How to grow your advisory business?

4 min read

Are you considering starting up your own business advisory or business financial advisory service?

Perhaps you’ve already set one up and are looking to grow? If so, it’s wise to have a handle on exactly how you can grow your business advisory venture and reap the financial rewards of your own small business.

What does a business advisory do?

Starting with the basics, what does a business advisory do exactly?

A business advisory or financial business advisory service can come in many guises. Let’s break down the most common and popular service types in this financial consultancy space.

In a nutshell, a business advisory service will offer business clients strategic advice on how to grow their business, risk management, budgeting, reporting, financing, and compliance advice.

It should be noted that many consider business advisory a ‘final step’ in business accounting and you’ll find that most consultants will come from an accounting background.

Keep in mind that many business advisors will choose to offer several consultancy service types, although focusing on one discipline is also a popular choice.

Key business advisory services:

  • compliance advice
  • accounting services
  • start-up advice
  • risk management
  • financial planning
  • budgeting and cashflow advice
  • business model advice
  • business acquisition advice
  • advice around niche business types
  • software and solution advice
  • business health checks
  • profitability forecasting
  • corporate investment
  • wealth management

Strategic business advisory

A strategic business advisory, as the name may suggest is concerned with consulting with businesses around more advanced business strategies.

Such services can include business health checks, performance enhancements, long term strategic planning and solution implementation.

Financial business advisory

Financial business advisory services encompass promoting and securing the financial health of a business. The aim for such financial planners is to ensure the continued fiscal viability and profitability of a business client.

Such financial services can involve business model advice, capital investment guidance, financing options, cashflow forecasting and long-term profitability advice.

How to grow your advisory business?

Aside from taking your own advice, growing your advisory business comes down to pinpointing the needs and risks associated with launching or maintaining a business.

Alleviating business pain and foreseeing potential issues remains the name of the game. If you can tap into this need, develop strong client relationships, and promote your services professionally, you have every chance of achieving growth.

Here’s several key considerations when attempting to grow your business advisory service into a stable and viable venture.

Find a niche

Nail down a specific niche to focus your efforts. Draw on your own consultancy experience and pinpoint specific businesses you have either dealt with favourably in the past or have specific knowledge of.

Instead of being everything to everyone, target a specific business type and sharpen your services to cater for this industry. You’ll be able to better focus your service delivery as well as important marketing and promotion of your services.

Potential clients from a specific industry will inevitably be drawn to a specialist in their space.

Customer Relationships

It’s no secret that continued client business is built upon fostering strong customer relationships.

To trust someone with your business’s health takes a large leap of faith, especially considering the investment and toil that goes into running your own business.

Maintaining steady income from repeat clientele is an excellent and efficient way to grow your advisory business. While hunting new business is the true avenue to growth, if you haven’t formed excellent relationships with all your clients, you may lose business that you’ve spent time and effort gaining and find yourself paddling backwards.

Price

Your price point will be one of the deciding factors in your clients’ willingness to uptake your services and thus grow your advisory business.

While you should never rely solely on price, and should certainly value your own time and expertise, you should be very mindful of the competition.

This doesn’t mean you need to be offering the lowest price, but if you find your invoices are well above the competition, it’s clear you need to either be delivering world changing results or look at keeping your pricing at pace with similar advisory services.

Branding

Your branding is the face of your advisory business. Solid branding means instant recognition, association with quality, professionalism, and attractiveness.

Spend time nailing a fully realised and professionally articulated brand – it will pay dividends. This will define you and inspire confidence in your services. It will also differentiate you from your competition who may have sloppy or inconsistent branding.

Brilliant branding is an edge you can take advantage of.

Is advisory the same as consulting?

Is advisory the same as consulting? No. There are a few key differences, although many similarities do present themselves in the specific work being done for business clients.

The primary difference is time. While an advisor will form a long and lasting relationship with their clients, a consultant will be brought in for granular issues that require short one-off sessions or projects.

A consultant is usually brought in at the C-level to advise on strategy and work on a specific project – such as bringing a new product to market or expanding into new geographical locations.

An advisor on the other hand will often be tasked with accounting, risk management and ongoing business health and will likely be dealing with employees at a managerial level.

Growing your advisory service is an entirely approachable subject providing you respect client relationships, look for niches, professionalise your branding and upskill yourself to match the needs of the market.