by Bridget

A quick Google search will bring up hundreds of business advisors in Sydney. Based solely on a website, a few online reviews, or even a phone conversation, how can you possibly tell which team will bring success to your company?

Truth be told, there’s no one way to judge this. Choosing a business advisor is a process that you can expect to take time and energy. However, the rewards will make this investment certainly worth it. The right business advisor will be able to quickly identify where you’re at, help articulate where it is you want to go and establish a solid plan to get you there. You could spend years hoping to achieve the level of success a business advisor guides you to in a fraction of the time.

Of course, this is all contingent on finding the right advisor. Read on to discover what type of questions you should be asking and the top signs you should be watching for that point towards an advisor being the right fit for your business.

Experience vs qualifications

As is the case with many situations, when choosing a business advisor you may be presented with a choice between experience and academic qualification.

To a certain extent, all advisors will possess both. But which should you be prioritising; an advisor with a doctorate in financial planning or one who has spent years employed by the world’s top banks?

As a general rule, most people will recommend that you go with experience over qualifications. After all, it’s likely that you have a number of highly qualified individuals already on your team. In hiring an advisor, what you’re really looking for is someone who brings a unique, informed perspective that is backed by proven results. This can’t always be found in an individual who has spent more years in the classroom than the real world.

Cultural fit

In most cases, your business advisor will be spending a considerable amount of time working hands on with your employees. The last thing you want is an advisor coming in and making significant changes without the ability to recognise the values you have built your company around.

At the very least, a business advisor should be a neutral presence in your workplace. In an ideal world, they will spend time getting to know the history of your company and the type of environment you are trying to create for employees and clients. This information should guide all of their decision making.

Method of Operation

The internet has brought everything to our doorstep — including professional help. These days, you tend to have a choice between a business advisor that operates virtually or one that actually comes to your place of work.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both these approaches. Working with a virtual business advisor means you have access to a network of professionals outside your physical area. If no one in your vicinity seems like a good fit, you can easily find someone in the online world to help you out.

However, many businesses prefer to go by the traditional route of working with an in-person team. This can be particularly advantageous if you work in an industry like manufacturing, where the quality and performance of your physical assets make a difference to your bottom line.

Some business advisors in Sydney offer a mix of the two. They might initially conduct meetings in-person, giving them the chance to interview employees and observe the workplace in action, before moving all correspondence online.

The trick is finding the approach that works best for you, complementing rather than disrupting the workplace environment.

Personality and Professionalism

Finally, take your time to really get to know an advisor before making any long-term plans with them. You will be working closely with this individual, and it’s important that you actually get along, increasing the likelihood that you will be receptive to their ideas and suggestions.

Above all, your business advisor should be professional. They should be able to communicate in a clear and concise manner, be responsive to messages, and ultimately respect your authority. They are there to offer suggestions, not implement plans without your approval.

You should be able to tell pretty quickly from the first meeting, whether it’s face-to-face or virtual, whether this person is someone you’re going to gel or clash with.

The vast number of business advisors in Sydney means you have plenty of options to choose from. Take your time and be prepared to meet with a few different advisors before you find the right individual or team. This initial effort will be well worth it in the long run when you experience the real difference a trusted, professional advisor can make.