In life there are a lot of people waiting to give you their two cents, whether you ask for it or not. We’ve spoken to enough business owners to know that advice is, sadly, in short supply. For that reason, you’ll pay far more than two cents to know your business is in safe hands and we’re here to support you.

Advisory and business coaching live under the same umbrella. They are both there to help business owners moving towards their goals and growth, but what are the fundamental differences and how do you know which is best? Let’s look at the wording itself in the first instance. A coach is someone who will help us improve and develop at something in life. An advisor gives advice on a particular field. So, when working out which route to take, stop and think. You might need to do both depending on the level of support you require and what results you’d like to achieve.

What does being an advisor really mean?

As an accountant, our role in supporting business owners has evolved. There’s a wealth of data in our reach thanks to the Cloud – but don’t consider it to be the key thing here. The insights this will provide are pivotal to how we operate. Business owners are becoming increasingly aware that reporting on what’s already happened is a dated way of working. Trust me, when you’re in business, you are always occupied with what’s coming next. We’re helping you to control cash flow and accelerate your growth by looking forwards, we can be your hero!

For a business owner, hindsight is a luxury so have great confidence in your experience and what that brings to the conversation. We work with enough business owners to know what is and isn’t acceptable.  A good advisor will ask questions and dig into business, looking at previous trends and teaming that with a forecast, or three, will allow you to think ahead to the impact of coming events. When you can see the numbers, good or bad, you can react. Have you set targets? Are you meeting those targets? Will you be happy with your end results if the business stays the same? If you don’t have a process in place to manage this effectively then again, it is time to step in and let us help set it up.

What is business coaching?

A coach, as I’m sure we all remember from school, is there to hold your hand through learning a new discipline. Let’s consider how Judy Murray coached sons, Andy and Jamie Murray. She was there to get them up, take them to practice and tournaments. In business, this is the same, as a coach will look at a client as a whole project, focusing on everything from team management, to how the business owner’s professional goals can be achieved alongside their personal goals. A much broader role, coaches are valuable assets to obtain. They might, however, not be a suitable (or viable) path to venture down for a small or medium sized business owner. The cost for this kind of service can be damagingly high. The Huffington Post made a great point that smaller businesses might not realise the difference between a coach and advisor, therefore waste precious cash on services that won’t fit their needs.

Senior Business and Cloud Advisor, Josie Attard, of Morrows, based in Melbourne, Australia, has explained this simply:

“Business coaching is about running the business, managing the staff – it’s the much bigger picture. Advisory is the middle ground – it’s taking clients from just giving them their year end accounts to giving them more meaning to help them reach their targets. It’s being proactive with clients and looking forwards, not backwards.”

We can’t you afford to drop the ball

Imagine you’re a business owner looking for some guidance. Usually, it’s those new to the business world, those who can’t afford it, or don’t think they need it that actually need advice the most, so writes Steve Tobak, Management Consultant and Author, for Entrepreneur. But that’s like the old saying, ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’. We can be the source of help for you. We won’t simply stick a new button on our website with a list of services and a price; but will get out there and speak to you, big and small, and see what it is that we feel is missing from your services. Some of you, might need a full-time coach, others may simply need a hand with setting up a dynamic forecast and looking at profit improvement.

Playing “Doubles” – don’t forget the power of partnerships

Being an advisor or coach does not mean you’re an expert in everything. That is impossible and it is far better to play to your strengths. If you have a sales problem, we would refer you to someone else that would help you improve in this area? If you can’t get the right staff in a post or employee turnover is high, again, we would suggest you speak with an HR expert? Our objective is always to make your business the best it can be and moving the needle on the P&L and balance sheet is a team effort. The important part here is that we have spotted a ball that’s heading off the court and prevented a “loss” for your business.

Based off this original article