Running a startup business can be daunting and intimidating. Entrepreneurs may face unexpected challenges along the way that have the potential to ruin their business goals. No matter how entrepreneurs run their company, seeking help from an expert can give them a cutting edge in the industry. Entrepreneurs must consider hiring management or experienced startup specialists, especially when doing business in a foreign country like Thailand. Seeking help from an expert is a cost-effective way for startup businesses to leverage specialized knowledge.
Business startup specialists in Thailand can help entrepreneurs navigate crucial business hurdles and opportunities while guiding them on several key areas, such as SEO and marketing strategies. They are also experts in providing entrepreneurs with valuable insights, giving them better clarity into how to operate a startup business successfully, and promoting solid growth through effective marketing. However, to effectively utilize these advantages, it is crucial for entrepreneurs, especially those who have never been hired for this role before, to do their part by asking the right questions.
Keep in mind that every business startup advisor wants to hear and address good, deep, and thorough questions from their clients. With the right questions, entrepreneurs can turn an entire sales conversation around. So here are some vital questions to ask your consultants to achieve great results and not a mediocre outcome.
What particular area of business strategy do you specialize in?
Generally, each startup consulting firm has its areas of specialization. Some consultants specialize in specific industries, markets, or strategic issues. That means if entrepreneurs need guidance on developing effective sales and marketing strategies, they must seek help from an expert who has in-depth knowledge and proven experience in that particular area. Keep in mind that it is preferable to partner with an expert who knows the business challenges and opportunities and recent experience so entrepreneurs can get the latest insights and recommendations.
How well do you know the industry and market, and what relevant experience do you bring?
Every consultant covers the retail industry in Thailand differently. That means for entrepreneurs to have proper guidance in the market, they should work with an expert. Consultants who have been working in the business industry and are currently on the latest trends and developments can offer consulting services more efficiently and provide specific analysis and advice on a shorter timeline.
What do you know about our business and our competitors?
Consultants often provide recommendations based on the overall context of the nature of a company, including its value proposition, resources, and status among its competitors. While entrepreneurs can expect their startup specialists to be familiar with their business and their competitors, a good and reliable advisor would care enough to do some homework in advance before an engagement begins. When they do, it demonstrates their interest in the field and their due diligence.
Can you provide some samples of your strategic consulting projects and specific results?
No entrepreneurs would hire an incompetent consultant. Ideally, they would look for an expert who has worked with similar projects successfully and help other startup businesses make sound decisions and achieve measurable results. That is why before partnering with a new business consultant, entrepreneurs should make sure that that particular candidate has what it takes to help them succeed in the business industry. But due to confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, many cannot reveal company names, financial data, and other sensitive information. However, a good consultant can provide examples of recent work and recommendations and specific indicators of successful results.
Do you have a background in sales and marketing?
One of the crucial factors to consider when running a business is to lay out an effective sales and marketing strategy. Most of the time, entrepreneurs require to analyze the market and develop financial projections to address issues while taking advantage of the opportunities in the industry. Without proper knowledge and experience, this could harm the business. Thus, partnering with a consultant that has a solid background and has extensive experience in the field is crucial to achieving a quality outcome.
Can you describe how you’ve successfully manage issues that were outside your expertise?
Because the business industry is constantly evolving, it is also likely that business startup advisors will encounter problems, challenges, and opportunities outside of their expertise. When these happen, a good strategist can learn quickly, think critically, and research strategically to provide informed guidance and make profitable recommendations. Asking this question and knowing that they have experienced it and have successfully overcome such situations can give entrepreneurs assurance and confidence in their qualifications.
If presented with challenges and opportunities, how would you start resolving them?
Many small business owners in the retail industry in Thailand look to professional consultants for help, especially when facing various concerns or prospects. Startup consultants are there to analyze, organize, and simplify complex problems while staying goal-oriented and fact-based. Asking consultants how they would start evaluating and prioritizing multiple issues will give entrepreneurs an idea or a sense of the strategist’s process and how effective that person will be.
When you’re consulting, how do you approach different personalities, opinions, and priorities?
In learning and analyzing an organization and recommending strategic decisions, startup consultants will inevitably need to work with various members of an organization. They may need to collaborate with executives, managers, and front-line team members. However, clashing egos, priorities, and opinions with the members are also unavoidable. Thus, a consultant must have exceptional people skills. It always boils down to having proper communication and understanding to build trust, find common ground, and respecting one another despite differing views and agendas. Entrepreneurs must ensure that the consultants they have chosen can demonstrate these skills and explain how they have used them successfully.
How can you help my small business grow and thrive in the industry?
Since there is a growing number of startup consultants working independently, entrepreneurs can choose between multiple candidates with excellent qualifications. Asking them about their unique qualities, qualifications, or capabilities can help entrepreneurs decide whether that candidate is fit for the role.
Expert advice and guidance allow startup businesses in Thailand to stay on track to achieve set objectives and time frames. However, before partnering with a startup specialist, entrepreneurs must set clear expectations. They must define their business carefully and ask their consultants to detail the services that they are providing. Entrepreneurs must be keen on and selecting a candidate before signing any contract. One of the best ways to find good consultants is by asking the right questions. The right questions will save entrepreneurs from committing costly mistakes.
Moreover, understanding their way of providing startup consultancy services to their clients is crucial in growing a business. Startup consultants can have a portfolio of several specialties, but these questions mentioned can clarify how confident they are in a particular area and whether they could back it up. Keep in mind that even if consultants are skilled, that does not automatically mean that they fit the role. Asking the right questions about how they think about growing a business and how they can work as a person or agency can help businesses thrive in the competitive industry and keep entrepreneurs sane at the same time.
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