There are certain challenges that large tech companies face when seeking growth, whether it is due to the launch of a new product, service, or the expansion of your operating area. These challenges can leave even seasoned professionals wondering how to overcome the hurdles before them.
Implementing a new company-wide strategy or project might require the help of external guidance—someone who can assist in bringing your goals into reality. At this point there are two choices, a software entrepreneur or a McKinsey-esque software consultant. Both are highly qualified, driven, and ready to get to the root of the problem. Still, with vastly different backgrounds, approaches, and perspectives, it is best not to assume that they will provide you with the same experience or outcome.
Understanding the pros and cons of a software entrepreneur and software consultant will help guide you in making the right decision for your company. In this article, we will look more closely at the differences between these two.
Working with a Software Consultant
A consultant is a trained specialist who usually focuses on a particular aspect of managing a business. A software consultant will be able to offer guidance on setting up new projects, educating teams, and providing input on the larger operational strategy frameworks at play. They are data-driven problem solvers who often take an analytical approach when surveying an obstacle.
A software consultant will be up-to-date on all of the newest technologies in your field. They will come backed by a lot of experience and will find it easy to manage large and complex projects given their meticulous workflow procedures.
They will think analytically about the problems facing management, monetization strategies, and development. The solutions they offer will often be based on quantitative research, providing you with a data-backed procedure that will yield a desirable outcome. If the issues you face are in the numbers, it is here a software consultant can really shine.
Working with a consulting agency will also make it easier to replace consultants if necessary, and provide security knowing they are prepared to deal with unexpected emergencies. In general, a consulting agency can provide a smoother experience when compared to an independent entrepreneur.
Being analytically minded, a software consultant’s solutions may have blindspots to real-world interventions that could keep your company from yielding the biggest return. Moreover, their focus might be too small for the larger overhaul you feel your company needs. Hiring a consultant through an established agency can also be very costly and must be considered when assessing your current development needs.
Working with a Software Entrepreneur
When compared to a software consultant, a software entrepreneur will think more holistically in their approach. By definition, an entrepreneur should be ‘between parts’ building solutions that link departments, projects, and growth. They are innovators who can think quickly on their feet and are more aware of the real-world contingencies at play. Entrepreneurs can be great for big companies with a lot of resources but lack the nuanced skills needed to best capitalize on them.
A freelancer understands the process of building a business. This gives them valuable insight when setting up communication. They understand how to speak, empathize with, and ask the right questions to the company they are collaborating with. This is important for building a rapport with both higher-ups and teams.
Additionally, an entrepreneur will often come with a very defined skill set in a particular area. Entrepreneurs know the value of becoming an expert in a particular niche, which makes it easy to hire them for very specific projects and tasks.
An entrepreneur will assess solutions at a more global level, looking at all of the moving parts between upper, mid, and lower management chains. They will be able to pull more readily from personal experience and provide perspective on issues that cannot be easily tracked in data. This gives them the advantage of quickly zooming in and out between localized and systemic issues.
An entrepreneur is more likely to think project to project, which carries the risk of them moving on to other work, making it harder to establish them as a go-to in a continuous advising relationship. Depending on how you contracted your entrepreneur, this can also make it harder to hold them accountable when compared to a traditional consulting agency.
What’s Right For You?
Understanding which is best for you, a software consultant or software entrepreneur, takes real consideration. When examining the problems in front of you, it is important to visualize the kind of dynamic you wish to have with your advisor, the scale at which you wish to work, and the sort of changes you are ready to make to begin building towards your goals.
We feel accomplished having created a model that helps ease certain risks associated with recruiting an entrepreneur by providing backing from our whole team.