The aim of business advising is to consolidate and grow business, achieve business goals and get results. This may occur in terms of business growth, diversification, better managed time and resources, improved productivity, more profit, or getting the business ready to exit it profitably. What is the result YOU want!
Ask the advisor how long has his or her organisation been in the market place? What formal market recognition have they had? Is the advisor or organisation solely business focused or do they also provide marketing and personal development? What results has the business advisor reached with his previous clients? What was his/her biggest achievement? Ask for business case study experience to judge his/her expertise.
The programmes and methods used by business consultants and advisors differs between organisations. It is important for you to know the content of the offered programmes, how the sessions are organized, and what frequency they will occur in. Being part of a business advice programme should also recommend that you read, and listen to, a wide range of useful books, CDs and DVDs that will help you grow your knowledge.
Also find out the limits to the advisory service. Should you expect one-on-one or group or team support? Can you contact your consultant outside of the agreed consulting sessions? Are there any added value services being offered as part of the programme - networking, education, introductions?
It is a reasonable request to ask for a summary of the programme resources and tools.
To be able to judge the expertise of a business advisor it is recommended you ask about his/her professional experience. What is his/her career background? How many years has he/she been a business advisor? Has she or he owned or run a business and what are the details of that business?
The more you know about the advisor’s experience and professional knowledge in business, the better you will be able to judge whether they are the right person to help you in your business.
It is acceptable for you to ask an advisor about his or her background.