Unlike established companies, startups rarely depend on business consultants. These specialists in business are often considered an unnecessary expense by small companies. Some startups may openly frown at a traditional business support sector like consultancy. Regardless, in the competitive modern-day environment, startups require all the help they can get.
Consultants may be able to offer valuable advice on how a tiny company can best use resources. Most business consultants now offer affordable services for smaller companies so cost may not always be an issue. Let’s ponder for a moment whether a startup really should invest in a business consultant:
Should You Hire Startup Consultants?
Reasons to Say ‘Yes, We need a Consultant’
Startups Can Benefit from Unbiased Feedback
Most startup owners follow an internal business ethic (i.e. manifesto) like a religion. It’s not uncommon for some owners to think within their own bubble. The bubble can serve an important purpose in allowing the employees to think for themselves without negative influence from the outside. However, the bubble can also confine the startup to its own logic and ignore the changes happening outside. This is why receiving honest and unbiased feedback can be immensely beneficial to startups. Business consultants can provide a much-needed outside perspective to the practices and core model of the startup. It can give the company an idea of where it is going in terms of where the company intends to be. Startups can request feedback on certain business practices, or opt for a full company review.
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Get Management Advice
Startup owners are more often than not young people who have either recently graduated from college or have recently dropped out to run a business. This, of course, means that the head of the company may not have the necessary managerial experience or knowledge to steer the venture in the right direction. A business consultant can provide management advice or recommendations to a relatively inexperienced CEO who is just learning to navigate the business executive world.
Develop a Tax Strategy
Creating a long-term tax plan is a must for all companies no matter how small. However, coming up with a tax plan requires a certain amount of legal and business expertise. It’s not something a startup owner can do on his or her own. Hiring a qualified business consultant can be very valuable to a business needing to devise a tax strategy for the coming five to ten years.
Reasons to Say ‘No, We don’t need a consultant’
Consultants can be too Traditional
Startups are all about innovating and doing this in new ways. Consultants, depending on whom you hire, may tend to lean towards doing things the traditional way. This could hinder a startup’s business potential and ability to try new things.
Inability to Pivot
Some startups that hire consultants tend to stick with plan A. A consultant cannot actually tell a startup whether it should pivot or not. That decision will lie with the founders and CEO. So, hiring a consultant may prevent startups from trying a more lucrative Plan B.
Experience Cannot Be Bought
Some startup founders make the mistake of relying entirely on the experience of the consultant they hire. The problem is, a consultant cannot be a stand-in for a customer development model. The company’s founders should go out there and develop it. An outsider simply won’t be able to fulfill this task.
Business consultants can bring tremendous benefits for startups when hired for the right reasons. Consider the pros and cons given above, and decide for yourself if your startup actually requires hiring a business consultant.