As a small to medium sized business there will definitely come a point when you will require external advice with regard to some element of running your business. Knowing who to get your advice from is just, if not more important than the advice itself.
A study by Direct Line for Business has revealed that inaccurate business advice has cost UK small businesses about £6.4 bn. What’s interesting is that not all damages are monetary; some 46% of affected companies had to lay off staff and another 30% of affected businesses had to curtail expansion plans due to the improper advice.
Knowing who to trust when you need advice can be its own conundrum; however, here are a few quick tips to help in this situation.
- Speak to other successful businesses in your industry and find out who they get their advice from.
- Do your own research and compare it to the advice you are receiving.
- Refrain from asking family members and friends for advice as they may not have any experience in this field.
- Speak to a financial advisor who has no connection to your business.
- Confirm received advice with another source
It is also important to know whether the advisor you are getting your information from has a qualification or affiliation in their advising field. This should reinforce that what they are providing is legitimate. Recently a Canvey accountant was found guilty of defrauding one of his clients to the tune of £170,000. This highlighted the importance of using a professionally affiliated accountant which we have discussed in brief here.
This information is not to deter you from asking for advice, rather it’s to inform that if you get the wrong person you can miss out on things you should know and this can be very costly.