How to Turn Consulting Into a Scalable Product Business in B2B

Many entrepreneurs start off as consultants to pay the bills while they explore business opportunities.

Working as consultants gives them visibility into the business problems of companies, build proximity with customers, and allow them to develop domain expertise around their consulting services, which can then be leveraged to build startup success.

They can do customer discovery with their clients, learn about an opportunity, test value propositions, and create a productized — standardized — solution when they identify an opportunity for a new product.

This approach is a great way to bootstrap a startup with consulting revenues. It was successfully leveraged by many startups, including social media monitoring company HootSuite.

How HootSuite Went From Consulting to Product

Hootsuite started as Invoke, a company that did web application development and social media marketing before it created a social media tool for its own customers.

They learned and iterated on their product with their consulting client base and grew the company from a Lean Startup to a global leader in social media with millions of users including many Fortune 100 customers.

Starting off as a consulting firm can be a great way to reduce the risks of starting up while funding product development. To get out of consulting however, your solution must be scalable. It’s important to steer clear from building a product for a market of one.

Here’s a great talk by serial entrepreneur Alex Cowan on Getting from Consulting to Scalable Products:

More on Consulting Products

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