Advising someone has been a part of entire human existence. We like to advise about being happy, about buying better goods, running a business and a lot more.
There can be a lot of fear, overwhelm, and intimidation when starting a business on your own. Having a business to run will require you to play to your weaknesses in some instances.
Start-up founders don’t have to face an uphill battle; many others have been in your shoes and want to help you succeed. Advisory services for startups are provided by these people.
We have compiled everything you ever wanted to know about startup advisors.
Who is Startup Advisors?
The startup advisor helps new businesses find the right path to growth by drawing on her industry expertise and experience. Many startup advisors have been company founders themselves who have sold their startups successfully. Investors who have worked with startups for years may also be entrepreneurs.
Startup founders make fewer mistakes when building their businesses when they share their business knowledge, networking connections, potential investors, and skills with each other.
What do they do?
Business advisors provide business advice, share their experiences, and make recommendations for improving startups. Their network is also excellent for finding talent or raising capital because they can connect you to their contacts.
The most common areas of startup advice are growth, marketing, and product, but you can find an advisor for just about any area of expertise. The fact that early-stage startups often have a board of advisors speaks to the difficulty of finding an advisor who covers all the areas you need help with.
Some people will mentor and offer advice on the technical aspects of your product as well. You use your advisor as a person to bounce ideas off and help you to solve problems.
Where to find Startup Advisors?
Startup investors usually have platforms where they give guidance and suggestions based on their knowledge and experience. Also, many platforms have started to provide this service to help startups achieve their goals.
GrowthMentor is a platform providing on-demand growth advice from vetted experts. You can start by booking a free onboarding call to discuss your needs after signing up. Then filter through experts and book Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Skype Calls right on the experts’ calendar.
Price: $100/month, billed monthly, or $75/month, billed quarterly.
Things to consider: Over 60% of the mentors offer their sessions for free. For the other 40%, you’ll have to pay them per hour (it is not included in the $100/mo plan).
You can filter experts by the tools they use and by their expertise, like growth hacking, social media, content marketing, outbound marketing, and more.
They have a strict vetting process in place for the experts.
MentorCruise is a platform providing mentorship with tech leaders. There are ongoing sessions, a monthly fee, or one-time consulting calls.
Price: Depending on each mentor, it can go from $100/month to several hundred per month.
Clarity is another platform to get on-demand startup advice from experts. Browse the community of experts to find your fit. You then request a call with your chosen expert and connect via the conference line provided.
Price: Free to join Clarity. Then you’re charged for the calls based on the experts per minute rate.
Things to consider: There is potential to build a relationship with an expert that results in an advisor, but it’s not the outright purpose of the site. And you’re pre-charged for an estimated call time at first, and then the charge is adjusted for the actual length after the call.
CoFoundersLab is a platform that gives you access to over 400,000 potential cofounders, team members, and advisors.
Price: There is a free membership with limited benefits. Then there is a premium membership with everything the free membership has plus more. You can choose a 3-month option for 19.99/month (59.99 billed quarterly). A 6-month option for 16.99/month (102.00 billed semi-annually). And a 12-month option for 14.99 a month (180.00 billed annually).
Things to consider: There’s a 3 step process in place: sign up for free with LinkedIn, complete your profile to activate the matching algorithm, then search by skill, country, city, industry, business stage, or startup experience to find potential advisors, team members, and cofounders. It’s one of the largest startup platforms on the planet. But you’ll need to do those warm introductions after the algorithm starts the process.
MicroMentor is a free, nonprofit platform connecting entrepreneurs and volunteer business mentors.
Things to consider: Love that it’s a free social network, but the quality of mentors you’ll get and how much one-on-one help and for how long isn’t clear. That’s something you’ll need to discuss if you do get to the point of finding a mentor you like.
StartupWeekend is an experience that consists of 54 hours of life at a startup:
Day 1: Network/pitch/choose a project/build a team.
Day 2: Learn from mentors/Get to work on the chosen project and utilize resources and mentors to do everything from building your product or service to finding customers and so forth.
Day 3: Your team presents the product/service in front of the crowd and expert panel, and when that’s all done, celebrate all your hard work and success.
Price: Ticket prices vary by event, skill set, and purpose.
Things to consider: You’re expected to participate all 3 days. They send you off with the next steps and hopefully, you’ve built a network and resources to carry with you to make your idea a success. Love that it gives you real-life experience and drops you right in the thick of things. But it’s just a weekend and more of an opportunity to network than anything.
7) Sparrow Startup
Sparrow provides hands-on affordable mentorship calls with founders who have built, scaled, and sold their startups.
Price: Sessions start at $125/hour.
Things to consider: Unlike other websites, there’s no monthly fee on Sparrow. Once you apply, you are asked about your startup’s growth goals and offered a 30-minute free demo call with your advisor of choice. Their founder’s testimonials can be found here.
8) Founders Network
FoundersNetwork offers peer mentorship to tech startups globally.
Price: After passing the initial screening, you’ll then need to choose one of the four memberships based on your experience level.
What to look for in a startup advisor?
It’s important to consider the traits of your startup advisor based on the stage that your company is at. There might be a specific challenge you’re facing, or perhaps you just need some feedback on an idea.
The first customers for a small business may be hard to find for those who are just starting. The best advisor for this situation will be a mentor who can assist you in getting started and getting involved in your numbers. A startup founder with experience growing a successful company from the ground up is likely to possess the right skill set for this job.
Increasing your capital and forming partnerships are important parts of being a bigger, growing tech startup. In this case, you’ll look for someone with business expertise who is well connected.
It’s essential to choose the right startup advisors for your business. To get the most from them, they need to understand and believe in your vision. You want to find someone you can build a trusted relationship with who will give you solid, honest advice.
You also want to look for a startup advisor you can rely on; it’s crucial to make it clear from the get-go how much time you expect them to give you.
Related Article: 7 Must-Read Startup Blogs for Entrepreneurs in 2022