CIC Association

Serving Community Enterprise

should you trust your business advisor?

OK, seeing as a lot of work that I do is in the guise of a business advisor, this may sound a bit odd, and I suspect may turn out to a be a tad contentious, but bear with me…

I recently saw some publicity for a local enterprise agency that caught my eye (for the wrong reasons) because of a client testimonial they’d used: “their advisors give you honest feedback as to whether or not your idea is a good one”.

As business advisors, it shouldn’t be our job to tell you if your idea is any good or not, but to support you to best understand the marketplace and your potential customers, what it will take to launch and manage it, and what you’ll need to be aware of in doing so. We shouldn’t tell you whether we think the idea is any good or not because:

1) It’s your business not ours – you’ll have to live with it, not us, so why are we telling you what to do with your life?

2) How do we know if a new business idea really is any good or not? - Look at all the ‘rubbish’ ideas that were rejected by the “gurus” of Dragon’s Den that went on to make a fortune; and history is littered with ideas and inventions that the ‘powers that be’ and recognised purveyors of ‘wisdom’ of the day just didn’t get – as a result we almost never had TV, the jet engine or even photocopiers!

You – the entrepreneur, should not always take what you’re told as gospel by a business advisor about if your idea will work or not: it’s your idea, your life, not ours.
If you don’t think we ‘get it’, then challenge us, or ask for another advisor; but please don’t abandon your brilliant idea that will change your world and mine just because someone else tells you it’ll never work based on their own personal tastes and prejudices.

Views: 39

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of CIC Association to add comments!

Join CIC Association

Comment by Adrian Ashton on May 19, 2010 at 11:38
hi John,

well, there are various mentoring programmes out there - most are very localised and so my perception is that the quality of them will vary incredibly according to the knowledge, skill and aptitude of the mentors in them; while there are national standard that adviors should hold (I've a few of them), these are not an assurance of quality of support, but rather evidence that the advisor (in theory) is able to take a logical approach to engaging with you - sadly very few adviors seek feedback on their performance by their peers or clients.

and yes - we should schedule something around doing those 'cafe discussions'; i did a few a couple of years back on CICs which proved to be very popular and were apparently cited as the most definitive source of knowedge on the CIC model in N Ireland for a time...
given our respective locations could we best do this by comparing our diaries for shared movements around the country or perhaps as a series of email discussions that are then hosted to the site?
Comment by John Mulkerrin on May 18, 2010 at 12:35
very true Adrian,
ive started to group these types of issues under the term transaction costs, its not just the entrepreneur that has to improve!
what do you think of existing mentoring programs, do you recommend any?
ps, we'll have to get on with those challenge debates, shall we do one on the differences between Co-op and CIC? Im getting a lot more enquiries about the technical issues, such as how Co-ops and CICs should be used in transfer of community assets etc


From Funding Central


© 2021   Created by John Mulkerrin.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service