Founding your own business, whether it’s a corner shop, a factory, or an international digital consultancy agency is hugely rewarding: you swap working for someone else, burning the candle at both ends to earn money for someone else for working for yourself, doing things as you know they need to be done and working toward your own success.
The flip side of the coin is that being a founder can be isolating. You don’t have colleagues to share stresses and jokes with, you have employees and however fair an employer you are, that relationship will be different. The top of the org chart can be a lonely place.
Today we’re taking a look at how business founders can get some help. Some trusted advice from a peer, vital insight to boost their business’ success or simply a reality check to keep them grounded.
Working with consultants can be costly, and unless you have clear aims in mind so that you can give them explicit goals with progress checks built in, you may not see the results you hope for. But if you have the resources and a plan of action, consultants can be a huge boon to a business founder looking for more insight, but also authoritative voices who aren’t hampered by the employer/employee relationship.
Finding a reliable strategy consultancy can be a boon when you’re planning for the future. You don’t just need the kind of research they bring to the table, you also need the space to explore your ideas safely – without worrying staff about the effect your musings might have on their future.
HR consultants are another great resource for the solo founder: while young companies don’t have the turnover or headcount to justify their own HR hires, they still benefit from expertise from an HR professional, setting up the systems and structures needed to ensure success, and talking over how to handle tricky employment situations.
Getting the Most
The best way to create the sort of productive relationship you need with consultants is to be ready to hear bad news. This doesn’t mean being pessimistic, it means respecting your consultants expertise even if they bring you results that are unexpected or disappointing. There’s no point paying those large fees to hire yes men. The purpose of hiring consultants is to build a relationship with trusted peers outside your business who can, if need be, tell you no, or deliver counter-intuitive feedback. If you value that from the outset, you’ll build a far better relationship.