Alexa Josh is a serial entrepreneur who has founded multiple successful in businesses .
we look at how you can get the most from your startup in the shortest possible time. This involves hiring a business consultant to strategize a future plan and assist with growth and management. We’ve already covered the benefits to a cyber-security consultant, today we look at a general startup consultant.
Here are the main things which a seasoned digital consultant can accomplish for your business. Every consultant is different and will specialize in set tasks, which you should thoroughly research before hiring them.
Breath new life into your business idea
As this article relates to startups specifically, we are going off the assumption that you already have a business idea, but nothing has been set in stone. A consultant will be able to shed some light on your industry and provide you with expertise that you will not be able to uncover on your own.
Startups definitely need software development to bring discruptive idea to real life. There are two options for software development startups can consider:
Building in house team or hire offshore software development company
In software engineering, offshore custom software development consists in offshoring the software development process in a country where production costs are lower, thus decreasing budget spending.
Many entrepreneurs and business owners are unable to pass judgement on their own company or product as they are too emotionally invested in its development. A consultant will not be as invested into your business and will be able to judge your business in an unbiased nature, which is incredibly useful. Try to find a consultant that has worked in your sector before, so they can guide you based off personal experience.
Budget allocation and product launch
The cost of building your product and launching it can be difficult to predict. A consultant will be able to plan your expenses with a high level of accuracy. This is beneficial because many startups launch and underestimate the cost of manufacturing their product and marketing it. Digital marketing is often more popular for startups as it is easier to analyze and refine, so look for an experienced business consulting firm that offers this service. Marketing costs can be higher than expected, especially if you are looking to target customers around the world.
Many of these costs come seemingly from nowhere and can cause startups to close due to lack of funding. People who have already started businesses make great consultants as they know the workings of your industry. 90 percent of startups close within 120 days of launching, not always because their product isn’t popular, but because they cannot afford to keep the company afloat due to incurred costs.
Find suitable staff and team members
Finding suitable staff sounds easy in theory, but once you get into business you will soon find out that is not always the case. Yes finding a low-ranking, non-technical member of staff can be easy, but executives are much more difficult to source. Many experienced executives and technical staff do not like working at startups because of their job uncertainty.
A consultant will be able to source staff and convince them why your startup is not like others and is worth working for.
Networking and connection
The saying “it’s not about what you know, its about who you know” is very true when it comes to startups.
You may have the best product in the sector but if no one knows it then you do not have a business. Meeting partners and people to do business can be difficult if you are new to the business scene. Consultants will be able to connect you with seasoned business owners and executives within your businesses scope. This can mean you get preferential treatment when it comes to closing deals. Networking is overlooked in business, but can result in lower costs and higher exposure. Influencers are difficult to approach as a newbie but consultants are able to flex their business-muscle and get meetings with otherwise unapproachable individuals. Not to mention, if you are looking to source new channels of funding, some consultants will be able to do this also.
You can also look at how to recruit staff on your own.
Alter your product to make it more market friendly
Despite your product being perfect in your eyes, the market may not think so. It is possible to run focus groups and preliminary research into what customers will think of your product but this can take months and is not always representative of actual customers. Consultants are able to give an opinion on your product relatively quickly and can make suggestions on what to change.
You may be missing a feature that would transform your business from zero to hero in the consumers eyes. When you prepare your product for launch, you want everything to be perfect, which a consultant will be able to ensure. Every aspect that could fail during a product launch must be removed, otherwise it could stunt your sales or traction in later times. The first impression that people get of your business is the one that they will be stuck with, sometimes permanently.
Launching should be done in a small and fast manner, so you can get customer review early on, without a significant market share seeing your product in its first iteration. Once you get the first customers response, you can alter it and fix problems before many people see it.
Seasoned startup consultants will study your business as if they are the CEO and learn your business model. They do not want your product to tank, but will give you their opinion of whether they believe it will or not.
To summarize, startup consultants should work as your older-sibling when it comes to launching and running your business. They do not have the power to make changes on their own, but can suggest changes and possible alterations that you should make to have a higher chance at success. Some of the more popular startup consulting groups include Accenture, Deloitte and Crum Consult. These are some of the other large consulting firms.