3 Keys for Providing Consulting Services to Startups
Consulting services are inherently difficult at any company. But any problems associated with these services are magnified greatly at a startup. Startups have their own goals and ideologies that are often different from those of a traditional company. Consultants have to master both general business consulting and the language of startups if they ever hope to succeed in the startup consulting field.
Below are the 3 Keys to providing Consulting Services to Startups
Consulting services are based on relationships. Only the most personable and dedicated consultants end up being successful in any industry. Relationships are critical when you start out as an independent consultant because one of the basic jobs of a consultant is to significantly change the daily behavior of a number of individuals who work at a company. The consultant wants individuals to change their behavior and the technology that they use so that results are eventually seen.
Simply showing credentials and statistics is not nearly enough for most people. Many people need to be prodded and goaded by a person that they believe in and trust. Therefore, building a network and relationship is key as a consultant. This relationship will help eventually to ensure that the consultant is followed and that his or her wishes are met by the individuals who work at a startup. The employees of the startup have to drop their preconceived notions and perhaps years or decades of ideas about how the startup should best be run. Having a friend guide them is essential.
Recognize unique market challenges
Startups have the unique challenge of attempting to build a name in a particular marketplace. They are often run by amateurs who do not have a considerable amount of business experience. As a result, the owners of the company do not have any sort of weight in a business. They do not have relationships with vendors and contractors.
These individuals have to suffer through a considerable number of growing pains before they are able to eventually overcome their problems and accept their consultant. A consultant has to tailor this message to a particular area. They have to become experts in both the product and the market approach that a company will have. Consultants for startups have to speak in the language of venture capitalists and technological wizards.
The goals of many startups are sky-high and potentially unreasonable. Almost every startup owner is looking to become the next Mark Zuckerberg. Their efforts will most likely not reach those stratospheric heights of success. Instead, independent consultants have to communicate realities and traditional goals. They can set up a plan for widespread success and then give the company a fallback option if that plan does not succeed.
Most importantly, they need to be flexible. A consultant has to decide whether or not they want to work long-term for a company. If they promise that a company will be bought by Amazon in the next year, they may be fired if that promise fails to be realized. Having more understandable and digestible goals helps consultants maintain their jobs over a long period of time.
Individuals who want to consult for startups cannot have thin skin. They need to be willing to work and struggle with difficult individuals for hours on end. They also need to be ready for a considerable amount of problems and tribulations. Only through relationships, established goals, and a shared understanding can a consultant reach their full potential in the complex world of startups.
Author Bio: Douglas Pitassi is a small business blogger and freelance writer. You can connect with him on his personal website.