Last week, this blog
made some suggestions as to the qualities for which an entrepreneur should look
when selecting any sort of business adviser.
In the interests of
balance, one ought to give equal thought to the qualities that are not
essential in an adviser.
It is not just a
matter of taking the first list and saying “Avoid the opposite.” It is
obviously true that one should not hire anyone without those desirable
qualities, but that is only a first step.
It is necessary to
take a further step, to distinguish between those qualities which are genuinely
desirable and those which are promoted as being desirable but which are, in
Business advice of
various types is itself a competitive business. The practitioners attempt to
lure the unwary entrepreneur with what appears to be important but is really of
no practical utility.
Do not be impressed by
any would-be advisers who rely too much on any of the following:
1 Academic qualifications – which are
increasingly meaningless in an age when they seem to be thrown around like
2 A Well Known Name – which may well mean that
your business ends up being handled by the office boy
3 A Big Organisation – small business clients tend
to get a raw deal from major players
4 A Fashionable Reputation – basically means
they are living off the fat of last year’s successes
5 High Profile – in the longer run, it is
discretion that counts in business
6 Dynamic Presentation – a sign that they are
investing in marketing rather than quality of service to attract clients
7 Fancy Offices – do not forget that you are
paying for them.