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The Importance of Advisors in Christian Businesses

The bible is clear that we should look to others for advice and counsel. No place is this more evident than in Proverbs, which has many verses that echo this theme. For example:
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. Proverbs 12:15

And then, a few chapters later, we read:
Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that though mayest be wise in thy latter end. Proverbs 19:20

This idea is true in life, and it also applies to Christian business owners. In fact, it’s such an essential concept that we will be discussing it in a two-part series. In this article, we are talking specifically about the importance of Christian entrepreneurs having advisors. The following article will cover a similar yet distinct type of counsel—mentors.

Let’s get started with our discussion of business advisors.

What Is a Business Advisor?

Before we go any further, let’s define what we mean by an advisor. Although many definitions exist, this simple explanation from the Intuit QuickBooks blog works nicely: “A business advisor is a strategist who works with your company to help with planning, finances, marketing, and even development.”

This definition highlights a few critical aspects of advisors:

  • A business advisor is called in to work with your company for a specific reason.
  • The work is usually paid (versus mentors who may be free).
  • A business advisor can be a generalist OR can focus on one specific business area (planning, finance, etc.) (We will discuss types of advisors later).

With this definition in mind, we will explain why advisors are essential for Christian entrepreneurs.

What Types of Advisors Are There?

Although a general ‘business advisor’ will help business owners in various areas, Christian entrepreneurs may also be interested in a niche advisor who focuses on one specific area. This article has 12 types of small business advisors that companies turn to in times of need. Here is a summary of some of the main categories.

  • Strategy Advisors: Create business plans, workflows, and projections.
  • Marketing Advisors: Help you identify your customers, your USP (unique selling proposition) and package it across the proper channels.
  • Financial Advisors: Work in financial planning and short- and long-term projections.
  • Operations Advisors: Solve operational and efficiency problems within a business.
  • Legal Advisors: Provide advice on matters concerning the law.
  • IT Advisors: Consult with business owners on their IT needs, including web and product development, hardware, and software.
  • Sales Advisors: Help build sales teams, streamline sales processes, and improve funnel development.

What Are the Benefits of Advisors?

An advisor is often called in at a specific time to handle a specific challenge in your business. However, if you haven’t worked with a business advisor before, these examples show what a good advisor can offer.

1. Strategic Planning
A business advisor can help you plan a strategy and think through all the details. For example, they may help you determine new market opportunities or identify ways to become more profitable to achieve your growth plans. If you’ve already got ideas, the advisor can help you sharpen them or uncover potential problems with your thinking.

2. Feedback and Recommendations
When you choose a niche advisor, you are getting knowledge and experience in that specific area, whether it is marketing, sales, finance, or something else. Your advisor will share advice on the best way to move forward with the fewest risks based on their expertise.

3. Truth
An advisor has many clients and doesn’t make a living in your company alone. They won’t be afraid to disagree with you, ask tough questions, and challenge your business model. This is not a reason to get fearful or defensive. The advisor has the best interest of your company in mind, so your honest answers will help them steer you in the right direction.

4. Competitive Insight
An advisor’s specific industry knowledge can be incredibly insightful to business owners seeking to enter new markets. The advisor will know the competition and the opportunities for your business to shine.

5. Partnerships
Advisors are often well-connected to a strong network. They can provide introductions to key customers and other experts/providers you may benefit from working with.

When Should You Hire an Advisor?

In our definition earlier, we said that advisors are called in to work with your company for a specific reason. So, when should you seek a business advisor or a niche advisor to help you in a particular area?

  • When Specialized Knowledge Is Needed: If you’re facing a challenge that requires specialized knowledge, it’s often more cost-effective to hire a business advisor than to bring in a new employee.
  • When Facing an Issue or Challenge: Whether it is a problem with sales, taxes, or daily operations, an advisor can help you find solutions that will move you forward when you’re stuck.
  • Times of Change/Transition: If you’re implementing a new system, process, or routine in your business, you may benefit from an advisor who can help you manage the change successfully.
  • For Continuous Improvement: Even if you are not facing a specific challenge or problem in your business, you may periodically want to check in with a business advisor who can review what you are doing and suggest areas of improvement.

The Wonderful Counsellor

In the Old Testament, Isaiah prophesied the coming of Jesus. In chapter 9, we read:
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

In our discussion of advisors and counsel, we must also remember that we have access to the mighty God, the ultimate wise Counsellor!

God always knows the right course of action, and He wants to share His advice and wisdom with you. While you may hire an advisor to help with your business, the bible instructs that we should also bring our worries to God in prayer. For example:
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5

As you run your business, you may very well hire a business advisor along the way. In addition, make sure to stay connected to our Wonderful Counsellor each and every day.

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