Blog > Finance & Strategy > Navigating success: the vital role of business advisory
7 May 2024

Navigating success: the vital role of business advisory

SMEs provide services across a range of industries, contributing significantly to innovation, job creation and economic growth – and that’s why we love them! However, the journey of an SME is often fraught with challenges as they navigate the ups and downs of the business landscape. Whether it’s in the start-up phase or later in your business journey, navigating success, growth and achieving what you want for yourself, and the business can be difficult as you juggle the day-to-day, the strategy and everything in between.

What is business advisory?
Nobody knows your business like you do, but whether you have 2 or 200 staff, running a business can be a lonely place and that’s where it can be helpful to have some external input. A business advisor should be an extension of your team, a trusted advisor who you can rely on to facilitate conversations, challenge decisions and help hold the key stakeholders in the business accountable. And of course, to celebrate the milestones with you too!

Charting the course to success
At the heart of good business advice lies strategic planning, a process that defines the roadmap for sustainable growth. SME owners are often engrossed in the business, leaving little room for strategic reflection yet making the time to focus on strategy is like rocket fuel for your business.

SME owners may look to outsource business advisory at various stages in the business journey, therefore their requirements may differ, so there is no right or wrong time to bring someone into the business. For the business advisor it’s paramount that they can tailor their advice to the business, understand what’s needed from them, leveraging all their expertise, whilst being adaptable to changing needs – often in a heartbeat.

Understanding the numbers and so much more
Success is more than the numbers, understanding cashflow, the P&L, debt efficiency or EBITDA is just the tip of the iceberg. Are the numbers highlighting a challenge or a problem within the business, and how can this be addressed? For example, if the business is holding large balances of stock perhaps purchasing is taking place too early in the sales process. If the gross profit margin is lower than expected for a business operating in this industry, this might suggest a resourcing or pricing issue. If trade debtors are significant but cash reserves are running low are payment terms too lenient or does debtor control need improvement? Drilling into what the numbers mean is where invaluable advice comes into play.

It can be easy to overlook the signs within your numbers and so having someone to help identify them, work out how to deal with them and then hold you accountable is invaluable as you grow your business.

Taking an approach that considers the business as a whole is the difference between success and stagnation. Advisors should equip SME owners with the tools to make informed business decisions that underpin sustainable growth.

Navigating uncertainty
In a business landscape that is characterised by rapid change and unpredictability, resilience to the external factors influencing businesses and business decisions is a critical attribute. A business advisor is a trusted ally in times of uncertainty, guiding the business through the inevitable highs and lows through forward planning, de-risking, identifying opportunities and possible pain points for the business, enabling business owners to anticipate potential disrupters and advise on proactive responses.

Your advisor should promote agility and adaptability, empowering effective decision-making that aids growth and helps you achieve your ambitions – however big they are.

How Wilson Partners can help
Clients often want to work with us because they’re frustrated at the lack of information and advice they receive from their existing accountants. Our team looks to build lasting professional relationships with clients, focussing on more than the numbers. They’re here to ask the right questions at the right time, aligning both your personal and business goals with the advice given and working together to achieve those goals.

We’ll harness all we know, providing an impartial view of the business and help provide the magic to help you achieve success – whatever success looks like to you.

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