There will come a time in a business owner’s life when they find they need to administer a little first aid to their enterprise. Maybe an unexpected new regulation came into effect, a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic disrupts business as usual, or things simply stagnate after a while. Whatever the case, you may find that you are stuck, unsure how to take the next step in your entrepreneurial journey or unable to commit the necessary resources to implementing your plans. When that happens, the answer might be seeking advisory services from a trusted expert in the field you want to explore.
This initial instalment of our new blog series explains what this crucial service entails, why it might be time to bring in a consultant, and how AVASK can help.
What are advisory services?
Advisory services, sometimes referred to as consultation, can be a very broad, and therefore very confusing, topic. With constant threats of copycats and corporate espionage, opening your business to a third party to allow them to perform a biopsy can be a scary prospect.
The process can typically be broken down into three distinct phases:
- Discovery phase
During this initial step, the advising firm will take some time to learn everything it can about the client’s business. This can involve talking to directors and employees, visiting the premises, and reviewing company records. A crucial part of this phase is getting to the core of a company’s mission and current operations.
- Evaluation phase
After completing their initial research into the company comes the evaluation phase. The advisor will identify the company’s strengths and weaknesses, current and foreseeable problems, opportunities for growth, and most importantly, where changes is needed.
- Solution phase
This final phase requires open and honest communication between the advising firm and their client. It is at this point that the consultants will come up with solutions for the problems they discovered during the evaluation process. They should also include plans for seizing available opportunities.
What are the benefits of advisory services?
According to the Predictive Index Consultant Report over one-fourth (27%) of companies forego advisory services because it’s too difficult to measure the ROI.
Due to the long-term nature of advisory plans, and the omnichannel approach to the assistance they provide, it can be challenging to measure the ROI of a consultant’s advisory services. Business owners also may find the upfront cost of advisory services daunting. However, although a consultant’s fees may seem high in comparison to an employee’s salary, it usually makes more sense financially to hire an advising firm.
To ensure that the benefits of advisory services are easily quantified, it can help to approach the relationship with the following:
- Setting SMART goals at the beginning of the working agreement
- Deciding how intangible benefits will be measured
Bringing in a firm to provide growth advisory services can have several benefits. Chief among these is an objective, outsider perspective. When employees are too close to a problem, it can be difficult to see it, let alone a solution. A consultant can look at the situation with a fresh viewpoint.
When you hire a consultant, you benefit from their years of experience implementing exactly the solutions your business needs. It removes the learning curve that comes with new hires or trying to solve the problem in house. When a business lacks the internal resources or skillset to tackle a project, advisory service providers can fill the gaps in that knowledge base.
With this additional knowledge and perspective, consultants are by their very nature catalysts for change. They can suggest new paths, technologies, and strategies previously overlooked. Consultants also constantly learn more about the most cutting-edge methodologies available, another benefit they can bring to the table.
The rewards you can reap from a consultant’s knowledge are not only short-term. Their job is to share their knowledge, insight, and experience, so they often make very good trainers. Part of the process is teaching business owners and their employees the skills they need to implement the newly developed plans.
The AVASK approach
AVASK differ from many in the finance industry because we are invested in our clients’ success. That is why we are experts at assisting e-commerce entrepreneurs grow and expand their businesses.
Our team is over 100 strong, from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds but all sharing a wealth of e-commerce expansion experience. With so much experience behind us, we have established a proven track record of helping sellers branch out and realise their most ambitious dreams.
AVASK offers expert advisory services through two packages:
- Results-focussed e-commerce strategies: mid/long-term processes
- Knowledge-based e-commerce growth plans
Both packages involve an almost month-long deep-dive discovery phase focusing on your business and e-commerce performance. We evaluate the fundamentals, such as KPIs, value proposition, position within the market, and your website’s UX and UI.
Our evaluation process comes after having immersed ourselves in your business. We’ll invite you to sit down with us to go through our findings. Together, we can collaborate on a strategy to enable you to achieve the global revenue growth you are looking for.
The growth advisory roadmap series
Over the next several weeks, this series of informative blogs will take you through the AVASK growth advisory journey. Topics covered include:
- Benchmarking and Knowing Your Business: A deep dive into what a consultant will do to learn about your business
- The “Non-Executive Director” viewpoint: The benefits of having an expert acting as a fresh pair of eyes.
- Hands-on experience: The unique e-commerce perspective we bring to consultancy.
- Review of financials/P&L: How you can expect our expansion experts to analyse your market positioning.
- Business analysis and recommendations: an explanation of the various things we can recommend.
- Bespoke mentoring: The one-to-one coaching process.
- The “Expand to Exit” Roadmap: Helping you develop a to a successful business exit.
The end result will be a greater understanding of when, why, and how a business benefits from a consultancy. And why AVASK is a great partner to have on your journey. Be sure to follow us on social media so you don’t miss the next instalment in our blog series! You can find us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.