Running a startup is both exhausting and exciting. The possibilities are endless, but you’ll also find yourself confronted by challenges at almost every turn. One of the biggest challenges facing a startup is growth.Growth is what every business aims for, but when it happens unexpectedly, or faster than a business can handle, it can create problems.
Whether your business is just getting off the ground or you’ve already taken flight, a business consultant can help you navigate your startup to the next level. Here’s how.
The Expertise You Need
A consultant is an expert in what they do. They have plenty of training, and they’re knowledgeable about the latest tactics and techniques for moving a business forward. They likely have experience at their fingertips, too. They may have worked with other startups—ones that faced similar challenges to your business.
The consultant may have an excellent understanding of the industry you are in, and they might also have a better idea of what opportunities and challenges await you at the next turn.
In short, a business consultant is an expert. Even experienced entrepreneurs can use the guidance of an expert at helping businesses flourish.
Creating a Road Map
Business consulting often involves strategic planning—a step that is often missed by startups. Whether the business owner is new to the startup game or simply does not believe that a strategic plan is necessary, some startups will operate by the seat of their pants. That can mean growth happens in fits and starts, or that the business grows in an uneven way. It can also mean that the business is unprepared for growth when it does happen—and that it can’t take advantage of the opportunities that arise along the way.
A business consultant can help avoid those situations by creating a road map for the business—a strategic plan. Strategizing is key for any business, but it’s especially crucial for startups. A plan allows the business to focus its efforts, prepare for obstacles, meet opportunities and grow in a logical, balanced way. That puts your business in a better position to make its next move—maybe expanding into a new market, going through an initial public offering (IPO), or acquiring a competitor.
Structuring a Plan
Another thing that business consultants can help firms with is business structure. While most efforts at renewing a business’s structure stem from the strategic planning session, business consultants can help you undergo strategic alignment. That can help you rationalize the departments and divisions in your business.
For many startups, departments are added on an as-needed basis, often quickly, in order to keep up with growth. That often means that startups end up with departments that overlap each other or have ill-defined roles within the company.
As time goes on, many of these divisions become less important, and the business is left with several different units that are not necessary. Strategic alignment and strategic planning can help you re-envision the structure of your business. You can even map out the departments you’ll need before you get there.
The Advice You Need
Business consultants don’t just create strategic plans and work on strategic alignment, though. Their expertise and advice can be applied to many different areas of your business, and they offer many different consulting services.
For example, they may review your customer experience strategies and tell you about what is working, what is not, and what you could be doing differently. Similarly, they might be able to recommend where you could outsource functions in the human resources department.
Guiding a business through the startup stage is no small task. Don’t go it alone—get a helping hand from a business consultant.