In your business do you feel that you are spinning numerous plates and tackling everything that needs doing single-handed? Or indeed if you’re a consultant /advisor helping those business owners in areas outside their expertise, how many of this top 10 list can you relate to?
We live in ever changing times, especially for businesses – especially after the last 18 months. You only need to go back 20 years and in that time the internet and social media have taken over. Technology has a much bigger impact in our businesses and the list goes on.
All these changes reinforce the fact that no single CEO — or any employee, for that matter — can be an expert in everything. This was, perhaps, always true, but it has never been more apparent.
This is why, in my opinion, some of the biggest challenges businesses face today are best met and addressed with qualified advice. Bringing on business advisor helps businesses add the expertise and skills they need to address particular problems at specific times and help deliver the best possible outcomes.
The top challenges we see businesses facing that are best addressed with the help of a business advisor include:
Many CEOs we know are visionaries; that means they’re great at the big picture and disruptive thinking, but not as good with things like cash flow, profit margins, reducing costs, financing, etc. Small and medium businesses may not require a full-time CFO but would operate more efficiently if they employ a financial advisor who can step into the role as needed.
You can’t manage what you don’t measure! You should be using a meaningful set of performance indicators that provide the business with insights about how well it is performing. Most businesspeople we know are not experts in how to develop KPIs, how to avoid the key pitfalls and how to best communicate metrics so that they inform decision-making. In most cases, companies rely on overly simple finance indicators that just confuse people and don’t deliver results.
Uncertainty about the future
Being able to predict customer trends, market trends etc. is vital to a changing economic climate, but not every CEO has Warren Buffett-like predictive powers. Bringing in a business advisory trained in reading and predicting those all-important trends could be the difference between your business making the right changes or missing out on opportunities.
Regulation and compliance
As markets and technologies shift, so do rules and regulations. Depending on your industry, it can make much more sense to bring in a business advisor to help with these areas rather than trying to understand this yourself — and risk fines or worse for non-compliance.
Skill Sets and recruiting the right talent
Again, a small or medium-sized business might not need full-time human resources or recruiting staff, but during peak growth periods, finding the right people and developing the right skills and competencies is the key to a sustainable future. Bringing in the right advisors with the expertise to find exactly the workers you need would be a wise investment.
As technologies change practically at the speed of light, companies need to innovate or be left behind — but many CEOs started their careers and businesses before many of these technologies even existed! Getting the right advice can be important for integrating new technologies, in particular mobile, app development, and cloud computing.
Massive data growth
Your parents’ generation certainly didn’t have to deal with terabytes of data or worry about what to do with it. 90% of the world’s data was created in the past two years and managing, protecting, and extracting insights from the ever-growing data your company produces needs to be in the hands of a qualified professional who can help you get the most return from that data.
In a world of instant gratification, customers expect instant customer service — and can take to the web to share their displeasure at less than satisfactory service just as quickly. The right advice can deliver ways to improve customer service and bring it into the 21st century.
Similarly, because customers can voice any displeasure quickly and online, businesses need to monitor and maintain their online reputations. Again this is an important task, however, it’s one best suited to a third party who can monitor and mediate with the correct tools and contacts.
Change is Inevitable
Early adopter or late to the game? Advisors can help CEOs determine when to embrace change and when to stay the course. Not everything new is better, yet ignoring every change runs the risk of becoming outdated. Objective, external advice can often make all the difference at these times.
Change is the one thing we can bet on. Preparing for and embracing that change by investing in the right kind of advice is the best way to meet these challenges head-on.
Find out more about the business advisory services we offer and get a better understanding of how we can help your business.