The ultimate guide to finding the right business advisor

  • 02 Nov 2020
  • By Laura Bennett
  • Read in 5 Minutes

Tags: business advice, business adviser, business growth, Communication

The ultimate guide to finding the right business advisor

Mustard takes you through the process of how to find a good business advisor.

A business advisor should give you advice and support to help your business grow. 

When looking for the right business advisory services for you, it’s important that you select the right one. You may need to initially establish whether you need a business coach or a business advisor. 

Either way, your business coach or advisor needs to have the best knowledge to help you and your business grow. But it can often be difficult knowing whether you need a business coach or a business advisor, and also knowing how to make the correct choice once you’ve narrowed down your search.

Our ultimate guide to finding the right business advisor will answer all your questions. This includes how to establish whether you need a business coach or a business advisor, how to find a good business advisor, and how to choose a business advisor once you’ve got a selection to pick between.

What is a business advisor?

A business advisor is a strategist who works with your business to help with business growth, acquisition, exit planning, and franchising and licensing. There are multiple benefits of working with a business advisor, which you can read all about in our blog.

Although the terms “business advisor” and “business coach” are often used interchangeably, a business advisor is not the same as a business coach.

A business coach will have very task-focused priorities and will often have formal short-term contracts over 6-10 sessions with clients. A business coach aims to improve an individual’s performance within a specific task, whereas a business advisor will offer a long-term relationship to provide high level advice. 

The main tip to remember when looking at the differences between a business coach and a business advisor is that an advisor can coach, but a coach would never advise.

What does a business advisor do?

As explained in our blog, “what does a business advisor do?”:

“A business advisor will give you independent and impartial support, providing guidance on how to implement improvements.

They will help you step back from your business and get a fresh perspective, and will be an empathetic person to listen to the challenges and difficulties you face.They will also hold you accountable and challenge you to go further, to set new goals or achieve better results.”

How to find a business advisor

The first thing to consider when looking for a business advisor is to consider whether you really need one. If you require help with a particular skill or one task, you may need a business coach, as opposed to a business advisor.

As aforementioned, a business coach will help with specific tasks and skills, whereas an advisor will examine your entire business and develop a long-term relationship with you.

When you’re looking for a business coach or a business advisor, these are the top four things we would recommend considering.

1 – For a business advisor, consider whether you need them to be specific to your industry

There are many different types of business advisors. Some work on specific areas of business within certain industries, and others offer more generic advice, applicable to all businesses. If you are looking for precise business advice for your sector, bear this in mind when beginning your search.

An advisor that has “been there and done it” in your industry will have lots of knowledge and good contacts, but if you are confident in your expertise in your field, a business advisor from outside of your industry can take a different perspective, challenge your assumptions, and ask the questions you haven’t thought of asking.

This may be less important if you need a business coach, because they won’t look at your business as a whole, but are there to help you with one specific task or skill.

2 – Find a business advisor or coach in your area

This will make the process of working with a partner much easier. When working together, regular meetings will be part of the process, and it’ll save you both time and hassle by having someone in the same area as you.

3 – Make your expectations clear from the start

Set out what you want to achieve with early, so they can be clear from the beginning whether their skills will benefit you. 

4 – Ask for help and clarification when needed 

Especially if it’s your first time working with a business advisor or business coach, make sure to be clear on what you need help with or don’t understand. 

Finding those who offer business advice is relatively easy and there are plenty of ways to do it.

A quick browse on search engines or social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, will bring up lots of results in your area.

Or if you want to be more proactive about your search, asking other businesses for recommendations is a great way to get a trustworthy advisor. Attending industry events will also put you in touch with plenty of business advisors and coaches. 

How to find a good business advisor

There are plenty of ways to find these professional services, but how do you know whether they offer a credible service and will be right for you? Here are our tips on how to find a good business advisor – or indeed a good business coach.

Firstly, there are some certain qualities that a business advisor should have. Your business advisor should be curious and inquisitive, positive and communicative, and passionate and experienced. 

Your business advisor should also have the burning desire to help. If they don’t have this desire to help you and your business, they won’t make a good business advisor. They should also have the skills and ability to handle professional relationships, and finally have earned the right to advise.

These major qualities should also be applied if you’re searching for a credible business coach.

Finding a business advisor or business coach who meets all of the requirements and criteria can be tricky. Here’s the four steps we recommend taking when narrowing down your search

1 – Do they have any case studies highlighting previous success?

Case studies from your prospective business coach or business advisor is a great way to analyse whether they have had success with clients in the past. If they don’t have any case studies or previous examples of achievements, this may not be a positive sign.

2 – Do they have positive reviews or feedback from previous clients?

Similarly, feedback and reviews from clients is important to check. It demonstrates that they establish good relationships with clients and that clients really benefit from their work.

3 – Have they won any awards?

Much like the case studies, if your business advisor or coach has won, or been nominated for, awards in the past, this recognition from a third party will highlight that they’re credible.

4 – Check their social media platforms

Especially LinkedIn and Twitter. Do they post regularly and provide helpful information about business advice?

Not all companies will be on social media, and that’s okay. But often, good, professional and up-to-date coaches and advisors will regularly post on channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter, offering business advice and solutions to regular pain points.

How to choose a business advisor

Now you know how to find a good business advisor (or coach), you might end up with a selection. How do you choose the one who is right for you? 

The final thing to think about is the relationship. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time together, you’ll need to develop a successful working relationship

If you have a number to choose from, try to think who you would best be able to build this relationship with – that’s how you’ll know that they’re right for you.

And that’s the ultimate guide to finding the right business advisor. We hope it was helpful!

Contact Mustard

Mustard has been offering expert business advice to a range of businesses since 2015. We were recently nominated for The Business Evolution Awards 2020, and regularly receive positive feedback from clients on all our hard work and success.

Mustard Advisers could be just what you’re looking for. 

Contact us today to speak to one of our expert business advisors and start your journey with us today.


Disclaimer: Mustard Advisers uses the UK spelling of “adviser” rather than the US spelling of “advisor” that has been used throughout this article.

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