Management Consulting: Not Just for Established Businesses
If you’re an entrepreneur in start-up mode you may think (as many do) that management consulting is something only established, large businesses use. In truth, your early stage company can reap many benefits from bringing in management consultants.
I’ve seen firsthand how business consulting services can turn things around for troubled companies. I’ve also seen how they help new businesses get off the ground. While I’m clearly an evangelist for business consulting services I don’t think I’m too biased when I say that the start-up phase is one of the times when management consulting is the most useful.
Management consultants exist to offer advice. Can you really afford to turn down the advice of a seasoned professional? You may be an expert in your industry, but that doesn’t mean that you’re an expert in the ins and outs of running a business. A consultant can review your plans, offer second opinions on your ideas and identify areas where your business could make improvements.
Here are 10 additional reasons why early-stage companies especially can benefit from management consulting.
1. Management Consulting Helps You Keep up with Changes
Businesses exist in an ever-changing landscape. What is relevant, timely, and appropriate one day can be tired, outdated, and inefficient the next. A good business consultant stays in front of these fluctuations so that you don’t have to.
2. Management Consulting Provides Honest, Unbiased Feedback
An entrepreneur will get glowing feedback about his idea from family, friends and members of professional networks. It’s easy to start thinking your concept is foolproof.
Unbiased, actionable advice can be hard to come by. Fortunately, management consultants are there to help you look at the big picture. They can give you feedback on the concept behind your business, the details of executing that concept, and on other critical matters.
At Shared CxO, we pride ourselves on having outsourced executives who offer completely honest advice without the personal agendas or blinders that entrepreneurs typically encounter when seeking feedback from others.
3. Management Consulting Solves Problems
In my experience working with incubators and interacting with entrepreneurs daily in the busy start-up scene in San Francisco, I’ve seen plenty of entrepreneurs hit brick walls at critical moments in their business’s development. The obstacles run the gamut: lack of planning, lack of research, or a lack of knowledge about a particular facet of business.
I’ve seen management consultants help frustrated entrepreneurs solve problems again and again.
Consultants with lots of experience and a diverse background have what it takes to untangle even the most complicated issues facing early-stage companies. That’s why we’ve cherry picked only the most seasoned business veterans to work with our clients.
4. Management Consultants Love Forward Momentum
Management consultants simply love to see a company grow and achieve its goals. That makes them incredibly motivated people! They enjoy helping entrepreneurs overcome issues and move forward with their plans. Their moment of triumph comes when the start-up is finally off the ground.
5. Management Consulting Teaches Entrepreneurs Valuable Lessons
A good management consultant doesn’t just drop by, solve everybody’s problems and disappear. Instead, an executive guides entrepreneurs through the process of finding solutions for the stumbling blocks they encounter. Entrepreneurs actually learn from this engagement, and become better equipped to handle issues in the future.
6. Management Consulting Helps Entrepreneurs Stay Focused and on Deadline
Starting a business requires you to complete dozens of tasks. It’s easy for entrepreneurs to lose focus. Management consultants can guide you through each of the tasks in turn so that you don’t get overwhelmed or off track. They can help you prioritize and work your way through a step-by-step walkthrough that will take you all the way up to the big launch.
7. Management Consulting Involves Top-to-Bottom Analysis
Quality business consultants leave no stone unturned when analyzing an early-stage business. They examine the entire business holistically, paying attention to the initial concept, the business plan, market research, the company structure and post-launch next steps. They often catch things that an entrepreneur might overlook, which allows you to conquer the problems and build a better business that much faster.
8. Marketing Consultants Set Companies up for Branding
One of the biggest challenges for start-ups is simply being discovered. Building brand awareness requires tremendous time and effort. Often, it requires a significant financial investment as well.
A consultant will teach you how to plan an initial marketing campaign that gives your brand a shot in the arm. You’ll learn the channels that will produce the biggest ROI and how to create a scalable, practical plan so that you don’t exceed your budget or spend too much time on a potentially fruitless activity.
9. Trust is Implicit in Management Consulting
I completely understand the “play your cards close to your chest” attitude that some entrepreneurs adopt from the get-go. There is always the fear that someone will steal your idea before you can build the company of your dreams.
Fortunately, all of the consultants on the Shared CxO team make a commitment to honor your privacy without question. We will never leak your business plan and we will always keep every aspect of your business operations strictly confidential. That’s not always something you can count on if you choose to go to your professional network for informal business advice instead.
10. Dot I’s and Cross T’s
Bringing on a management consultant means that you’re no longer solely responsible for everything. You’ll still need to be vigilant, but your management consultant will help you make sure that everything is complete, correct, and ready for the next stage of your business growth.