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Why Choosing an Advisor with Real Contracting Business Experience Matters

When seeking advice for growing your contracting business, the expertise of your advisor can significantly influence your success. While academic knowledge is valuable, an advisor who has hands-on experience in growing a contracting business can offer insights that are often more practical and directly applicable. This blog explores why an advisor with real-world experience is often a superior choice compared to a purely academically-focused professor.

1. Practical Experience and Real-World Application

An advisor who has personally grown a contracting business understands the nuances and practical challenges of the industry. They have gone through the process of making strategic decisions, managing financial constraints, dealing with suppliers, and navigating regulatory environments. This experience allows them to provide advice that is not only theoretically sound but also tested in the real world.

For instance, such an advisor can share insights on effective cost-cutting measures without compromising on quality—something they've likely had to implement themselves. They understand the importance of customer relationships and can offer tips on negotiation tactics with both clients and suppliers that are based on actual encounters and outcomes.

2. Empathy and Understanding of Entrepreneurial Challenges

Advisors who have been in the trenches of building a business can empathize with the stress and challenges you face. They can relate to the uncertainty of taking big financial risks or the struggle of balancing growth and stability. This empathy allows them to tailor their advice to suit your emotional as well as business needs, making their guidance more holistic and supportive.

This level of understanding builds a stronger advisor-entrepreneur relationship. You're likely to feel more comfortable sharing your concerns and challenges with someone who has faced similar situations, leading to more open and effective communication.

3. Access to a Network of Contacts

Successful contracting business owners often build a robust network of contacts, including suppliers, clients, and industry experts. By choosing an advisor who has grown a contracting business, you gain access to their network, which can be invaluable for your own business growth. These contacts can offer preferential rates, insider knowledge, and introductions to potential new clients or partners.

4. Immediate Relevance and Adaptability

The contracting industry is dynamic, with frequent changes in technology, materials, and regulations. An advisor who is actively involved in the industry or has been recently will have up-to-date knowledge of these changes and how to navigate them. This immediacy is something a college professor might lack if they are not actively engaged with the industry outside the classroom.

An experienced business owner can swiftly adapt their advice based on current market conditions and trends, providing you with strategies that are immediately applicable and relevant to your current business environment.

5. Results-Oriented Advice

Having successfully grown a contracting business, such advisors are typically very results-oriented. They understand the importance of seeing tangible outcomes from any action or investment. Their advice tends to be direct, practical, and focused on actions that have a clear impact on growth and profitability.

This contrasts with academic advisors who might focus more on theoretical outcomes or the process itself rather than the end results. For a business owner, the bottom line is crucial, and having an advisor who is attuned to this need can make a significant difference.

6. Customization of Strategies

No two businesses are the same, and a seasoned business owner understands this better than most. They are likely to offer more customized advice based on their assessment of your business's specific needs and potential. They can draw on a variety of strategies they have employed themselves or seen used effectively in similar businesses.

In contrast, academic teachings often follow a one-size-fits-all approach that may not take into account the unique challenges or opportunities your specific business faces.


Choosing an advisor for your contracting business is a critical decision that can impact your company's trajectory. While theoretical knowledge is undoubtedly important, the practical experience of someone who has "been there and done that" offers a wealth of benefits that are hard to replicate in a purely academic setting. For tangible, empathetic, and tailored advice, an experienced business owner-turned-advisor is often the best choice. Their firsthand experience ensures that they provide not just advice, but proven solutions and strategies for real-world success.

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