TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT CONSULTING
The ship is headed in the wrong direction. It doesn’t have to.
In the age of disruption, attacks come in all shapes and sizes: From disruptive startups to self-aware competitors, to fast-moving technology companies, to vertical integrators. As a result, company lifespans have shrunk tremendously. While twenty years ago there were about 9,000 publicly listed companies, today that number has shrunk to about 50%. The likelihood of a company existing five years from now has shrunk from 95% fifty years ago to just 66%. It seems that strategic crises are now the norm, rather than the exception.
When the company reaches a deep level of uncertainty, a turnaround is the only way out. Sidespin Group specializes in startup and SMB turnarounds with many years of experience with top industry experts.
There are times when the ship is just headed in the wrong direction, and the change in direction must come from the outside. External perspectives inject new information into the organization, especially if it comes from experienced experts who have seen many iterations of the same issues. Empowered consultants can review all aspects of a company’s operations and present a holistic view on which a new strategic direction can be based. Sidespin Group has the expertise to recommend changes and guide their proper implementation.
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Startup Strategy and Positioning
Startups, more than larger organizations, are in a constant state of uncertainty. CEOs question themselves about the product, the strategic direction, fundraising strategy, hiring, and an endless array of other issues. Pivots are often considered for good reason or out of insecurity. An experienced operator can inject confidence into such a situation and point the way. In addition to bringing an outside perspective, startup consultants have gone through the pains our clients are experiencing. We have the benefit of a startup portfolio that we continuously advise, and have a finger on the pulse of the environment in which startups operate.
The life of a new product should start with the customer — an idea that is too often lost on technologists. We know: we made all the mistakes ourselves. Success comes from experience, and experience comes from failure. Product leaders can learn from the mistakes of those that came before them, and we are here to show the way. When to fail fast and when to grind through? Is it the product’s fault? Technology? UI/UX? Marketing or targeting? A product can develop in many directions and there is often only a few ways to succeed.
Startup Pivot Strategy
An early-stage startup had trouble getting traction for its fintech security offering and was contemplating a pivot. Our analysis showed that the product was needed by the target customers, but misaligned marketing and outbound sales efforts were at fault for the lack of sales. Instead of going forward with the pivot, we advised the company to 1) validate the pivot idea before embarking on it, and 2) adjust the sales and marketing efforts to better align with the product. Within three months, the company’s sales started hitting its stride, resulting in a $4.5M Seed round of financing.
A venture capital fund called us to engage with one of its portfolio companies, where four MIT PhDs had a great piece of technology but also had no sense of direction or product. The goal of our engagement was to identify a market for the technology and structure the company to successfully address the market gap. We were also up against a reluctant CEO, who did not believe an outside consultant could add value. We empirically showed how the existing direction of the company was without merit and explored several new market opportunities. The company’s new direction led it to an acquisition by Facebook, and we received glowing reviews from the CEO.
About Sidespin Group
Sidespin Group provides software experts for litigation support, technology commercialization, investment due diligence, technology strategy, and general software analysis services in a range of specializations, including in the areas of machine learning, telecommunications, and smartphones.