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The Real Value of Advice

It sometimes amazes me when I talk to businessmen about their ‘planning’ just how polarised the views are. Broadly speaking they fall into four camps –

I don’t need advice I just need to get on with the day job These are the people who are doing the same thing again and again, often making mistakes that they don’t learn from. These guys aren’t necessarily unsuccessful but the long term planning they need for sustained success is usually missing from their armoury.

Advice? Just an unnecessary expense A bit of an old school attitude these days but these guys will have an accountant, bank manager, financial advisor, solicitor, and web designer, doing what they are told for a fee, never offering input or opinions just standing on the sidelines looking in.

I’m too small for anyone to be bothered with me This is probably the attitude I see most often, people with successful businesses but who lack the confidence to ask for help and guidance. This is often because they are scared to ask a silly question or because they feel their business lacks clout. These are the people who could benefit most from trusting in good quality advice.

Advice – Yes please – I can’t know everything Always a refreshing attitude, these businesses embrace the need for outside expertise and view their advisors as part of the team. This view is becoming more prevalent among businessmen who are battling their way through difficult times.

Hopefully you will recognise yourself in one of the camps, but whichever you fall into you should bear the following in mind. Good advice should be an investment, it should make or save you more than it costs, if you can’t measure it then think twice. Surround yourself with a circle of people you trust and get them to talk to each other. If you are unhappy with the thought of your bank manager talking to your financial advisor or your accountant to your lawyer then you have the wrong people working with you. Advice works best when everyone is pulling in the same direction. If you take your time and choose wisely you and your advisors will successfully chart your way through these interesting times.

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