As accountants and business advisors, much like lawyers, strategists, business coaches, we often talk about the concept of providing objective advice.

But what does that mean exactly? And why is it so important to get advice from someone with an arm’s length perspective, when you as the business owner most likely have a much better idea of the intimate details of your business goings on?

In short – because they will see things you can’t. Not because they’ve got ‘special powers’, but because they; have probably seen your issue or challenge before, which means  know what to look for (it’s much easier to recognise something if you already know what it looks like) have got the experience, understanding and skills to help you navigate either toward (if it’s good) or away from (if it’s not) a particular point on your business roadmap

A point on business roadmaps

One of the things that we and many other advisors come across from time to time, are business owners who don’t have a plan mapped out for their business at all. This is particularly worrying because it’s one of the greatest predictors for whether your business succeeds or fails over the longer term (you might want to read our earlier blog on how to avoid business wind-up).

Part of that plan is ensuring that you’ve got adequate financials in place to help you understand where your business is heading. Especially when your business is in a phase of significant change – start-up, high growth, new product/market development, export, merger or preparation for sale/exit – you need to understand what you need to do in order for your business to make it through to the next stage.

Back to objective advice

When you’re working in your business day in day out, sometimes you can become so involved that you become blind (willfully or otherwise) to what can be the easiest moves for you to make. Someone with some distance from the immediate goings on can point out easy wins or upcoming issues to avoid that you just might not be factoring into your decisions.

Focus on quality decision making

Once you’ve got decent financials in place, an objective business advisor can also check that you’re making decisions based on reality, not just losing your focus and chasing down stuff that looks fun, ‘interesting’ or you’ve been promised is THE next big thing. In the last decade or so, Greg and I have seen several of business owners that lost their focus go on to eventually lose their business as well.

No hidden agendas

Unlike staff members, friends or family members – true business advisors don’t have hidden agendas. Your personal and business success is their only imperative. Their lack of emotional involvement means that they can tell you the no-holds-barred version of what they know and see. And what they know and see will come from either a factual perspective based on hard data like your sales, financial records or other set of numbers or from long experience combined with up-to-date knowledge along with previous results gained for other clients. Hint: if your senior advisor hasn’t got a decade or more of experience you might want to reconsider.

Sometimes you might not like what your advisor has to say, but better it comes from someone who has your best interests at heart than from someone working from an entirely different agenda – like overdue creditors, the bank, the ATO, ASIC or the courts.

If you’re looking for a team of seasoned business advisors to help you establish your business roadmap, work out what your financials are telling you or help you make it to your next business goal, we’d be delighted to talk to you. You can call Kerry on 6023 1700drop us a note or connect with Kerry on LinkedIn.

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