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Business Advisor - Frequently Asked Questions

Who should work with Helen Laidlaw, Business Advisor?

If you are committed to the long-term growth, profitability and success of your business, then it makes sense to stop wasting time and money trying to figure it out on your own, and start working with a Business Advisor. Working with Helen Laidlaw is perfect for:

  • Business owners seeking a more enjoyable lifestyle

  • Business owners seeking clarity around their business direction

  • Businesses wanting to be more profitable

  • Businesses wanting to achieve significant growth

  • Businesses wanting to improve their systems and processes

  • Business owners wanting to build the asset value of their business

  • Business owners looking to exit their business in 2-5 years

What does a Business Advisor do?

A business advisor, also known as a business consultant, will help you to work 'on' your business. As an independent and experienced expert, whose perspective isn’t clouded by the day-to-day activities, Helen Laidlaw can help you to see things differently, find clarity, break through any barriers and change for the better. Helen is able to offer practical help, advice and support in specific business areas that will help make a difference to your business success. As a business owner, having someone to go to for business advice can be invaluable. 

What can I expect from a Business Advisor?

Every situation is unique. Here’s how the process works

  • Schedule a free, no obligation meeting so that I can understand your current challenges and business goals.  Be prepared to answer a lot of questions.  I need to know as much about you and your business as possible, in order to successfully help you.
  • Together, we will create a plan to achieve your goals. We will focus on resolving current issues, improving systems and processes and identifying key opportunities, so that doing business can get radically easier and more profitable.
  • Implementation of the plan is the key to ensuring that your business is able to achieve profitable growth. Regular meetings (weekly, fortnightly or monthly) will be held to help and support you, offer advice and hold you accountable for achieving your objectives.

Do I need a Business Advisor if I have an Accountant?

Absolutely you do! 

Typically an accountant will help you with a company's statutory requirements such as end of year accounts, tax planning, financing etc. Some accountants offer business advice but this is usually a quarterly meeting looking at your financials only. 

A Business Advisor will look at the bigger picture. As Business Advisors have a small number of clients and you meet them regularly (at least once a month), they will know your business inside and out. Not only will they help you understand they key financial drivers in your business and find opportunities for growth, but they will also look at your Products and Services, Marketing and Sales, Systems and Processes and People.

Who do you work with?

I typically work with NZ Business Owners, who are receptive to expert advice and committed to achieving their business objectives. Usually they are in business on their own or with their spouse, are an expert in their technical field but struggle with Business Finance and Strategy, have been in business for more than two years, and have staff/subcontractors. (Note: I don't work with startups).

What industries do you specialise in?

You, the Business Owner, is the expert in your industry, not me. As a Business Advisor, I bring in the skills, resources and tools that you don't have. I have experience with Trade, Transportation, Manufacturing, Construction, Tourism and Professional service businesses.

How many businesses do you work with?

I only work with a limited number of businesses, ensuring that the plan we will create together is implemented in a timely manner and that you are getting results as quickly as possible. Have a look at some of my NZ Business Success Stories.

Where are you located, and how do you work with your clients?

I am based in Hamilton but work with Business Owners throughout New Zealand.  Client meetings are held using online meeting tools. On site meetings, if desired, can be agreed when scoping the work.

What are your qualifications?

I have a Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) from The University of Waikato, am a CA member of CA ANZ (Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand) and am a Certified Advisor with the Institute of Advisors. More importantly, I have a track record of helping businesses improve their profit. You can find out more about me here

Do you have references?

Certainly. I would be pleased to introduce you to my clients. However, in order to respect the time and generosity of my clients, I will provide references as the final step before you sign the engagement letter.

Is there a minimum period of commitment?

I believe that you should not be bound by a contract if it isn’t working for either party. If you wish to terminate for any reason that cannot be resolved by discussion, then one months’ notice of termination must be communicated in writing.

How much does a Business Advisor cost?

A fixed fee per month is agreed upfront. Payment is due on the 20th of each month.

Can we get funding to work with you?

My services may be up to 50% fundable through the Regional Business Partners network. You can apply hereFunding is not guaranteed, and there is slightly different criteria throughout New Zealand in terms of who is eligible.


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