CEO of CA Consults Carol Ann Korpi Lists 3 Key Reasons Why Startups Need to Hire a Consultant
The checklist for start-ups is long and time is of the essence; especially for entrepreneurs who aspire to exploit first mover advantage and put as much distance as possible between themselves and an inevitable horde of competitors. However, there is one task in particular that does more than lead the way to startup success — it helps ensure startup survival: tapping into the expertise and vision of a seasoned consultant.
“Many entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that only large enterprises need to hire a consultant to help them navigate through various strategic developments and shifts,” commented Carol Ann Korpi, the CEO of CA Consults, which focuses on helping startups grow and develop into world-class organizations. “In truth, consulting advice can be extremely beneficial for startups, because the early-stage decisions that entrepreneurs make have a profound impact on their future — including whether they have a future at all.”
According to Carol Ann Korpi, who worked at various successful startups for more than 20 years before launching CA Consults, there are three key reasons why startups need to hire a consultant: accessing wisdom, generating objective feedback, and bench marking. Each of these advantages are discussed below.
Even the most accomplished entrepreneur is going to have some notable gaps in their knowledge and experience, such as those pertaining to raising capital, developing strategic partnership, recruiting talent, operations, marketing, sales — and the list goes on. A proven consultant provides insights and answers that are both pragmatic and visionary.
“The most successful entrepreneurs are not necessarily the ones with the highest IQs, but rather the ones who know what they don’t know and hire a consultant to fill the gaps,” commented Carol Ann Korpi, whose firm CA Consults is headquartered in San Francisco.
Generating Objective Feedback
Even the most disciplined entrepreneur can find themselves suffering from a case of tunnel vision after a while; especially given that life on the startup landscape is frenetic and unpredictable. An experienced consultant can generate objective feedback to help startups seize opportunities, mitigate risks, and avoids setbacks — or possibly, disasters.
A consultant’s only goal is to ensure that their client succeeds. As such, they can be counted on to tell entrepreneurs what they need to hear, and not necessarily what they want to hear. This kind of honesty and transparency is essential and invaluable.
Many startups run into an unexpected challenge: they don’t clearly know if they’re firing on all cylinders, or whether they urgently need a tune-up — or maybe a more comprehensive repair. A consultant turns this confusion into clarity by bench marking performance relative to specific competitors, as well as overall marketplace standards. This actionable intelligence can then be used to drive smarter and faster decisions.
“It goes without saying that entrepreneurs want their startup to be highly successful, but what does that really look like?” commented Carol Ann Korpi. “A consultant answers this question, and helps entrepreneurs choose ambitious yet realistic milestones and targets. Without benchmarks, entrepreneurs are forced to rely on guestimates. And if they guess wrong, the consequences could be anywhere from disappointing to disastrous. A consultant can make all the difference between a startup that grows and thrives and one that stumbles — and then eventually but inevitably disappears.”