If you’re looking for support with your business, there’s few options that are as beneficial as working with a business adviser.
When it comes to choosing, you want to make sure you work with one who’s got the right qualities, skills and experience who can truly help your business.
But what makes a good business adviser? How can you differentiate between a good professional business adviser, and one who isn’t going to deliver the same value?
In this article, we’re going to help you understand what makes a good business adviser by listing some of the skills, qualities and experience that they should have.
For more information on finding the right partner, take a look at our ultimate guide to finding the right business adviser here.
What makes a good business adviser?
A business adviser should have a range of skills, qualities and experience that qualify them as a good business adviser. These qualities include passion and a genuine desire to help, optimism and positivity, and being empathetic. Some skills they should have include communication, directness, and an understanding of business. Finally, a good business adviser should have years of experience in helping a range of clients.
Let’s break that down in a bit more detail.
Qualities of a good business adviser
The qualities that your business adviser has are possibly the most important factors. Without these three key qualities, it’s unlikely that your business adviser will be a genuinely good one that benefits your business.
1 – Passion and a genuine desire to help
When thinking about what makes a good business adviser, the first thing you should look for is passion and a genuine desire to help.
Paradigms in leadership, management, and business strategy are constantly evolving, and without having a genuine passion for the subject, your business adviser may not be keeping up with the latest information to be able to provide the best advice.
Plus, passion is what should drive you forward as a business owner. You should be working with a business adviser who is equally passionate about your success and genuinely wants to help your business grow.
At Mustard, our business advisers all work with business owners because they want to help. Business adviser, Helen explains her genuine desire to help in this social media post:
2 – Optimism and positivity
The second key quality that makes a good business adviser is optimism and positivity.
The world of business isn’t always easy, and not everything you try will lead to success. You need a business adviser who is going to help bring optimism to challenging situations and help you find a way around them, as well as celebrating your wins with you.
Positivity, unfortunately, isn’t the answer to everything, but it can help to unblock some problems.
Additionally, being optimistic doesn’t mean being naive. So when knowing what makes a good business adviser, being overly optimistic in very difficult situations may be a sign of this, and naivety is something to be wary of.
Here at Mustard, we’re great believers in the power of a positive mindset. One of the core things that we do is bring energy and confidence from past experiences because then we’re able to bring optimism and positivity to current challenges.
Read more about our commitment to positive thinking, and see our other core values, here.
3 – Empathy
While your business adviser should be direct, and hold you to account, being empathetic is also a quality they should have.
By fully understanding your struggles, they can best help you overcome them to achieve.
What makes a good business adviser is the ability to put themselves in your shoes so they can advise you in the best possible way.
Skills that a good business adviser should have
When thinking about what makes a good business adviser, the skills and qualities are slightly different. Passion is a quality, but communication is a skill.
1 – Communication
Having great communication skills is definitely what to look for in a business adviser, and being able to listen with empathy is just as important as being able to get an idea across.
A good business adviser will ask searching questions to understand your business model, your goals for the business, what you’ve tried in the past, and your limiting beliefs.
Finally, a business adviser needs to be able to communicate back to you, in your language, how they are going to help you, what steps you should be taking, and how you can reach those goals.
At Mustard, we pride ourselves on our ability to communicate with all our clients. It’s this open communication that allows our clients to both trust us and enjoy working with us.
2 – Directness
As we mentioned earlier when discussing empathy, directness is a key factor in what makes a good business adviser, over what makes a fairly average one.
Sometimes a business adviser may have to help businesses in tough situations, such as navigating through a global pandemic! In these instances, it’s important that a good business adviser be direct with you in what actions you need to take that will best benefit you and your business.
There’s little point in working with an adviser who’s going to beat around the bush when it comes to making important and critical decisions. A good business adviser will tell you what you need to hear while also being considerate of you.
Working with Anita Davies from Freedom from Tedium, Anita noted that:
“Helen is firm but fair. She has a gentle way that allows you to relax, be honest and explore your business and your own desires but also firm enough to call you out on your own nonsense. She will not let you hold yourself back easily and will challenge behaviours that may be holding you back.”
We think that’s a great piece of feedback, and sums up how Mustard combines empathy with directness to fully help your business grow.
3 – Business skills
Business skills is a fairly generic term, but what we mean by this is a selection of skills that help others to understand both consumer and organisational behaviour. Business skills include a thorough knowledge of aspects such as time management, leadership, and teamwork.
Business skills can also extend to include an understanding of business strategy and what works to help a business grow.
Here at Mustard, we have expert knowledge of the business world and what makes a business grow. We use our knowledge and business skills to help a wide variety of businesses grow, and have been doing so for years.
Experience that makes a good business adviser
1 – Years of experience
While there is nothing wrong with working with a newly qualified professional, something that will differentiate a business adviser from a good one will be years of experience.
With this time, a good business adviser will have been there and done it before – they’ll know what works and what doesn’t, and with that knowledge, they’ll be able to steer you in the best possible direction.
2 – Experience with a range of clients
As well as years of experience, additionally what makes a good business adviser is one who’s worked with clients in a range of different niches.
This may vary from manufacturers to IT services, one-person businesses, to businesses with multiple employees.
This variation of work will allow a good business adviser to best adapt their knowledge and services to suit your business. To know whether a business adviser can help you and your business specifically, there are a few key questions you should ask.
Read our blog here on 11 questions to ask a potential business adviser to discover more.
3 – Positive feedback from clients
Positive feedback from clients will provide you with peace of mind that the adviser is skilled and has helped previous businesses succeed.
Along with having experience with a range of client niches, knowing that a business adviser has received positive testimonials from these clients highlights them as a good business adviser who you could consider working with.
Summary: what makes a good business adviser?
In summary, we think that these nine factors add up to make a good business adviser. When choosing the right one for you, it’s wise to bear these in mind when making your decision.
If they’re not passionate enough, or they lack the ability to listen to your specific needs, they might not be the best adviser for you.
Here at Mustard, we have highly skilled and qualified business advisers just waiting to help your business grow.
We’re passionate about what we do, and we have years of experience helping business owners just like you.
Want to see how our qualities, skills and experience in the field of business advice can help your business grow?
Contact us today.