Trevor Clark is a Business Advisor and Partner at Advantage Business. An integral part of the company for over 11 years, he’s well-placed to explain the role of business advisor. It’s time to put the myths to rest and take a close look at how the relationship works.


At Advantage Business, we inspire Business owners to be the best they can be, through best practice thinking, people, processes and resources.


Meeting the need

As a Small Medium Enterprise [SME] business owner, you will find yourself having to deal with all eventualities coming your way, sometimes well outside your skillset and comfort zone.

90% of SME business owners in New Zealand are referred to as ‘technicians’. They are very capable of undertaking their core business activities but lack formal management experience and training.

So it’s not unusual to find yourself in a very lonely place – who can you talk to about business stuff?

You won’t have the vast range of resources on hand that large business owners are able to rely on. So where do you turn to for advice?

1. Your professional business support network

  • Accountant
  • Lawyer
  • Bank relationship manager
  • Insurance broker

These professional service providers cover your business needs supporting you by delivering their relevant expertise as required. However, there are many aspects of running your business not covered by your traditional professional support network.

2. Senior staff

Senior members of your staff can assist you in spreading the workload that sits with you as CEO. However, this approach has its limitations. They may be fully committed and don’t have time or the necessary skills to take on more responsibilities.  There will also be issues that you may want to keep confidential.

3. A business advisor

In the corporate world, the Chief Executive [CEO] has a management team around him. Staff with specific expertise fill the roles of Finance, Operations, Human Resources, Strategic Planning, Marketing, Administration, Health & Safety, Business Reporting etc.

In the SME space, you do not have the luxury of this wide range of support in-house. Should more specialised advice be required, your business advisor can put you in touch with the appropriate resources. Personally, I operate in a very similar fashion to your GP. You would expect them to refer you to a specialist without hesitation. I trust this analogy makes sense!

As your Business Advisor, I take a whole-of-business approach to provide support across all aspects of your business beyond the areas mentioned above. To allow me to provide you with the quality advice you will expect, I will request access to your financial performance and operational data. But first I will sign a confidentiality agreement to give you peace of mind that your data is safe.


Filling the gap

A lot of business owners think of their accountant as their business advisor. This is true to a point but the business advice offered by your accountant tends to lean heavily toward financial analysis and financial performance. This is essential information but will not look into the causes of a poor result. Consider the year-end Profit & Loss report prepared for you by your accountant. This result is the outcome of many different inputs from across your business. These inputs are not financial. They are more about getting the business operating effectively with the right people in the right jobs working productively and collectively as a team.


How does it work?

We offer a complimentary no-obligation discovery meeting. This meeting is to brainstorm with you, identify the pain points across your business. We call this the Needs Analysis. Allow 1-2 hours.

From here we would ask for your permission to provide you with a Business Development Proposal, based on our learnings from the Needs Analysis.

We would create our proposal to deliver to you at a convenient time. This proposal will be customised for your business and will show you we have understood the key issues you are facing.


What does it cost?

Every customer engagement is unique, which is why we do not have set charges. Our fee is determined by the scope and depth of work we offer to do for you so we discuss our fees when we deliver our proposal. Indicatively a 12-month engagement with a business advisor will cost no more than a minimum wage worker for the year.


How long is the usual engagement?

We offer flexibility over a range of programmes.


Project – Month by month

  • Targets Specific Issues
  • Problem-Solving Solutions
  • Short Term Focus

Enhance – 6 Month

  • Immediate Benefits
  • Identifies Specific Issues
  • Problem Solving Solutions
  • Medium Term Focus

Success – 12 Month

  • Immediate Benefits
  • Identifies Specific Issues
  • Problem-Solving Solutions
  • Improved Profitability
  • Reduced Workload
  • Increased Business Value
  • Longer-Term Focus


Next steps

We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss your business needs. Take a look at our Team page to find your local advisor.


By Trevor Clark Business Advisor
[Graduate Dip Business; REACH Ecosystem Certified Practitioner]
Email Trevor
Mobile 021 445 433