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.
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
- B2B Consulting: Can Consulting Help You Build and Validate a Business Faster?
- How Cobrainer Used Consulting to Bootstrap and Validate an Enterprise Product
- 14 Ways B2B Entrepreneurs Can Extend their Startup Runway to Go the Distance
⚡⚡ Enjoyed this content? I go into way more detail on this subject in Lean B2B. It covers the ins and outs of finding traction in the market for B2B products. Check it out »
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