There’s no doubt about it: any trusted business advisor is worth their weight in gold.
Speaking of gold, have you ever considered how we go about getting gold out of the dirt and into the jewelry store? It’s a tremendously labor-intensive, creative process.
It’s also a strikingly useful analogy for the process of building a relationship with a trusted business advisor.
Of course, there are systems for the craft of mining and refining gold. They don’t necessarily make the process less strenuous, but they certainly guarantee it’s moving forward in a productive way.
Similarly, a system for finding and forging rich, meaningful relationships is essential for success when you’re looking for your next trusted business advisor.
5 steps for crafting a 24-carat relationship with any new business advisor:
1) Clarify what you need for your business: Discovering your gold mine
The first place to start with this project is by looking inward. It’s time to clearly define this simple but sometimes elusive point:
“What does my business really need at this stage to move forward?
An accountant? Marketing and branding consultant? Maybe it’s time to hire a personal coach or general attorney.
Whatever it is, know this: The sooner you determine what your business really needs, the faster you can forge ahead.
The first step to finding an amazing trusted business advisor and set your business up for success, ask yourself:
What upcoming changes am I not prepared to lead my business through?
What plans do I have that I don’t know enough to make executive decisions about?
What do I not have the time, expertise, or inclination to take care of on my own?
2) Define what you need from an advisor: Preparing for the work
Every interaction you have with a trusted business advisor, from the first conversation forward, will hinge on what your business needs that they can provide.
Doing your homework is the best way to walk into every meeting and not waste any time – or money – in advisor’s fees.
When interviewing potential new trusted business advisors, go in with your list of needs and a list of questions about their particular expertise and professional history. Of course, you’re also looking for things that mark a great trusted business advisor, like:
- A straightforward, non-confrontational attitude
- Generosity with information
- Enthusiasm to work together
- Professional leadership qualities: innovation, ambition and hard work ethic
3) Ask around, shop around: Digging that dirt
Its important that any trusted business advisor is someone you can trust professionally. It’s also vital that you’re happy to work with them personally.
Never underestimate the personal part. Any advisor’s best asset to your business is in being there to give you feedback and information – before situations become critical. If you don’t click, sooner or later you’ll start avoiding them – to your business’s detriment.
Take your time while hiring trusted business advisors. You may be eager to get going, but taking a little extra time to make the right choice can be the determining factor in bringing your business to the next level.
Remember: Your business advisors are the foundation of your business success. The care you invest into finding truly amazing people will pay off in spades.
4) Bring your advisors up to speed: Refining the raw ore
When you find an advisor you wholeheartedly trust, it’s time to share the details. Don’t neglect to tell them anything pertinent to their job! The more informed they are from the very beginning, the better they can advise you.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: Conversations in the beginning should share a good deal of the past, as it applies to the present. As the relationship matures, focus more on the the future. The faster you share the details of the past and present, the faster the relationship will mature.
5) Create an atmosphere of trust: Crafting the masterpiece
Trust implies full disclosure. No secrets. Telling your advisors everything they need to know to give you great feedback in their department is what makes them truly priceless.
Of course, prepare yourself to actually take the advice they give you.
You might think this point should go without saying. But how many businesses have failed because their owners weren’t willing to take the advice of the experts they hired? We usually only hear about these businesses if they end up failing spectacularly – and hurting many people along the way.
Thankfully, you’re well on the way to learning wisdom from their foibles – and avoiding their fate!
Finding trusted business advisors can feel daunting. But remember this: as with any relationship, the more you invest into the first 3 steps of this process, the more natural the second two will be.
Please share your thoughts and experiences with hiring consultants that may or may not have turned into a Trusted Business Advisors.