Consulting businesses need to consider whether they are in the business of running a business or just providing advice, otherwise things will get “busier and busier”, according to Certainty Advice Group.

Jim Stackpool, chief executive of consultancy Certainty Advice Group, said companies that thought they were just giving advice and retaining customers were on a “salt mine” path.

“You’re just going to get busier and you might need guidance on how you’re going to take the next step in your own career,” Stackpool said.

He said new FASEA requirements, abandonment of advisers by post-royal commission institutional notices, concerns about the changing compliance landscape and stable demand for advice throughout COVID-19 had created a “perfect storm” resulting in too busy advisers.

“I don’t have advisers saying ‘I’m stepping down because there’s too much uncertainty’, they’re saying ‘I’m so busy and I can’t scratch myself’.”

He said those with business skills that can objectively make business decisions, such as deciding not to be too much for customers and maintaining a team that isn’t stretched, survived while those with weak business skills suffered, regardless of their consulting skills.

Stackpool said a business goals plan is the most important document in the entire office.

“If your clients’ plans are more important than your plan, you will continue to defer to your clients’ priorities,” he said.

“Imagine an emergency hospital not having its own hygiene plan and making sure staff are ready to do the job?”

Many companies continually relied on the priorities imposed on them by the market and customers rather than their business plan.

“Unless you’re healthy, unless your team is healthy, unless you’re above your own systems and procedures, you’re just going to get crushed by this train of activity. .”

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