Getting Started with Advisory Services

When you ask an employee or partner of one of the top accounting firms what advisory services are, you’ll get a list with at least some of these items on it:

  • Personal Financial Planning
  • Fraud Detection
  • Technology Services
  • IT Assurance
  • Business Valuation
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Litigation Support

All of these are specialties within our industry where you can get additional training and certifications to demonstrate your expertise.

The problem with most of these advisory services is that they skip over the basics.Small businesses have other, more important problems to solve first. Such as:

  • How do I increase revenue?
  • How do I speed up cash flow?
  • Am I pricing correctly so that I am hitting my profit margins?
  • How am I doing compared to other companies in my industry?
  • How can I take home more money?

While these are not sexy specialties, they are advisory services that clients will pay for and what 99 percent of all small business clients need. All you need to do the get started is ask questions: “What is your biggest issue around revenue? Cash flow? Profits?Pricing?” And listen to what your client says with an ear to how you can help.

According to the Small Business Administration, there were 27.9 million small businesses in 2010. Six million of those companies had at least one employee; 21.9 million had no employees.The average revenues of these small businesses was a little over $1 million. When a company has under $1 million in revenue, you can almost guarantee that there biggest issue is bringing in more revenue.These small businesses are your market, and literally millions of them need far more than your compliance help.

We’ve been teaching our Advisor Accelerated course for 3-4 years now to cover these basics. This year, in October, we’ll be expanding our advisory course to include additional small business services, niches, and industries that we haven’t tackled before. Our topics will include some of the traditional specialties above along with what’s hot and what has potential for making money now. So far, we have speakers scheduled to discuss fraud (an expert in the medical industry), eldercare services, and how to maximize social security, which just about everyone over 60 cares about. Please feel free to reply back and let us know what topic you’d like to hear more about.

In the meantime, don’t forget the basics; the revenue potential for basic business advisory consulting is huge for those willing to move beyond compliance (tax and accounting) work.