise.

TWD provide greater financial certainty for all our clients. To find out how TWD works with successful Business Owners, request a copy of our Whitepaper Turning Business Success Into Family Wealth by emailing us at info@twd.com.au or calling us on 1300 893 000.