Having business advisory support in place will help to unlock growth within your business, but ensuring it is the right type and with the right advisor is essential.
A successful business advisory relationship has to be built on more than the underlying products and services delivered. It should challenge and inform strategic decision-making while providing support to overcome the hurdles a scaling business faces.
What is Business Advisory?
Business advisory services aim to help businesses identify their strengths and overcome weaknesses to unlock growth. A business advisor acts as a mentor and is typically an accountant as they can provide the strategic and financial guidance businesses need to develop and implement strategies to achieve their goals.
For most businesses, it is not a matter of if, but more a matter of when strategic advice will be needed. The business lifecycle diagram below, otherwise known as the Stage Model, highlights points in the growth cycle where businesses will hit stumbling blocks. It is at these points whereby businesses will need the support of a specialist Business Advisor.
Examples of Business Advisory Services
- INCORPORATING YOUR BUSINESS
The demand for your product or service is rapidly increasing and you are growing fast. You have therefore taken the decision to expand and establish a new business.
This can be a challenging process for any businessperson, no matter how experienced. While it is easy to become absorbed in the excitement of getting a business off the ground, what factors do you need to consider if your business is to succeed?
You will need to consider your target customer, the location of your business, the assets you will need from staff to equipment but what else? You can’t just start a business on those basic things alone. A lot of planning and preparation needs to be done before you take the plunge.
Have you considered your business structure or formation? Have you looked into the financing options available? Have you developed financial forecasts to see what your financial position will be in 3-5 years’ time? What are the risks involved?
All of these questions need to be addressed before moving forward in the incorporation process. It is at this point, you need to speak with a specialist for business advisory support.
- HOW TO RETAIN KEY STAFF
With your business growing so quickly, you will have had to take on more employees. As your staff upskill and develop, your brand will gain traction. Your employees could then be subject to tempting offers from larger competitors trying to poach them with higher wages and generous employee benefits.
You might be growing quickly, but it is unlikely to be financially feasible for you to match such generous proposals at this stage in your journey. What can you do?
Your employees after all are likely to drive the customer experience. It’s probably their knowledge and skills that will develop your product/service offering. This makes them essential to your growth aspirations. It also presents a major problem, how do you persuade your best people to stay if you can’t match the offers of major competitors?
How do you prevent your intellectual property and customer relationships from moving with them into the hands of competitors? The answer lies in share schemes, but which one should you choose and how do you go about implementing it?
Who Will Help With This Vital Strategic Advice?
You can now see how important a relationship with a business advisor is. Attempting to do these things yourself, and not always being certain about what you’re doing, could mean you end up with more issues than when you started.
You need to work with an accountant that can keep you compliant on one hand while delivering professional solutions and advisory services to facilitate growth on the other. This means a change of mindset. Your relationship with your accountant can’t just be transactional. Instead, it’s an investment in a business partner who will expand their services and advice as your business grows.
How Do You Know Which Accountants To Choose?
Customer service is extremely important when it comes to choosing an Accountant. This is the differentiating factor between professional firms as typically the products and services offered are very similar in nature. Thinking about your existing Accountant – how well informed are you about what is happening in your business? Do they look at your current financial position and provide you with a wider strategic perspective?
It is also important to look beyond the core service you purchase. Do you receive a regular e-newsletter containing articles covering specific, relevant business issues and developments? Is your professional firm a thought leader in your industry? As a growing business looking to expand further, these matters should be fundamental.
You are going to need a firm that not only prepares your accounts and tax returns but helps you understand and use them to inform strategic decision-making. You, therefore, need an advisor, who will draw upon their experience of helping similar clients, to work with you to determine exactly what advice you will need at each stage of your growth journey. This means a bespoke approach to service delivery whereby the offering expands with your ever-evolving needs.
Dunkley’s Approach To Building Relationships And Providing Business Advisory Services
So where do Dunkley’s fit within the competition? Naturally, we feel that we are well placed to provide you with the high level of service delivery you require – the accounting, tax, and business expertise at a price point that works well for growing SMEs.
We offer clients a combination of high-level technical knowledge combined with a personal and advisory relationship at a price that is affordable but provides real value.
How To Choose The Right Firm
Every business has cost at the forefront of their minds and in a lot of cases, this only covers the cost of compliance. This is understandable, however can be flawed.
The benefit of using an award-winning, medium-sized accountancy practice such as Dunkley’s, is that our size gives us the flexibility to change, adopt new technologies, and advance in the industry quickly and without hesitation.
Alongside our approach to be forward-thinking and dynamic, our overall ethos is on getting to know your business and the people involved in it. Building and nurturing relationships are at the heart of how we deliver our service as we understand the importance this holds and how this helps when it comes to business development and growth.
You can’t put a price on outstanding customer service and a strong relationship with your business advisor, as all they want to do is see your business succeed as much as you do. So, make sure to choose wisely.