It’s not easy to become a small business owner’s advisor.
In fact, 73% of owners won’t work with you unless you’re recommended to them, finds Manulife Financial’s second annual Small Business Research Report.
When they are seeking advice for their businesses, 78% turn to a professional reference, 73% ask a personal contact and almost half (49%) turn to an industry association for a recommendation. And 67% of small biz owners and managers found their advisors through personal or professional references.
Owners and managers also rely heavily on their accountants when they need advice, with 21% of respondents turning to this group for help with employee benefits issues. So to gain access to owners, advisors need to nurture a close relationship with accountants, says the study.
“Being a go-to contact for an accountant should include sharing expertise on HR strategies, workers’ compensation issues, disability management concerns and retirement savings trends,” the authors say.