Types of advice you’ll need

Types of advice you’ll need

Whatever the age and size of your small business, it helps to tap into expert advice. People like accountants, business mentors, and connections with your industry can help you:

  • solve problems
  • bounce around ideas
  • improve your skills and knowledge
  • find extra help when you need it.

Here are common topics paired with the types of advisors who can help lighten the load.

Even if you’re self-employed, you don’t need to — and shouldn’t — go it alone.

Even if you’re self-employed, you don’t need to — and shouldn’t — go it alone.

Lean on the wide community of business advisors, consultants and support networks available to help you and your business.

I want to better understand my finances

Advisors can help if one or more of these apply to you:

Who can help?

  • Bookkeepers
  • Accountants
  • IRD community compliance officers
  • Financial advisors
  • Budget advisors
  • Bank managers
  • Commercial lawyers
  • Business mentors
  • Insolvency advisors

Can I turn my idea into a business?

Advisors can help if you want to explore one of more of these questions:

Who can help:

I want to protect my business, assets and people

Advisors can help if one or more of these apply to you:

Who can help:

  • Commercial lawyers
  • Industry networks
  • Insurance brokers
  • Accountants
  • Health and safety advisors
  • Risk consultants
  • HR advisors
  • Recruitment consultants
  • Employment lawyers
  • Employment mediators
  • Intellectual property and patent attorneys
  • Business mentors
Don’t underestimate the potential return on investment of getting professional advice.

Don’t underestimate the potential return on investment of getting professional advice.

Advisors can help fill gaps you may have in skills, time and resources. They’ll also help you build and maintain a healthy business to a size that suits you.

How can I grow my business and develop my skills?

  • I want to validate my ideas and strategies.
  • I want to improve my work-life balance. 
  • I want experienced people who have walked in my shoes to be my sounding board.
  • I’m keen to develop my leadership skills and business acumen.
  • I’d like to explore my opportunities to innovateexpand or diversify.

Who can help?

How can I put good systems in place — both internally and to build my customer base?

  • I need to set up and maintain some good digital systems.
  • Being able to easily resolve any tech issues I encounter is important to me.
  • I want to grow my customer base by marketing to the right people, at the right time, in the right way.
  • I’m keen to build my brand’s identity.
  • I’m always looking for ways to make the best use of my time.

Who can help:

  • IT consultants
  • Remote tech support
  • Marketing consultants
  • Digital strategists
  • Graphic designers
  • Branding specialists
  • Business mentors
  • Business coaches
  • Virtual personal assistants
Expert view

Expert view

Getting professional advice

Tax expert John Shewan recommends businesses of all sizes seek professional advice. There are lots of benefits to working with advisors, particularly when it comes to tax, compliance and Inland Revenue.

But working with a professional advisor is a two-way road. You need to prep and put in work to make sure you’re getting the most from your advisors.

“You do that by asking them the right questions, by making sure you’re prepared and willing to be absolutely open to them,” Shewan says.

“My advice to people is spend a lot of time preparing before you go and consult with a lawyer or an accountant. Get maximum value out of the time. Make sure you put the pressure on them to deliver value to you.”

Small businesses and the self-employed shouldn’t count themselves out of large professional service networks just because of their scale. Many accounting companies offer in-depth services to small- and medium-sized businesses.

“It’s a little bit of a fallacy that the big accounting firms only look after big clients, that’s not the case,” Shewan says.

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