Entrepreneurs will have many advisors that come on board at various stages of their enterprises’s life and whilst some will be good, others will be less so.
There are ways to get the best out of advisors so that you benefit yourself and your business. This applies to startups as well as established businesses. Advisors can come in many forms, a lawyer, accountant, operational expert, marketing or design expert or even a mentor.
The 4 key tips to get the best potential advice are:
1. Be prepared – whether it’s a meeting or phone call, make sure you have a list of items and questions you want to discuss. Most likely you’re paying your advisor and it’s best to make sure you get full value for their time. Never go into a meeting without having carefully considered the issues and even your preferred solutions to them.
2. Listen – listen carefully to what is being said. It is too easy to start thinking about the next item on your list let alone the next meeting you have to get to! Focus on the solutions being discussed so that any issues arising can be discussed immediately. Make notes of the key points discussed.
3. Action list – agree an action list and who has responsibility for carrying these out, along with dates by which these have to be done.
4. Follow up – agree dates for follow-up meetings or phone calls as required and do make sure any action points you have taken responsibility for are actually actioned!
Put in these terms, the above seem very clear and easy but the number of times, I have seen these not followed are countless!By following these tips, you should be able to build up strategic partnerships with your key advisors to benefit your business.
Ever wondered why someone’s advice was not to your liking? Sometimes ‘bad advice’ isn’t necessarily that but our own lack of preparation – if you ask the right question, usually you should get the best out of your advisors.