Business Startup Consulting: Benefits
written by innovator, entrepreneur and startup expert, Ellie Puckett
There I was, at just 23 years old, head of operations for a startup that’s mission was to use Space to change life on Earth, standing in our first real office, painting desks.
As I sat on the ground of our cool, but poorly renovated office space, I was thinking about everything that needed to be done. At the time, I was doing it all: from managing our finances and taking clients out to dinner, to buying insurance and painting our desks. I helped with aspects of the engineering project management, but honestly, I barely knew what I was doing on the business side, much less on the engineering side of things.
I just knew we had to get certain things done by certain dates for NASA and CASIS approval, and it was my job to keep things moving. My gut instincts were really good, but my experience was lacking, our team was small, and our mission was big, so there were times where I was just altogether overwhelmed. I thought it was my age, but it turns out, NO ONE KNOWS EVERYTHING, and everyone can get overwhelmed.
This is where startups can really benefit from consulting, especially when the firm knows startups. Now that I sit on the consulting side of the equation and have assisted hundreds of startups, I can see these benefits so clearly:
1. A Team of Experts at Fractional Rates
Many startups have landed some funding, but not enough to build out the team of their dreams. At Open Eye, we pair you with the right partners for the job and even provide fractional CXO (chief experience officer) services. This means getting a diverse set of experiences and backgrounds tailored to your company, instantly doubling or even tripling not just the size of your team, but the knowledge base. We build strategies and will remain with your company to help you execute those strategies, until you are ready for full time resources. And if you need help with creating a staffing plan, hiring the right people, or understanding how to fire, we are here for you in all those areas too!
2. Assistance in Taking Vision and Strategy and Turning Them into Digestible Execution
One of the hardest parts about being a founder is taking the gigantic vision in your mind— all the items and tasks that you know need to be done— and knowing what to do first and how to make progress. Having a team of operations and project management experts to help you distill that vision into what, how, and when it needs to be done can make all the difference. That knowledge will allow you creative relief because you can pop back and forth between vision and what must be done today.
3. Someone for the ‘Oh Crap! Moments’ Who isn’t an Investor or Employee
I joined a different startup a few years ago. The company had come through the accelerator program I managed, and I really loved the founders. Soon after joining the team though, I uncovered why they needed a strategy and operations person so badly. Things with the tech build and implementation were just not going well. His investors were disgruntled with one another. He didn’t feel like he could talk to the team because he didn’t want to sound any alarms. He needed a trusted outside party who wasn’t an employee or investor to help him navigate out of the hairy water, and create and implement strategies to reassure the investors that we had it under control. This role can be played by a mentor at times, but the difference here is that a mentor isn’t going to stay around to help fix things beyond the advice.
4. Guidance for Conquering the Overwhelm as you Scale, with Assistance Implementing Process and Systems
There comes a point in time where a startup hits some traction. The team starts to grow and everyone is operating on all cylinders. It feels great because you’re GROWING— YAY! But it is overwhelming because you’re growing faster than the process and systems. You went from a small team to having employees, managers, contractors, and real, paying customers. It’s time to put on some big kid pants, but the reason why you became an entrepreneur is that you HATE corporate-y feeling systems. The good news is that there is a way to grow up and still keep an authentic culture. Your culture will turn toxic if you operate in chaos for too long. It will turn toxic if you swing too far in the corporate direction. How do you find that sweet balance, where productivity flourishes, culture thrives, and employee satisfaction deepens? Allow outsiders to help you make the changes. Change management professionals are trained at getting buy-in and building authentic culture beyond fun benefits.
At Open Eye we are committed to helping purpose driven growth oriented startup companies succeed. Our team consists of experts across operations, strategy, consumer research, data analytics, marketing, finance, angel investing, and more. Nearly everyone on the team is an entrepreneur and/or has worked for a tech startup company. We do things differently and we would love the opportunity to show you how we not only assist with charting the course, but we stay to make sure you succeed.
- Strategy and Consulting