Monday, May 17, 2010

Should you trust your business advisor?

OK, seeing as a lot of work that I do is in the guise of a business advisor, this may sound a bit odd, but bear with me…

I recently saw some publicity for a local enterprise agency that caught my eye (for the wrong reasons) because of a client testimonial they’d used: “their advisors give you honest feedback as to whether or not your idea is a good one”.

As business advisors, it shouldn’t be our job to tell you if your idea is any good or not, but to support you to best understand the marketplace and your potential customers, what it will take to launch and manage it, and what you’ll need to be aware of in doing so. We shouldn’t tell you whether we think the idea is any good or not because:

1) It’s your business not ours – you’ll have to live with it, not us, so why are we telling you what to do with your life?

2) How do we know if a new business idea really is any good or not? - Look at all the ‘rubbish’ ideas that were rejected by the “gurus” of Dragon’s Den that went on to make a fortune; and history is littered with ideas and inventions that the ‘powers that be’ and recognised purveyors of ‘wisdom’ of the day just didn’t get – as a result we almost never had TV, the jet engine or even photocopiers!

You – the entrepreneur, should not always take what you’re told as gospel by a business advisor about if your idea will work or not: it’s your idea, your life, not ours.
If you don’t think we ‘get it’, then challenge us, or ask for another advisor; but please don’t abandon your brilliant idea that will change your world and mine just because someone else tells you it’ll never work based on their own personal tastes and prejudices.

1 comment:

  1. I read your post with interest and whilst I agree to a point, from my perspective, people go to an advisor (be it business or otherwise) because they want advice.

    As an advisor I believe that part of my role is to provide my honest opinion based upon the facts as presented to me. Where I have someone about to blow their hard earned redundancy package and to go into debt on a venture that I do not believe is likely to succeed then it is part of my job to tell them that I don't think it's a good idea. Failing to do that would be negligent.

    Just my thoughts though.