This trend was greatest in the North, with nearly six out of ten small business owners in Liverpool and Newcastle turning to their wives and husbands over accountants. Londoners were the least trusting of bank managers, with only one per cent turning to them for straight talking advice on issues affecting their business.
More than half of small business owners choose their business advisor based on who they trust to tell them the truth. A quarter of those surveyed said that they sought business advice from those who were most likely to “give it to them straight”.
Judi James, one of the UK’s leading behavioural experts, comments: “This research highlights how highly we value those who get to the point and give it to us straight when discussing business issues.
It’s understandable that we tend to turn to our partners for this honest and clear advice – they have the same goals as us and understand the complexities of the possible answers to our problems.
Unlike other advisors, they have no hidden agenda and aren’t trying to impress us to secure a contract. Psychologically, talking to our partner is the closest thing we have to talking to ourselves.
By logically discussing our problems with them we have to ‘straight talk’ the problem over. In this respect they become a vital sounding-board as well as an actual advisor.”
T-Mobile commissioned the research to better understand the time pressures business owners are under and determine how they prefer to communicate in business.
To tie in with this, T-Mobile is currently running a Straight Talking Business Pitch competition on its website. Alex Polizzi, Channel 5’s The Hotel Inspector, will judge the competition to help identify the UK’s most straight talking small business owners.
A prize of £2,000 is up for grabs for the winner and £1,000 for each of two runners up.
For more information or to enter visit www.t-mobile.co.uk/pitchyourbusiness . Deadline for entries is 3rd December.