FAQs

Business Advisor Programme

What is the Business Advisor Programme?

The Business Advisor Programme offers small to medium trade businesses, a trade business advisor to work alongside them, one on one, on their business. Specific advice from someone who has been there and done that.

This is offered in the specialist trades areas of Electrical, Plumbing, Gasfitting & Drainlaying, Roofing and Scaffolding.

Who can apply to be part of the Programme?

The Business Advisor Programme is available to trade businesses with between 1 and 30 staff in the areas of Electrical, Plumbing Gasfitting & Drainlaying, Roofing and Scaffolding.

    • New or existing business needing direction
    • Existing business either going through a growth phase or having some struggles.

You can contact us directly or be referred by associations, wholesalers and suppliers.

How much does it cost?

The Business Advisor Programme is free for 4 sessions or if you are part of an Industry Association it is free for 8 sessions (approximately six months).

After this you may be able to swap wholesalers points for advisor sessions with your local wholesaler or pay for them yourself.

There is no obligation to continue past the free period though best results are shown after a year.

How do I apply?

You can contact us directly via the contact form or email us at ambition@skills.org.nz or be referred by associations, wholesalers and suppliers.

  • We will then get in touch and send you a questionnaire.
  • If Skills believe we can assist and there is an advisor in your region available, you will receive their profile
  • You have an initial discussion or meeting with the advisor before you decide whether to proceed.
  • There is an agreement and survey to complete to sign up to the programme.
Who are the advisors?

The business advisors are respected and passionate business leaders from the trade industry. They are based regionally around New Zealand and you would be matched with an available advisor in your region.

All the business advisors have owned successful trade businesses and been involved in the industry and community. They are passionate about helping and speak the same lingo and will listen to you.

We monitor you and the advisor to ensure you are both happy with the arrangement and can make changes as required. Respect and trust are key ingredients to success.

How often do we meet and for how long?

The business advisor will decide with you how often to meet. We recommend fortnightly meetings or every three weeks. You will meet offsite to avoid distractions, but some meetings can be onsite at your premises.

The period of time will vary according to your needs. It could be a two-hour session the first few and then average out to one hour after that. There will be preparation for both you and the advisor outside of these sessions.

Why are Skills offering this?

Skills is a not for profit owned by Industry to help Industry. With the growth in the construction sector, future proofing local business and arming them with the tools to be successful is a priority. Many trade businesses are technically skilled but have no business training, they “don’t know what they don’t know” and they don’t know who to turn to for specific help.

The programme is designed to help build confidence and knowledge, business owners can ask any question from people who understand, which in turn builds ambition for their business and far reaching improvements into the community and economy.

What success has been shown on the Business Advisor Programme?

The Business Advisor Programme has been developed from a successful pilot in the Northland region with a group of trade businesses. Every business grew in confidence, had time to work ‘on’ the business not just ‘in’ it and improved their sales, profits, employment and general relationships including with the wholesalers and staff.

Watch the video to see the positive results or have a read of the case studies on our website.

What is involved at each session?

We want to listen and understand why you are in business, what keeps you up at night and where you want to take the business. There is the opportunity for plenty of questions by both the advisor and you the business owner.

The format is then decided with you as the business owner in terms of which areas to cover and the order. The advisor will cover eight pillars across business (e.g. time management, people management, financial understanding etc) and there will be actions from each meeting.

How is this programme different?

Skills is not aligned to any specific company and are not out to sell or make a profit by assisting you.

  • We try to listen and understand your business and personal goals and hurdles first.
  • Learning is tailored to you, not a course and you can ask any questions.
  • All our advisors are trade based business people, been there done that with the values of respect and understanding. They know you will have ups and downs. They will consider you as a person within a business with vulnerabilities.
  • They will speak the same language as you not a formal business language.
  • At no time are you given pages of ‘stuff’ to read that is not relevant to your business.
  • If the advisor can’t help they have a network of others they can refer you to or ask questions of.
How do I join the industry associations?

The Business Advisor Programme is free for 8 sessions (approximately six months) if you are part of an Industry Association (or eight sessions if you are not). The associations provide numerous benefits to members along with recognition of a brand your customers trust.

To join an association please refer to the benefits and costs of each.

What happens to the information I provide?

A confidentiality agreement is signed between you the business and the advisor. All information is treated as confidential and is held securely with the advisor and administrators of the programme. Meeting Notes are written by the advisor and you are copied into these. Your wholesaler is also sent a survey.

Are there any terms and conditions?

The Business Advisor Programme is free for 4 sessions or if you are part of an industry association it is free for 8 sessions (approximately six months). After this you may be able to swap wholesalers points for advisor sessions with your local wholesaler or pay for them yourself.

There is no obligation to continue past the free period though best results are shown after a year.

There is an agreement signed between the advisor and you as a business owner which covers areas like confidentiality, values of respect and honesty and the terms of engagement such as attending meetings and working on the areas mutually agreed.

Contact Our Business Advisor Team

Getting started is easy, all you need to do is fill in the ‘contact us’ form and someone from the Business Advisor Programme will be in touch. So, what are you waiting for?