The article by Dyer et al., (2007) is about the relationship between small business owners and advisors. With the term advisors they do not just mean consultants, but also bankers, accountants, lawyers etc. Small business owners need help from these advisors due to a lack of management skills and knowledge. However, the support that is provided by these business advisors has not always been helpful for small business owners and quite frequently entrepreneurs view external advisory as negative. This is because they value their independence and believe that they can do it better themselves. Therefore, it can be stated that this relationship has been quite complex. By conducting ten semi-structured interviews among advisors Dyer and Ross tried to look closer at this mismatch between small business owners and advisors.
Their findings are quite valuable for entrepreneurship professionals. What they found was that even though the relationship is complicated, entrepreneurship professionals are still very much needed. The relation between an advisor and a small business owner can be depicted as a lifecycle. Whereby initially there might be some issues but if these issues are resolved the relationship will continue. However, at some point different issues may arise whereby the relationship might stagnate. The relations with a longer duration are when the small business owner is more open to the occurrence of problems and is willing to understand the other party better. Also, when the advisor is more empathetic and shows a greater willingness to make the relationship work, the relation will stand. Lastly, advisors need to keep the business development level in mind, because problems that can occur at a start-up level might be different from issues that arise at a firm that is expanding. These are all points that entrepreneurship professionals need to keep in mind when supporting entrepreneurs.
By Awat Kalamerd