BUSINESS owners generally seek advice because they're struggling in an area of business or they have a specific issue that's holding them back. Good business advice can really make a business especially if support is sought early enough to help businesses get on, and stay on, the right track.
So what makes a good business adviser and why should businesses open up and seek business advice and support?
Business adviser Bisola Orimalade assists businesses who are enrolled on SEMLEP's Velocity Growth project, a fully-funded (i.e. free) business support programme available to local SMEs. She talks about five attributes that makes a business adviser worth their weight from the eyes of a small business owner herself.
1. Trustworthy: Trust is key. When we meet businesses for the first time, we talk about their business goals and objectives. We also talk about the business finances and where they want them to be. Directors need to know that their information and what we discuss is safe with us.
2. Knowledgeable: Every business is different but there are often similarities in the issues faced. As an accredited business adviser through the SFEDI (Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative) programme we have a good all-round knowledge of the current and emerging business landscape. We also have a range different tools and techniques we can deploy to lead and guide directors to think creatively to resolve and overcome their business challenges.
3. Empathetic: We've been there and have done it. All of us have run our own businesses in the past and have experience in a variety of different business functions, sectors and areas ourselves. It's not easy running a small business and you don't need to do it alone. People are here - like us - to help and support you.
4. Problem solvers: Our professional training and business knowledge means we have honed our problem-solving and communications skills. Listening to the business is crucial. We won't have all the answers and can't promise to help solve every issue faced by the business, but we will know how go about tackling the problem and will be able to put businesses in touch with specialists.
5. Empowering: This whole thing is about empowerment. We're here to empower business owners to make decisions. We can help by backing them where needed so they can focus on what they want to achieve. First and foremost, this is about giving businesses the tools for them to overcome issues so they can plan and be better prepared to tackle the challenges they'll face in the future. This is what good business support and advice is about.
What can local businesses expect from SEMLEP's Velocity Growth Hub project and business adviser team?
We're here to help small and medium-sized businesses get the information and support they need to grow their business. We're funded by government and part-funded by the European Union with the aim to help simplify access to the range of business support programmes available by signposting you to the programme that best suits your needs. We can give businesses one-to-one free and impartial advice and programme skills workshops to businesses who enrol on our business support project.
Speak to the team to talk about what business support is available to you and how to get it. Call 01234 436123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more.