As consultants, it’s in our job description that we are there to help; to guide our clients through thick and thin, to weather out the storm. It’s our job to guide the startups.
But what do startups provide us with? More 20 year old God-Complex “CEOs” who think they know how to run a company? Not necessarily, although that may be a true stereotype to some extent. Startups provide us with the groundbreaking innovation and discovery other companies are afraid to embark on because of the riskiness involved. For instance, just today California ruled that Uber’s contractors are really employees. There’s no doubt that a verdict such as this one will spin the ride-sharing industry in a direction we’re not quite sure of.
Think of startups like Wall Street during the internet and housing bubbles – it rocked from an economic standpoint. Of course, we are disregarding the moral hazard, the copious amounts of narcotics, and the fact that greed overpowered most of the influential individuals on the Street. Keeping this analogy as puritan as possible, you can see where I’m coming from.
Startups are the future of today.
And that is quite bluntly why we need to guide the startups: because we need the startups. The future of our economy, of our country, of our world – it all depends upon these innovative and edgy companies with nothing to lose. Sure, 98% of all businesses fail within the first year of starting up, but that 2% fuels us on an astronomical level.
Now imagine if we could get more than 2% of startups to succeed within the first year? Maybe 4%?
We’re talking about doubling innovation and startup ingenuity – an increasing of VC efficiency and allocation of all funds. As a startup consultant, my experience has lent to me the following principle:
Companies succeed with the right guidance. Likewise the opposite.
Companies succeed with the right guidance, and companies fail without the right guidance. This is where having a startup consultant becomes absolutely critical. Many startups and their owners tend to think in the “I am everything” mentality – they are the founder, the president, the CEO, the marketer, the support, the CFO, the sales trainer, and so on. Even I admit that I get into that cycle sometimes, and it’s quite a steep drop down into that rabbit hole.
Therefore, I want to address how startup consultants come to save the day. As a startup, you only know your company and who you want to sell your company to (consumers, investors, etc..). You might have woken up in the middle of the night, thought of a brilliant app idea, and forgot to go back to sleep. The adrenaline is pumping through your veins, the ideas are flowing, the fantasies of success and fortune are on the horizon. And yet you haven’t gotten yourself anywhere but into your shower to get ready for your 9-5 job. Which you’re not that thrilled about.
That’s where we come in – the awesome consultants who are budget friendly and fly a red-eye just to make it to your investor pitch. And speaking of pitches, that’s where this one comes in.
The CSC Institute is an organization which began its infancy back in January of this year. The organization prides itself on taking the first step into becoming a larger presence in the startup industry as a means of credentialing startup consultants – sorting the best from the rest. I had the privilege of getting involved with such a movement during that infancy, and now having established a CSC presence in the Northeast Region (Greater New York Area), good things are happening. The website for the Institute is still up and coming, but there’s a handful of information readily available. I’m actually working with everyone closely on the back-end, and things are going quite smoothly.
So what is the “Institute” and what do they do? Specifically, the CSC Institute strives to provide quality certification for professional individuals in the startup & small business industry. They put candidates through a challenging application process (from the initial preliminary application, to a resume/CV screen, to a phone screen, to an in-person interview) and based upon those evaluations they make the decision to award the individual with the Certified Startup Consultant designation (CSC). As you will notice on my LinkedIn profile, I finally got the designation as of this month. (Yay!)
Now that I’m done with this whole pitch, what’s the point?
My point is that, in a world full of individuals claiming that they understand the process behind startups and the plethora of strategies involved, the startups are actually suffering. Go ahead, ask any one of your entrepreneur friends and see if they ever had to deal with a flaky consultant or developer – there’s a good chance they did, and there’s even a better chance that those flaky individuals knew they couldn’t perform the work required.
Now, if there were a way to filter through all this nonsense and headache of flaky consultants and only identify the real, true hard-working individuals who have the education, the experience, the personality, and the willpower to exceed at helping you succeed…
That’s the exact reason for why I am getting involved with the CSC Institute movement, and why every other startup consultant out there should do the same. Understandably I have moved into a branding niche as of this past year, I still stay true to my roots. We need startups – good startups – because with our support and guidance, these startups will change the world.