A business advisor can have many different roles, from giving financial advice to being an accountant. Not all advisors are expected to perform all functions, however, and it is up to each advisor to choose what they will specialize in. There are also certain desirable qualities for all advisors.
Are you an aspiring business advisor looking to refine your skills and put them to good use? Are you maybe already established but looking for a good team to join? May you perhaps just be curious about the position?
Fear not, for whichever of these categories you may fall into, this post will surely clear some things up. It will begin by talking about the universal qualities that all advisors should have, followed by a list of advisor types and roles that advisors can be expected to perform in companies. Finally, there will be a section where we, the PGN, introduce ourselves and tell you how your career can benefit from joining us as an advisor.
Without further ado, let us get started.
Qualities of a Good Advisor
There are some universally-acknowledged "good" qualities that every advisor should have. You should strive to cultivate these and try to make your work follow what they entail as closely as possible. The four we present here are taken from inc.com.
A Coaching Mentality
This quality is especially important to have if you are working with small businesses or startups but is not to be discarded in other cases either. What this means is that instead of just helping a company come up with a solution to any particular problematic situation, you should focus on leaving the owner, executives, and possibly other members equipped with the skills and knowledge to handle that type of problem then and also in the future.
A good advisor does not simply provide help but leaves a company better off so that they continue to benefit from them even after they leave.
We know, we know. This is sort of obvious and you cannot get experience without working first, but an advisor should have some experience giving advice to the particular kind of business they are getting hired by. This is, as the first quality, quite important for smaller businesses as we can often be blind to the woes of having no funding or internal support.
It is even better if an advisor has run a business in their past because they will better understand the ins and outs of the market and how better to approach their client.
It is not always easy for a CEO to see the big picture, which is why a good advisor will always do their best to not just solve an immediate problem a company is having, but also construct a long-term plan for them to follow. They will also pave the way with smaller goals that are easier to imagine and achieve.
Similar to the first quality, this will also leave the company with a good base for when the advisor may no longer be there so that they can continue on the optimal path for them.
This is more of an important thing to keep in mind when searching for whom to work with and is variable from situation to situation. Suffice to say, for example, if you value integrity over winning at all costs, you will not mesh well with a business that boasts a cutthroat philosophy when it comes to competition.
By sticking to businesses that share your values and work philosophy, you will create less friction between you and your clients, and the eventual result you achieve together will be aligned and stable.
Roles of advisors
In this section, we will go over the different types of advisors or the different roles they can be expected to fulfill. Not all advisors will be able to perform all of these roles, of course, and it is up to you to decide what to specialize in. This list is taken from FeeDough.
A financial advisor is also known as a financial planner is one of the most important roles an advisor can fulfill. A financial advisor makes sure that a company is managing its money correctly. They gather information on a company's finances and give advice on "investment planning, risk management, superannuation, retirement, financial benchmarking and tax." They usually have a degree in finance.
The right insurance plan can go a long way in reducing the risk from inevitable mishaps. However, it is often difficult for companies to choose the right insurance policy for themselves. That is why insurance brokers are so important. With their knowledge of the insurance market, they can guide a company towards the right insurance plan for them.
A legal expert is particularly important in a business's early years. They guide a company in things like choosing the right business structure, licensing the business so that it complies with regulations, protecting intellectual property, resolving disputes, handling debts and bankruptcy. Lawyers can help you out from time to time but legal experts are great at preventing the need for them in the first place.
A business mentor is a type of role model that is supposed to keep an owner going and get them through tough times. Although informal advisors such as friends or family members can function like this, there are also professional advisors who make sure that their clients do not lose their strength of heart.
Registered investment advisor
This is a type of experienced financial advisor who dedicated themselves to the investment field and advising companies to make good investment decisions. They are always up to date with the stock market and are great at guiding entrepreneurs towards a quality investment plan that will benefit them and their company.
These types of advisors are those who have excellent connections and can thus introduce their clients to the right people. They can also help manage their client's relationships with these contacts by giving them advice on how to properly maintain them. Keeping in touch with important contacts is sometimes key for success, which is why these types of advisors can be invaluable.
We do not normally think of this kind of position as that of an advisor, but an accountant is a very common type of advisor. Firms can either hire them full-time or just occasionally seek advice. Besides offering help with the beginning, acquiring, or closing a business, they are responsible for dealing with accounting, taxes, obligations to employees, and, most importantly, managing financial records.
The analog advisor is an interesting role because what it refers to is someone who belongs to another industry. This means that they can provide a different perspective. Often people can get stuck in their ways and so someone like this can offer other areas of expertise and identify issues businesses did not even know existed. Likewise, they can help provide unexpected solutions as well.
This type of advisor is the one we often associate with the position. This refers to an expert in one particular field such as tech, marketing, or human resources. Businesses often reach out for expert advisors when they come across some issue that requires specific expertise to deal with.
Finally, we have the long-term advisor which can be combined with any of the other roles listed above. Being a long-term advisor simply means that you are in it for the long run. They accompany a business over a larger time scale and can help businesses with a wide variety of issues, ranging from legal to financial.
How to become a business advisor
Although we have described the possible roles and desirable qualities for an advisor, even with this knowledge it can still be difficult to find the right type of work. This involves working with professionals who respect your skills and dedication.
We at the PGN focus on connecting innovative tech solutions with businesses that need them. We have an able team of competent advisors that we are constantly expanding. If you would like to join us as an advisor and help businesses figure out the right solution to their issues, then feel free to contact us and take the right step in your career.
And there you have it. We have described the most important qualities that any good advisor working with businesses should have and discussed some of the different roles advisors can fulfill. Although not all advisors can fulfill all roles, it is good to know what can be expected of one and see if your skillset fits any one of them.
Finally, we mentioned how it can be difficult to find the right work as an advisor and that it is not that easy to find a team with the right values and expertise. That is why we highly recommend that, if you wish to do quality advising work, you contact us at the PGN and see where we can go from there.