Story Of The Startup Founder, CXO And The Consultant

Scenario 1:
As a startup or founder, everything may be good for your company. In addition to bringing in revenue, you also managed to secure funding. However, after some time, you noticed that the founder- investor relationship isn’t going the way you first envisioned. You now feel that you’re unable to live up to your or investor’s expectations.

The entrepreneurship ‘space’ (because of its very nature) is plagued with stress, anxiety and depression, and perhaps, you encounter bigger unforeseen challenges crawling out as you edge forward to success. Investors may be breathing down your neck, leaving you stressed and wondered how life has become difficult after (series A, B or C) funding.

Scenario 2:
Everything is going well, investors, employees and you are all in the best position, and extremely happy things are going in the right direction, and “growth” and “scaling” is the word on everyone’s lips.

You may be the only founder or have co-founders and complement one another with different skill sets. However, there may be gaps in your knowledge bringing about the need to hire some CXOs.

This is the time you may have to think of hiring one of the following:

Chief executive officer (CEO):
CEO takes over the day-to-day running of the business giving you ample time to focus on other sectors crucial to the growth of the business. Pierre Omidyar at eBay, for example, quit day-to-day operations after employing a CEO and moved to a more strategic role.

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO):
Hitherto, the general idea is that you can only find CMO in a company because they are the only ones with products and services that need to be pushed across to target audience or to expand their customer base. Today, the branding and marketing game has expanded beyond just product and services to encompass places.

Chief financial officer (CFO):
CFO is more than a bean counter who reports arrears on expenses, revenue, cash flow/ burn and profit/losses. These are a minute part of the larger value of a CFO. A good CFO is not limited to keeping “score” — they also put points on the board.

Chief technology officer (CTO):
A startup or company usually requires a visionary technology officer to grow or attain its defined goals. A lean team and scalable company and products are the goals of a right technology decisions.

Chief innovation officer (CIO / CINO):
In business, there’s an arms race to innovate and be more innovative. Companies that last the longest are not always those that began with the largest amount of funds. All products and services have a burn rate, organisation have to strive and fulfil the needs of customers by employing well-delivered solutions.

As the requirements of customers continue evolving, the CIO/CINOs identify these needs (or wants) and satisfy those using improved technologies and strategies. Many companies fail because they either neglected this or did not implement the required changes in time. The key to remaining relevant among customers is innovation. You have to remain innovative to be able to win the competition. CIO/CINOs brings in the innovation that will help future proof your company.

Related blog: What Does An Innovation Consultant Do?

There are of course pros and cons to hiring a full-time employee. There’s also an alternative to hiring a CXO – ever considered a consultant? The role of a consultant can range from filling a short-term staffing deficit to implementing major organisational programmes. They can also help developing new innovation frameworks. Consultants provide valuable insights and expertise to help companies achieve their short and long-term strategic goals.

About the writer.

A founder of multiple startups Hader Ali is an innovation & business consultant.

Hader Ali Consultancy works with startups, SMEs, and large organisations. Specialising in business strategy, product/service development, sales & marketing.

To future-proof your business. Hader Ali Consultancy will work with your company to create an innovation portfolio by providing a framework for structured innovation. All while creating an ecosystem of ideas and a culture of innovation.

Follow me on LinkedIn & Twitter @HaderA1i or get in touch for a free consultation.

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