Have you ever wondered what a Business Advisor can do for you and why working with a good one can be a game-changer? You are not alone; the professional role of a Business Advisor is not well understood.

This is the second of five articles. In it, I aim to share the approach of a good business advisor and the synergy they must find with their client.

My thinking comes from my work with business advisory clients since 2005, mentoring other Business Advisors, and my knowledge of how Business Advisors operate and add value. They not only create business value but act as a conduit for the value provided by their networks.


An invaluable outside-in approach

There are two ways in which an advisor can provide an invaluable outside-in approach,


1. We help you to see the big picture

Are you frustrated with the level of compliance procedures to which your business is subject?

Are you drawn into problem-solving for members of your team?

Do you struggle with clarity around business decisions – when to make them and their potential outcome?

If you answer in the positive to any of these questions working with an outside-in resource can be invaluable.

My clients use the term ‘sounding board’ to describe my role in our confidential conversations. They value this part of my work the most because I bring clarity of thought. Sometimes they feel too close to the woods to see the trees.


2. We help you know what to act on and when

As a leader, you need to decide which business challenges you will tackle and when. Leadership can be a solitary, lonely place without a sounding board. Business owners have to make many big decisions and live with the consequences; the pressure can be immense.


The Advantage Business approach

Our approach to advisory work is based on two strongly held values.

Knowledge, not dependence

  • We always focus on providing the business knowledge and context our clients need – when they want it and in the way that will help them best.
  • Most of our clients are technical subject matter experts, they work with us in all the other areas to turn their technical knowledge into quality business outcomes.
  • We reduce complexity into simple chunks, not because our clients lack intellect; quite the opposite. They are busy, under pressure and need to achieve results and momentum quickly.

Liberation & nurturing a growth mindset

  • A lot of our work is about helping leaders improve their thought processes and at times, we do the same for key members of their team. The greatest asset anyone in business has is the ability to learn, unlearn and relearn – we can manage all this through a growth mindset.
  • On a more personal level, I’m often able to peel back the layers of some areas of a client’s experience, test them and at times initiate an overhaul of them. This process is 100% private and confidential but the results are very tangible. Often people within their business circle (and sometimes their personal circle) comment on positive changes. Hearing this from a client is one of the very best things about being a business advisor.



What you see in terms of your advisor is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a deep and wide resource that comes as part of the package. One that can provide real value to your business.

Here are three examples,


1. In-depth business knowledge

A good business advisor should have a broad and deep understanding of what drives industry and can leverage your in-depth knowledge. This broad advisory knowledge enables them to drill into the detail of your business when you need to and offer relevant insights from other industries. These might include process improvements, best practice examples, smart thinking, and unexplored opportunities with related businesses. Sometimes 1 + 1 = 3!


2. Their commercial acumen

A good business advisor will love business and all business matters. Above all, they will have ‘a nose’ for commercial opportunities.

They will own or have previously owned their own business. Because having been at the sharp end, means understanding the pressures with which you live.

They will be able to assess business risk and help you expect the best, plan for the worst, and achieve the very best business outcomes.


3. A broad and deep business network

An advisor’s network should provide access to key contacts you might need. For example, property, legal, banking, immigration, asset structuring, asset protection and government infrastructure services as needed. Connections to international tax and asset optimisation services, debt and equity sources, human resources, and branding/creative advice.


Read my next article in this series: Turning Points and Sharing the Emotional Load to find out when a business advisor can be most helpful to you and how.

By Murray Fulton