For most startups, the first rule of business is: as fast as you can, generate more revenue than you spend. There are consultants/advisors that are adept at this effort and are worthy to add as a team member to the startup mission as a third-party participant. Using a consultant/advisor should be more top of mind because of the consultant’s contribution. Thus, budgeting in the investment to add a consultant/advisor sooner rather than later should be a line item on the profit/loss.

Let me explain:

Statistics show that as many as 80 percent of all startups fail within the first year. The reasons are not always clear, but many times the failure could be preventable if a consultant/advisor was brought in for guidance.

Do you have strategic outcomes and heart-felt desires? I pray you answered “yes,” because this is probably the reason you began your startup.

You know what you know and likely don’t know what you don’t know. This is the reason to consider investing in the consultant/advisor: someone to give you a perspective around what you don’t know and help you achieve your outrageous goals.

This is what I do for a living. My clients bring me in because they are not achieving strategic outcomes and their heart-felt desires. They feel something is just not “clicking” on all cylinders and want the truest objective opinion. I am different in that I will deliver what you need to hear not necessarily what you want to hear. (I’ll give you some of that, too.)

You have a plan and you want flawless execution. Then you need the right people in the right places to collaborate and work effectively/efficiently. A consultant can help the startup leverage limited resources to produce results necessary to stay the path of achieving strategic outcomes and heart-felt desires.

Below are just four reasons startups usually fail and the way a consultant/advisor help prevent it:

1. Communication failure. Maybe it’s a failure to communicate goals in clear, concise and compelling fashion. Or, maybe it’s just that the original members of the startup team had a connection with each other that could never be understood by subsequent employees and vice versa; the original team members weren’t able to bring new employees into “their” fold. Suddenly, there’s a breakdown and messages aren’t being heard. In fact, studies show that on a good day, only 25 percent of one’s message is heard by any one individual. Hiring a consultant, an outsider who can be objective about the situation, can help your team members get on the same wavelength. Progressive Management Associates provides useful tools to get 100 percent your message heard regardless of tenure with your company.

2. Leadership breakdown. Statistics show that close to 80 percent of today’s workforce does not want to own a business, lead a team, or manage people, take on the responsibility. When startups begin, many times the people who become executive team members never intended to be in such roles. Investing in a consultant can provide key members understanding of their strengths and blind spots. This will contribute to alignment of their respective roles. Progressive Management Associates will contribute to leaders gaining clarity about who they are as well as their natural leadership and managerial tendencies and development for the future.

3. Alignment to strategic outcomes. It is critical for all businesses to have a business plan. Whatever the plan, all key players must be aligned to the plan. The adage, “you’re as strong as the weakest link in the chain” applies here. Your plan will be executed to the extent the individual who is not completely on-board puts forth the effort. If you do not have 100 percent buy-in with your ALL your direct reports then the percentage of individuals not aligned can only multiply down the hierarchical chain of command. Progressive Management Associates will determine who is/is not aligned. Progressive Management Associates will work with these respective individuals to see the “light” and help develop their sense of responsibility due to their role, the goal is to have your team operating on “all cylinders.”

4. Disgruntled employees. As startups expand, hiring is sometimes done in a way wherein holes are just quickly filled so work can be done in that position. If an individual isn’t the right fit for that role, they will only be happy for a much shorter tenure than you would normally want/expect. Once the happiness wears off, the employee’s desire to do their job as best they can transforms into doing the job well enough to secure their employment. It is very important for startups to recognize there’s a great risk to not having the right people in the right positions. In a Fortune magazine article, David Fullerton, vice president of engineering at Stack Exchange, notes that, “At a bigger company, there are systems that deal with that; a few bad employees at a giant company is not going to sink you.” Startups just can’t afford to second guess. Progressive Management Associates uses quantitative and factual data to measure a company’s “human dynamic” (the skill sets, communication styles, and leadership qualities of people at all levels of the organization). We get the right people, right fit. An employee’s natural tendencies need to match most of the activities that will be asked of them to perform.

Progressive Management Associates is a different kind of consulting firm especially suited to those who think they cannot afford everything a consultant has to offer. Reach Stuart via email: stuart@pma-co.com