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Darling, be straight with me!

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More than half of small business owners value the straight-talking approach they get from their partner, over advice from accountants, trade bodies, other small businesses and bank managers.

The survey of 2,000 business owners, commissioned by T-Mobile, reveals how all that business owners want is the straight truth.

Spouses and partners (51 per cent) were preferred to accountants (22 per cent), trade bodies or other local businesses (three per cent) and bank managers (two per cent).

The trend is greatest in the North, with nearly six out of ten businesses owners in Liverpool and Newcastle (58 per cent) turning to their partners over accountants (16 per cent). Meanwhile, Londonders are the least trusting of bank managers, with only one per cent turning to them for straight-talking advice on issues affecting their business.

“The 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 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,” says Judi James, a behavioural expert. “Unlike other advisors, they have no hidden agenda and aren’t trying to impress us.”

For Martyn and Andrea Rose, who run The Posh Tent Company, straight talking is vital to the smooth running of the business.

“Although my wife Andrea and I work together, our roles and responsibilities are very different,” says Martyn Rose.

“To make both our professional and personal relationships work, we have to be able to trust each other. She’s the person I will turn to first when I need business advice – I know she’ll tell me the truth without sugar-coating what needs to be said. We’re both busy people so we don’t have time to act any other way.”

Who do you turn to for advice? Is your spouse or partner your number one advisor? Leave your comments below.

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