Business adviser

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Business consultant, enterprise adviser, business coach

Business advisers give advice and support to new business start-ups and help established businesses to grow.

Salary Range: £20,000 to £35,000

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You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
  • specialist courses run by private training organisations
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You could do a foundation degree or degree in:

  • business management
  • business enterprise
  • marketing
  • project management

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

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You can start by doing a junior management consultant or business and professional services higher apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

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Direct application

You can apply directly to employers if you’ve got proven experience like running your own company, or working in management, finance or human resources.

You’ll need to show a wide range of skills, including marketing, finance, planning and project management. You’ll also need to be good at building a network of contacts.

Other routes

You could build up your knowledge and skills by doing business support and mentoring qualifications, for example, like those offered by the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative.

Qualifications include:

  • Level 3 Certificate in Enterprise Coaching
  • Level 3 Award in Enterprise Mentoring
  • Level 5 Certificate in Professional Business and Enterprise Support Services

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Career tips

You can use online social media, like LinkedIn, to promote yourself, build your network and display recommendations from colleagues and clients.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs for professional development, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about working in business advice from Business is Great and your local Growth Hub.

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Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • business management skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need professional indemnity insurance.

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Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to day duties may include:

  • looking at clients’ business ideas to see if they have potential
  • helping clients to develop business plans
  • advising on sources of finance and grants
  • helping existing small businesses with problems, like finding ways to reduce costs or improve marketing
  • referring clients to other specialists if necessary
  • networking with the business community and enterprise organisations
  • monitoring clients’ progress
  • running advice workshops and seminars

Working environment

You could work at a client’s business or in an office.

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You could be employed by a local business support organisation or by a national organisation like the Great Business support line.

You could also get involved with community or social enterprises and charities that support business start ups, or do freelance work.