Operating a business can be more than a full-time job. There’s so much that’s involved: budgeting, inventory, customer-facing interactions, not to mention marketing. Sometimes entrepreneurs simply don’t have time to oversee every aspect of the business and you may worry that certain areas are slipping. That’s where a strategic advisor comes in handy, and it’s no wonder that in 2021, there were over 200,000 job listings for strategic advisors.
But what is a strategic advisor? Does your business need one in order to thrive? We’ll discuss all of this and more in today’s blog.
What Is a Strategic Advisor?
A strategic advisor is a rather broad description, but generally they are a consultant who oversees every area of your business to make sure it is performing at top level. They are often contracted consultants, but some businesses do hire a full-time in-house strategic advisor. They are not managers. They don’t actually execute any operational plans within your business. What they might do is offer you a guide as to the best strategies you can execute to optimize your business.
Strategic advisors often work with leadership in your company, or executive decisionmakers. They may show you where your customer service is lacking, why your budget is constantly overextended, or ways to improve your company’s visibility through better marketing. Rather than overseeing one element of your business — such as finances or marketing — a strategic advisor looks over all of it and helps to create a plan accordingly.
When Do You Need a Strategic Advisor?
There could be many reasons why you might need a strategic advisor. New entrepreneurs who have a great vision but struggle with coming up with a strategy to execute it might benefit from a strategic advisor. Recently appointed CEOs might hire a strategic advisor in order to breathe new life into the operations of their company. A busy executive may hire a strategic advisor to figure out why business has been dropping recently.
You’ve heard the statement “two sets of eyes are better than one.” It isn’t just about numbers themselves. It’s about perspective. Business owners can easily become so wrapped up in their business that it becomes difficult to be objective. A strategic advisor, on the other hand, is objective and has the experience to notice the holes in your operation. They can give the fresh set of eyes that you need in order to thrive and take your business to the next level.
Benefits of Hiring a Strategic Advisor
If you have a good head for strategy and the experience to know how to optimize your business, you may not need a strategic advisor. However, it almost never hurts to hire one, whether contracted or as a permanent part of your team. Strategic advisors can benefit any business, including:
- Speeding up and streamlining decision making and time to market. With the consultation of a strategic advisor on your side, you will be able to flow through big decisions, which will mean you can get your products and services to market that much sooner.
- Offering input that isn’t biased or prejudiced. A strategic advisor can offer you an outside opinion, based on data and the current market landscape. They don’t have the history with your business that you do, which means they’ll be able to be far less biased.
- Help scaling your business. If you’re trying to scale your business, you’re going to need a solid strategy to do so successfully. A strategic advisor will know exactly what target goals to push for and how to help you get there.
- Specialized, relevant advice. Strategy is what these professionals do, which means they stay up to date on all the latest trends and business needs. A strategic advisor is a specialist, offering niche expertise in their area.
- Cost effectiveness. Investing in a strategic advisor will save you money in the long run. A strategic advisor will help you identify the business solutions with the best ROI and fit for you, so you’ll lose the extra business costs you may have been spending.
Can a Strategic Advisor Help With Marketing and Lead Generation?
The main way that a strategic advisor can help you with marketing is by helping you identify market opportunities that you may not have acted on yet. For instance, there may be an untapped target audience that is perfect for your brand. Or there may have been a recent shift in the market that could change the way you market your product. Like everything else, a strategic advisor can help you see opportunities and develop a strategy. It will be your brand’s job to execute it.