What are Business Advisory Services? A Guide For Your Business

Jun 5, 2022 | Uncategorised

Are you a business owner who is struggling to make ends meet? Are you finding it challenging to keep up with the competition? Do you need help understanding the numbers? If so, business advisory services may be what you need!

Business advisory services are consulting services designed to help business owners improve their financial situation and grow their businesses.

These services are particularly beneficial for startup companies or those businesses starting to struggle financially.

This article will discuss business advisory services and how they can benefit your business.

What are business advisory services?

Increasingly, company decision-makers realise they need the advice of a financial expert to develop a strategy for their business. Business advisory services bring in a financial professional, or a team of financial experts, to review and assess a company’s finances and performance and develop a strategy to help the business remain competitive and grow.

A business advisory consultant will liaise with the company and major stakeholders to make sure the proposed company strategy is put in place and executed successfully.

Business advisory services enable companies to evolve, either by resolving financial issues or developing strategies for growth, or both. The service may be run as a project, with distinct phases, each with outcomes leading into the next phase.

Some strategies and solutions which may be developed by a business advisory consultant include:

  • Sourcing funding for growth or to resolve financial issues.
  • Identifying methods to reduce expenses and increase revenue to ensure a healthy cash flow.
    • This may include options to reduce overheads, extending finance agreements or leases on property or other assets.
  • Following reviews of processes and effectiveness, closing business units or terminating certain roles may be recommended
  • The sale of assets if they don’t contribute to the business’s profitability
  • Solutions to recover outstanding debts
  • The streamlining of inefficient or overly-complex management structures

Who needs business advisory services?

Often, company directors are fantastic at what their company does, or produces. They are great at running their business but not necessarily skilled at understanding the financial structure of a successful business.

A business advisory consultant provides financial, business and systems expertise. These services are designed for company directors and stakeholders who will benefit from expert, specialised help.
1. Companies with financial problems
For a business struggling financially, a business advisory consultant could provide insights to help ensure your company will continue successfully.

You will see the warning signs your company has financial issues. You should ask yourself some questions to help decide whether business advisory services are for you:

  • Do I think my business could be saved and continue to trade profitably in the future?
    • Despite the current problems, you see a future as a viable business. Business advisory services will help you to prepare for future growth and profitability.
  • Do I want to invest in advisory services and spend the associated time to save the business?
    • You believe your company can be saved and will trade successfully in the future. You must be prepared to invest in expert financial and business advice and spend time working through
    • You may have decided this business is not for you and you want to stop trading.
  • What do company stakeholders think?
    • Changes made as a result of the investigations by a business advisory consultant may involve other stakeholders.
      – Do you think your customers will accept change?
      – What about your employees?
      – Depending on the recommended company structure, some current roles may be redundant in the future.
  • Possible outcomes
    • Business advisory consultants will review and assess the company structure and finances. Restructuring recommendations will be aimed at ensuring the future financial viability of the business.

2. Companies who want to grow but need help
Companies may have a vision for the future, or even a plan for growth but can’t work out what they need to do to achieve their goals.

A director of such a company will be conducting gap analysis:

  • Where do we see the company going?
    • What is our vision for our business?
      – This could be growth, with additional customers and more emp[loyees, maybe in larger premises.
      – We may want a differently structured business with a more diverse range of products or services, to appeal to a wider marketplace.
  • Where is the company today?
    • The company is successful, with satisfied customers and content employees. We know we could be better.
  • How do we get from where we are to where we want to be?
    • This is ‘the gap’ your business must bridge to become the business you want or need
  • Possible outcomes
    • Your Business advisory consultant will have assessed your business and your financial position and will have discussed your plans for the future. They will deliver a strategy to help you fulfil your dream.

How does it work?

You know how to run your company but probably don’t have a qualification in accountancy. A business advisory consultant will understand your business needs or strategy and will apply advanced financial knowledge to help your company, via some key steps:

  • Investigation
    • This stage of the process includes understanding the financial situation and setup of the business. The consultant will review the key business areas, as well as the non-key areas. Assets and employees and their roles will all be noted.
    • The process will indicate the possibility of obtaining funding for future business growth or to assist with financial problems.
  • Plan
    • This stage is the development and approval of a strategic plan to turnaround the business.
    • The plan will identify the goals for the business and will set out steps and actions necessary to achieve the stated goals.
    • The business advisory consultant will consult and liaise with company stakeholders; management, employees, customers and suppliers, bankers and other creditors. The strategic plan must be accepted and approved by the key stakeholders.
  • Implement
    • Following acceptance of the strategic turnaround plan, this stage is where the changes and actions identified in the plan are applied.
    • This implementation of a new business structure will lead to a better financial outlook and will help the company to achieve its goals for the future.
    • Some of the actions and changes to the company may be major, including:
      • Management structure
        • Managers may be replaced or new managers put in place
      • Redundancies
        • Certain roles may have been identified as not essential, or even detrimental, to the ongoing viability of the business. The employees in these roles will have their employment terminated.
      • Change of business processes and closure of business units
        • Processes may have been identified as non-key processes and will cease. For the same reason, business units may no longer exist.
        • It is possible if the plan included new services or products for the business, new methods and processes will be in place.
  • Change and improve
    • This phase often called the “turnaround phase” enacts the strategic plan. Any changes to company structures, roles or processes are now in place and the business will continue its journey as an improved entity.
    • A challenge, and focus, during this turnaround phase, is communication with employees and all stakeholders. Make sure everybody understands the new business structure and their place within it. More importantly, management must ensure everybody supports the new strategy and works to make it a success.
  • Report and monitor
    • Key to the success of this turnaround strategy as a business advisory service will be the development of an improved financial structure with tighter financial controls. Financial and management reporting systems will be vital in ensuring the ongoing financial security and integrity of the company.

How to get the most out of your business advisory service

Use the training provided by your business advisory consultant. Review financial reports and always be aware of the financial situation of the company. If you suspect financial issues are beginning to reoccur or growth is slowing, contact your business advisory service provider.

You’ve been pointed towards continued success, growth and profitability, make sure you keep your business hedging in the right direction. Always be prepared to seek expert financial advice. It can be a smart business decision!

Corporate Lifeline, provider of business advisory services

Corporate Lifeline is based in Sydney but has financial experts across Australia. We’ve already helped hundreds of individuals and companies through financial problems and we can help you, too.

We’ve provided traditional accountancy and financial services for many years. Our business advisory services team are already professional financial experts but will get to understand your company, where you are today and where you should be in the future.

We’ll suggest the best strategies, tailor-made for you and we will work with you to implement our strategies to guarantee the business results your company needs.

Contact Corporate Lifeline today.

 

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