How to Engage an Advisor
You may have identified your advisor – but it’s not over yet; ensuring you get the most out of the relationship is crucial. As a leader you need to think carefully and strategically about what you want from your advisor. What’s going to be the best way to harness their expertise at this time?
When you approach an advisor you need to sell yourself AND your business. It’s a good idea to send a detailed initial message with your goals and why you think they’d be best to advise you.
If they like your proposal and set up a conversation, then smash the meeting with the same warmness you reached out to them with.
Make sure it’s clear what your business ambitions are – your advisor might be getting numerous choices to work with businesses. If that’s the case, you’re competing with time in their diary and they want to be involved with winners.
A winning brief should include:
- a description of your organisation – its purpose and values, what it does, its size and structure
- what you are trying to achieve and why you need help
- skills and experience you are looking for
- specific goals you expect the advisor to achieve and the timetables for doing this
It’s a good idea to check your selected advisor’s credentials. You need to look in detail at their experience (not just the brand name but what exactly the role was), previous reviews and what they say they can offer in their description
Ideally, you want an advisor who:
- understands your industry
- has worked with businesses your size
- has experience of any particular issues you want to deal with
- holds any necessary qualifications
- is a member of an appropriate professional body or trade association
It’s a good idea to formalise the relationship and ensure you put in place a professional agreement. As well as making your business look grown-up and taking a sensible approach, it also lays out clearly compensation and time investments from both parties.
At Invigorate, we ensure that all advisory engagements are put into writing, with advisory time and compensation are clearly defined. An agreement will also include roles, responsibilities and outcomes that both parties expect from the relationship e.g. it’s two commercial introductions and an organisation stakeholder map.
Invigorate also gives your arrangement all the legal structure you may need binding the relationship into a tripartite agreement with the liability of the delivery of the outcomes is up to the advisors. We also include other elements to cover you such as confidentiality clauses. We also give you the flexibility to add any further details which might wish to in your own separate legal agreement.
With the appropriate structure in place, you’re ready to start working with your advisor.