PlaybookChapter 8

Comparing Consultants

Find out what to consider when comparing your options, and see if your team might benefit from working with For the Win.

Reading Time: 3m

There are plenty of consultants who work with startups, and deciding between them can be overwhelming. As you consider your options, ask yourself whether each has the right mix of experience, skills, and empathy to work with your team.

Questions to Ask When Comparing Vendors

  • What’s their background? Are they an HR veteran? Ex-management consultant? Or a former operator?
  • How well do they understand your team? Have they worked in sales, engineering, product, or design?
  • How technical are they? Do they have the knowledge to help you pick the right tools and leverage data to hire and retain great people?
  • What role will your team play? How will they make sure your people feel like it’s their process, not something handed down by an outsider?
  • What are the outputs? Will the deliverables address the whole picture? Or will they be focused on a single area, like hiring?
  • What about execution? Can they advise you on the rollout? Do they have the chops to help make sure your process works as designed?

Is For the Win the Right Fit?

If you’re growing fast, gaining traction, and have ambitious goals to hit, the answer is probably yes. Here are some other signs we’re a great fit:

  • Your team has 10–50 employees.
  • You expect to double headcount within the next 12–18 months.
  • You don’t have a standardized hiring and interview process..
  • You don’t have a comprehensive onboarding program for new hires.
  • You’ve lost one or more key employees in the past.
  • Your team has had trouble prioritizing work and hitting deadlines.

Why Choose For the Win?

Someone Who Gets Your Team

Working at a startup is a marathon, and the reality of working on a high-stakes product isn’t always pretty.

Ben Jackson is a third-time founder with 20 years of experience who ran mobile at VICE Media and built apps at The New York Times. He’s done a little bit of everyone’s job at some point, but he also knows what it’s like to be woken up at 3am when the server goes down. That empathy is critical to building processes for startups with product and engineering teams working under pressure.

Use Technology Effectively

From hiring with predictive algorithms to managing remote teams over Slack, technology is changing the way we work, and not always for the better.

Ben’s been designing and building technology for over 25 years. He’s worked on everything from web sites to mobile apps, augmented reality, and chat bots. Products he’s worked on have been downloaded millions of times and appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Fast Company, and dozens of others. And he’s been invited to speak and join panel discussions on technology at SXSW, Google, and Spotify.

Communicate Effortlessly

It’s tough enough learning how to scale your team without having to learn another language at the same time.

Ben’s a published author who’s written about technology, design, and psychology for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Fast Company, Slate, The Verge, and others. He’s coached and worked alongside leadership, engineering, design, product, sales, and everything in between. No matter who’s on your team, they’ll find a common language to communicate about what’s important to your business.

Final Thoughts

Congrats! You made it to the end.

Thinking about process can be intimidating. Change isn’t easy. But if you want to hit the next stage in your company’s growth, you’ll need to change sooner or later. The longer you wait, the harder it gets, and the more things you’ll find competing for your attention.

It’s tough to slow down and zoom out with so many other urgent priorities. But if you take one thing away from this book, take this: You will always have other priorities. But you need to start building a process to manage your business before it’s too late.

If you have any questions about the playbook, or if you feel like you could use some help, use the link below to get in touch and let’s chat. Good luck, and godspeed.

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Further Reading

You’ll find two appendices at the end of this book:

  • Objections will share answers to common reasons for delaying or deprioritizing process at startups. If you’re fighting an uphill battle, they should help address your stakeholder’s concerns.
  • Budgeting will help you decide how much to budget for people, process, and culture at your stage. You’ll find some benchmarks for hiring and people expenses, plus tips for finding room in an existing budget.

Feeling overwhelmed by growth?

If you need help, schedule a call today. It’s free, and you’ll leave with clear next steps for your team.

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