Job profile

Business Adviser

Business Adviser Job Profile

What is a Business Adviser?

As a Business Adviser, you can either be employed or self-employed. You will be responsible for providing information, support, guidance, advice and coaching to business people. This will often be on how to start their own business, scale their business, or change or diversify their business model.

Business advisers are extremely useful for startups as they will be looking for direction in terms of how to take turn their business concept into a reality. This will mean gathering, presenting and explaining information on funding, organisational change and innovation. 

Key areas include:

  • Providing advice and guidance on finance, funding, and grants
  • Mentoring and coaching to assist businesses in navigating changes
  • Assisting with the business planning process
  • Providing advice on methods for improving the business
  • Introducing businesses to networks and potential partners
  • Supplying specialised support tailored to specific business sectors
  • Offering specialised support for international trade agreements
  • Informing and influencing government policy regarding business support
  • Developing and delivering training seminars to offer business support to a broad audience.


As a business adviser, you’ll need to:

  • Possess extensive knowledge of business support options and advise businesses accordingly
  • Conduct needs assessments with businesses and create action plans
  • Establish a professional network of associates offering a variety of business support services
  • Cultivate positive relationships with clients, partners, associates, and networks
  • Possess strong mentoring and coaching skills
  • Attend meetings with networks and associates to stay informed about global, national, regional, and local business support initiatives
  • Conduct research on behalf of businesses
  • Communicate effectively with clients, networks, and associates
  • Provide advice and guidance to start-up businesses
  • Provide tutoring on business plans and cash flow plans
  • Organise and facilitate business networking events, seminars, and workshops.


Starting salaries for entry-level start-up business advisers range between £18,000 and £25,000.

Experienced and specialised business support advisers and coaches have the potential to earn up to £40,000. On the other hand, economic development advisers and management consultants can earn substantially higher salaries. This will depend on location and whether you are employed or self-employed. According to Glassdoor the average national salary for a Business Adviser is £26,815.

Working hours

Typically, as a business adviser, you will work full-time hours of 37 to 40 hours per week, from Monday to Friday. However, you may be required to attend networking events and seminars. Part-time work is common for a business adviser, and if you are self-employed you can usually determine your own hours. However, most business advisers are employed on fixed-term contracts and deliver specific projects, which are usually government-funded.

What to expect

  • You will need to have access to a car and be able to travel, as you will be spending a lot of your time visiting clients.
  • Professional attire is expected to maintain a good business relationship with clients.
  • Flexible working hours and remote work options may be available.
  • Experienced business advisers may choose to become independent consultants, which can involve self-employment or freelance work.


While having a business-related degree can enhance your CV and distinguish you from other candidates, it is not mandatory to possess any formal qualification to become a business adviser. Graduates from various disciplines are eligible to apply. However, work experience in professional or financial services like HR, recruitment, marketing, accountancy, finance, and banking can provide you with valuable skills to be a successful business adviser.

Many business advisers have previous industry experience, and some have even owned their own businesses. Others develop their skills in economic development advisory roles within local governments. SFEDI Awards is the main award body, offering nationally-recognized qualifications in enterprise support. These qualifications can be requested by recruiters when searching for a business adviser.


must have skills:
  • Understanding of business functions such as sales, marketing, finance, operations, leadership, and management
  • Strong verbal communication skills for conveying ideas to clients
  • Excellent written communication skills for creating plans, reports, evaluations, and funding applications
  • Strong numeracy skills and proficiency in English with the ability to adapt to various clients
  • Listening and interpretation skills to understand client’s needs and requests
  • Good analytical skills to conduct needs assessments, analyse data, and develop clear reports and action plans
  • Close attention to detail and accuracy
  • Organisational skills with the ability to gather and share information

Work experience

It’s worth looking at what work experience opportunities are available at local government, local enterprise partnerships, charities and social enterprises as a place to start.

You can gain a more in-depth understanding of business operations, challenges and solutions by starting your own business or spending time observing a small to medium-sized enterprise (SME). This knowledge can help you advise other companies more effectively.


Business advisers are often employed by local government, charities, social enterprises, and small businesses.

Look for job vacancies at:

However, once you are more experienced and feel you have built a professional reputation ad network of contacts you may decide to go self-employed and work for yourself.

Professional development

To be an entry-level business adviser, you must continuously learn and develop and maintain a broad set of skills, knowledge, and understanding of what it takes to run a successful business. You should keep up-to-date with government and international funding opportunities and develop your coaching and mentoring skills. Joining the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE) could be a good idea as it offers a full range of SFEDI qualifications, resources, connections, and support. The Institute of Leadership and Management provides training at various levels in leadership, management, coaching, and mentoring.

Related Courses

Business adviser roles are open to graduates of all subjects. Some higher national diploma or degree subjects may be particularly relevant. Below are some of the courses on offer that will help you get your foot in the door to the world of Business Development. 

Undergraduate related courses:

Postgraduate related courses:

MSc Project Management 

Students of the MSc in Project Management programme will gain an understanding of current issues in project management through engaging with contemporary theory and case studies.  Over the course of three terms (1-year, full time), students will develop their critical thinking, problem-solving and analysis skills through a range of compulsory modules and electives.

Available modules include change management and leadership, strategic management and sustainability, and professional practice. Studying these modules allows students to gain a clear insight into the practicalities of project management in different industries and prepare them for a career in this field.

Other related courses
  • MSc Accounting and Finance
  • MSc Management with Enterprise and Business Growth
  • MSc Management with International Business and Development

FAQ Summary

As a Business Adviser, you can either be employed or self-employed. You will be responsible for providing information, support, guidance, advice and coaching to business people. This will often be on how to start their own business, scale their business, or change or diversify their business model.

Starting salaries for entry-level start-up business advisers range between £18,000 and £25,000. More experience and specialist business support advisers and coaches can earn anywhere up to £40,000

You are not required to have any formal qualification, although some sort of business-related degree will help you stand out amongst other candidates and make your CV more desirable.

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