There is no opportunity to offer advice if the audience for advice is settled and has no problems.
If we examine the plight of SMEs in the UK in the past few years, would we assert that SMEs have had the best of times, that they have had no problems?
Unless your business thrives on adversity, the answer to this rhetorical statement must surely be “No” they have multiple problems.
The evidence before us points to disruption on an unimaginable scale; Brexit, COVID, the war in Ukraine, economic mismanagement, inflation, rising interest rates, and disrupted supply lines. Whole sectors, hospitality for example, have been shaken in a way not seen for decades.
In which case, it is safe to assume that the need for business advisors has never been greater, and this trend is likely to continue for some time. And we ignore at our peril the coming consequences of global warming and the onward march of artificial intelligence.
Has there ever been a time when business owners would benefit from sage advice from their accountants? If readers are still considering their options, happy to plug away at compliance services as their clients have no appetite to pay for advice, just maybe, firms are not asking the right questions.
There must be an appetite for advice as there are no shortage of existential threats to the success of SMEs. Perhaps the missing link – that would connect the advisory dots – is to start asking open questions, how are you, rather than assert clients should take this or that service from you.
By seeking out problems, there is an opportunity to offer solutions. By solving these problems, you are credited with being part of the solution which creates value and gratitude, and a client that is willing to pay for your help.
Was there ever a time when the market for advice was so ripe? Time to dust of your empathy skills and start asking open questions.