By Daniel Hunter
Friends and family are the most trusted sources of business advice for small business owners, more so than accountants, financial advisers and solicitors, new research from Bibby Financial Services reveals.
The UK’s largest independent invoice finance provider — which is today hosting an event for business advisors — found that one in four (23 per cent) of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) said they trust friends and family the most when seeking guidance, followed by financial advisers (18 per cent), the internet (14 per cent), accountants (14 per cent) and solicitors (nine per cent).
However, when asked where they look for advice most often, almost a quarter (24 per cent) said they turn to online resources, with friends and family (19 per cent) the second most-frequented source.
Financial advisers (14 per cent), accountants (14 per cent) and solicitors (six per cent) came lower down the list, with advice offered through social media trusted by only one per cent of business owners.
Although the internet is the most frequented source of business advice, over half (52 per cent) of SMEs admitted that they prefer to receive face-to-face advice, with only 14 per cent stating that browsing the internet was their favoured way of finding information.
Tax payments (24 per cent), sales and marketing (14 per cent) and funding (14 per cent) are the topics businesses most frequently seek advice on.
David Postings, chief executive for Bibby Financial Services, said: “Undoubtedly friends and family are always on hand to lend an ear, and the internet can be a quick way to get some general advice, but we would encourage business owners to plan time to speak to their funding partners and professional advisers when big decisions are being made.”
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