Pixie and Punk/ Eric and Rufus Children's Books

from Longshot Ventures Ltd

SME's / Start-Ups: Getting Support and when to use an Expert

START-UPS, SMERamoutar Tagore

Using experts is one of the most expensive things a new company or SME can do. Done correctly the advice / support is invaluable, done incorrectly or at the wrong time it can be very very expensive.

Specialist services such as web designers, product development companies, IP lawyers, surveyors and tax experts etc. can provide invaluable support, but too many companies use them too early and therefore pay far too much. They pay for the companies to learn with them and not just to execute. The best use of “experts” is to advice on/ execute a tight brief with a clear outcome and ideally for a short period on a fixed cost contract.

It is important to clearly understand your company’s business strategy, product strategy (including proposed range), packaging strategy and sales strategy before engaging “experts” as these will help inform any project and allow the brief to be written tightly.

Often what a company needs before engaging multiple “experts” is SUPPORT from a general strategic advisor or consultant who has done this sort of thing before. This person will act as a foil to test your concept and will help you define your strategy, refine your business plan and project plan so that when you use professional “experts” you will use them more effectively and also total cost will be reduced. A good advisor may even end up being long term part-time resource that will help your plans come to fruition. If you are involved with manufacturing grants may also be available to reduce the cost of both the generalist and the experts.