Startups are all about innovation, solving problems & fast-paced growth.
While you concentrate on innovating and solving problems, time runs out to beat the competition and grow really fast. Of course, one of the main ingredients for your growth is your product, what problem does it solve and what differentiates it from the others. This requires immense focus and effort on your part. And then, there are other things to take care, like creating presentations about your product, detailing out a marketing strategy for the launch, evaluating your business model for future growth & sustainability and more such tasks.
First things first, will you lose control? Or will someone steal ideas if you outsource non-core tasks? The answer is no. Firstly, sign a contract, which is Non-Competing & Non-Disclosure in nature. And also, give only relevant access to outsiders. Thirdly, if someone is doing a one-off engagement with you, it might be a problem, but if someone’s job is to consult, then they will not leave their business and try to implement your idea. Regarding losing control, make sure every recommendation or plan’s outcome is discussed and agreed. Once it is detailed, which you don’t have to do, discuss it again. Discussion offers benefits, it takes lesser time and the brainstorming generates creativity. It’s your business and nothing can be go beyond you without your consensus.
You may find a lot of content on web relating to why you need a consultant, I’ll summarize it here:
- You save time and effort
- You get to know the best practices
- You need business planning & a strategic plan
- You need a step by step plan to reach your desired outcome
- You need clarity and help to automate & stay organized
- You need a fresh perspective & an unbiased opinion
- You need someone to boost your confidence & brainstorm problems
- You save on hiring costs & salaries (only contractual fee)
But before giving this job to someone, consider this, apart from the common considerations:
- Pricing should be linked with the desired outcome. If you need to boost your sales and you hire someone to make a plan for it, an ideal pricing that will give you confidence is to charge you a small upfront fee (say 10-15%) and rest of it by sharing 50% profit for first ‘X’ unit sales.
- You should not need to follow up. Instead, the hired person follows up or reminds you of the tasks/meetings. This saves your time & effort.
- A comprehensive Penalty Clause which is agreed by both, upfront. This helps to be clear on what to do, if something goes off-track.
- A practical & detailed approach. Plans are usually good to hear, but when it comes to execution, a lot of problems, loop holes & missing information pop up. Agree to a submitted plan, if you find a practical & executable plan.
If you hire a professional consultant, you will get more time to build the value proposition. Some of the other ingredients that will help you grow fast are,
- Be humble & patient
- If possible, talk face to face to your potential/present customers
- Be open & flexible to change
- And keep learning!
All the best.
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