As a small business owner, in addition to a part time small business CFO, it's wise to engage advisors to assist you in doing the things that need to be done and you're not that good at doing.The nice thing is that there are plenty of advisors out there.
How do you find the ones which will deliver the most value?
We have found that the good ones all possess 5 common characteristics:
This is the most obvious one. Without experience, advice can be useless and outright dangerous.
Good advisors have opinions and are not afraid to share them. As with experience, it's important that these opinions draw from knowledge that is sufficient for these opinions to make sense.
Willing to Listen, but...
There's a big difference between having opinions and being opinionated. One is a skill, the other is a fault. A good advisor will always listen to anyone, using that information to form, adjust, enhance, and ratify their own opinions.
Will (Politely) Disagree
You don't want an advisor who "sways with the breeze". If, after listening to everyone else's views (including yours) , an effective advisor will stand by their point of view and, if necessary agree to disagree.
Accuracy of Predictions
Lastly, and second most importantly behind experience, the best advisors have shown time and again a very high accuracy rate for the ultimate outcome of the topics behind their opinions. Being open-minded and aware of one's own shortcomings are important traits of a successful small business owner.
Finding advisors with similar beliefs and principles who also have the above 5 characteristics can pave the way to increased results.