There are many reasons why startups chose to work with consulting companies, and more often than not, it’s a decision that ultimately pays for itself. Startups are inherently in peculiar situations when they launch because they need to prove themselves as a viable business while still turning a profit. Penetrating a saturated market or educating an audience on a new type of product or service requires proper know-how and expertise.
Many startups will benefit from mentorships and incubator programs, but not all entrepreneurs are as lucky to have a mentor or program help guide them in the right direction. For those that don’t, consulting is the perfect answer. Consultants work closely with startups to understand the ins and outs of the business and help them develop a realistic long-term strategy. Here are different ways that startups benefit from consulting firms:
1. Management Direction
Young entrepreneurs who are fresh out of college are now more likely than ever to start a business of their own. And there’s an increasing emphasis on young founders: just take a look at Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. While young CEOs continue to break taboos that age is just a number when it comes to entrepreneurial success, their fresh outlook and tech-savvy expertise can’t make up for the lack of managerial experience.
This is where consulting companies come in. They can provide thorough management advice to those that don’t have much of it. After all, one of the most important aspects of running a business is being able to lead and manage others. Consultants understand the role management plays in the startup world, and can translate effective management practices to an otherwise loosely structure internal team.
2. Tailored Expertise In Your Industry
One of the great things about working with a consulting firm is that you get to choose a consultant that has prior experience in your niche or industry. This means that not only do they have experience working with startups in general, but have tailored expertise that caters specifically to the type of challenges you face in your space.
For example, MJ Freeway Consulting, https://mjfreeway.com/consulting, specializes in helping companies in the cannabis industry achieve growth. With a cannabis-based background, they’ve seen the same issues occur time and time again with similar businesses, and are well-equipped to both circumvent those problems and develop unique strategies for that business.
3. An Extra Pair of Hands
Let’s say your startup is taking off and gaining traction. You might need an extra pair of experienced hands to come in and relieve you of some of the load. Unfortunately, many startup founders make the mistake of hiring too fast for projects or situations that would be better handled by a consulting company, rather than another (new) employee.
Consultants will likely be more cost-effective than hiring additional staff, which will require benefits and comprehensive onboarding. Because consultants are so accustomed to getting projects started quickly, they likely do not require as hefty of an onboarding process. These highly-skilled temporary employees will make better additions to your team than adding to your permanent roster and creating an even bigger agenda for you and your current staff..
Furthermore, depending on your needs, you can scale an entire consulting team to benefit your business. For example, perhaps you only need two or three people to build an effective promotional campaign, or a team of twenty for a post-merger integration. Whatever the needs, a consulting company can summon the resources to aid you.
4. Professional Feedback
As an entrepreneur, you’ve likely been working on your startup long before it officially launched. And while passion is an important part of the job, being too close to the project can thwart your ability to see things clearly. A consulting company will come in observe from an outsider perspective, and provide advice that you may have overlooked. Perhaps the concept works very well but the execution is lackluster: this is where a consultant would be able to pivot your plan in the right direction.
5. Thorough Market Research
Every startup needs a wealth of data if they intend to make smart business decisions for the long-haul. Market research is a critical tool when it comes to building a strategic business plan, and startup consultants will meticulously research the market to ensure they understand industry trends and can both understand and predict consumer behavior. They understand changes across different market sectors and how those trends affect your ability to reach your target market.
But what’s most important is that they use this research and prior knowledge to help you come up with the how and not just the what. Rather than just tell you what’s happening in the market, they provide valuable suggestions on how to move forward in a manner that generates additional revenue and branding.