A startup enterprise needs advice on a whole range of business issues but is unlikely to have large amounts of cash available. The business must, therefore, select carefully the areas in which it needs advice and choose a startup consulting agency on the basis of its precise needs. These may include help with raising funds, drawing up a business plan, doing a feasibility study, financial modeling or development of a marketing plan. Some help also may be available free from government agencies.
Entrepreneurs starting up a business will find that their available time is spent on the core elements of the business and that there is little time left for other essential tasks, such as setting up accounting systems, raising funds or developing a marketing strategy. Entrepreneurs also are unlikely to have gained experience in such specialized functions unless they have previously been involved in a number of business startups. Some of these functions are interlinked and should be handled by one startup consulting firm. For example, help with a business plan may be required because an application is being made for a loan from the bank. It would, therefore, be advisable to engage a startup consulting partner that can help to draw up the business plan and assist in the task of raising funds.
A feasibility study for the business may need to be done by a startup consulting firm that is skilled and experienced in the particular industry in which the startup business intends to operate. A high-tech business that owns some patents and intends to use them to develop a commercial product would need advice from a technical consultancy that could point them to a range of possible business models such as licensing, joint ventures, participation from business angels or corporate venturing with a larger organization. This startup consulting agency also might give advice on research, development or marketing issues. Other functions, such as advice on accounting and financial planning, could be performed by a more general business startup consulting firm that is not necessarily specialized in high-tech businesses.
Owing to the scarcity of funds in most startups, any help for which no payment is necessary should be welcomed. Government websites and help lines may contain advice on any government grants available or give information on government guarantees to help the business obtain a bank loan. Tax authorities may provide advice on registrations and on setting up accounting systems to enable enterprises to keep accurate records for direct and indirect taxation purposes. Help also may be available from customs authorities for startup businesses that may be importing or exporting goods.