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38


38 . Glasgow Business September/October 2013


CHOOSE THE RIGHT ADVISER


Professional advice is crucial to every business, whether its from an accountant, a lawyer or other consultant. Here’s how to select the one which works for you


E


very business, regardless of its size, needs to consider using professional advisers at some point. And choosing the right ones can be key to your


success or failure. Professional advice enables you to beter


plan for the future and provides you with support, expertise and advice as your business grows and changes. It should also free you up to concentrate on running your own business. But whether it’s an accountant, lawyer,


business or financial adviser, the sooner you make a good connection with someone who understands not only your current business, but also your vision for the future, the more likely you are to succeed. But how do you go about building the right


relationship from the beginning? Te answer lies with being clear about your


goals and sharing them with any potential adviser. “Te starting point is to understand your own needs,” said Ken McManus, Assistant Director, Practice Support at Te Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS). “You have to know what you’re looking for,


because that should determine the type of firm you might approach. Are you simply looking for a compliance vehicle to keep your business on the right side of the law? Or are you looking for a firm which will help you to grow and develop?” Jim Lockhart, founder of Lockhart Business Advisory, agrees that the search for the right


adviser should begin when your business is starting out, instead of waiting too long. Te amount of research and effort you put into finding the right relationship is also key to your success. “If you were looking for a phone supplier,


for example, you’d probably ask your friends who they use, and do a bit of research,” he said. “Or you would get an expert to come in and give you an idea of what you’re going to need. But the stakes are a lot higher when it comes to professional advice, and that’s the one that you should spend more time on up front.” Tat applies just as much to legal advice,


says Coral Riddell, Head of Professional Practice at the Law Society of Scotland. “Te type and size of firm you end up


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