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Top 15 Sites To Find and Hire the Best Startup Consultants

Based on facts publicly available as of 01.01.2024

When you want the best startup consultants, the first place you should look is at Toptal. Toptal is a freelance hiring platform that recruits the strongest candidates in the world. They only accept the top 3% in the freelance pool.

  • Toptal’s business model provides an account manager for your hiring needs and has their team screening, interviewing and managing staff.
  • Companies hire freelancers on-demand, scaling up or down according to the needs of the project.
  • According to reviewer Tammy, “Their attentiveness to detail not only facilitated a smooth workflow but also underscored their commitment to excellence.”

Upwork started out as Elance in 1998, one of the first online platforms for freelancers. In 2015, after merging with another freelance platform, oDesk, the site rebranded as Upwork. Upwork offers a large database of freelance startup consultants at affordable rates to employers.

  • Employers take on the vetting process for consultants by reading profiles and reviews of each freelancer’s past work.
  • Upwork makes paying freelancers simple and easy with their payment portal.
  • If you have problems with your hires, Upwork has a dispute resolution process to help navigate issues.

Find startup consultants from the U.K.-based PeoplePerHour’s massive pool of more than 2 million freelancers. This is another large online marketplace dedicated to connecting freelance remote workers with companies and unique projects. You have to manage much of the vetting and project workflow yourself with this model.

  • Your team starts by posting a job ad on the site that freelance consultants reply to with proposals.
  • PeoplePerHour primarily uses hourly rates for skilled freelance workers instead of fixed prices.
  • It offers a protected payment system, similar to an escrow service, to send and receive payments for work.

The top draw of Hubstaff Talent for both freelancers and businesses looking to connect is that it is totally free for all users. Companies looking to hire startup consultants post a free job ad, either hourly or at a fixed price. There is also the option of browsing profiles and reaching out to specific freelancers with a proposal.

  • Hubstaff offers a time-tracking tool and an activity-monitoring software package for its clients.
  • The site does not use any vetting software or other advanced tools to help match clients with the best freelancers, making the search process a little more cumbersome.

Mayple’s purpose is to help businesses find freelance startup consultants and other talent. Based in New York City and Israel, the site employs data to help screen and match freelancers for your jobs. They use a rating system and onboard questionnaires to help pinpoint an exact match for your freelance hiring needs.

  • Mayple has a unique method of reviewing freelance work quality with metrics such as clicks, results and conversions. 
  • Their hiring process includes an AI matching tool that evaluates each freelancer’s success, work ethic, personality and niche.

Founded in 2016 in New York City, Wimgo aims to join top companies with skilled service providers in business, finance and tech. If you need to hire freelance startup consultants, their team of knowledgeable experts works with data analytics to help. They boast a 95% success rate with their business model.

  • Wimgo’s screening process sifts through each provider’s online reviews across the internet to spot any potential red flags.
  • They also evaluate each professional’s commitment to service by analyzing the speed of project completion, quality of work and value.
  • Their process helps hiring teams and managers save time and get started right away on their projects.

Freelancer is one of the biggest online platforms for contractors and businesses that use them. They have a talent pool that covers 247 countries, allowing companies to find an exact match for their needs. Getting started is as easy as posting a project and waiting for freelance workers to reply and bid.

  • Freelancer gives your team multiple options for service when finding talent, such as doing most of the vetting yourself or working with one of their account managers to guide you through the process.
  • Their platform receives high marks for ease of use and efficiency because of collaboration and payment tools.
  • Although they provide full-time customer service reps, some clients have seen inconsistencies in quality and responsiveness from support staff.

It is easy to get started on Perfectlancer, another freelance platform for workers and companies. Clients get to post jobs for free, and freelancers have 20 free bids per month to initiate a response. Additionally, clients get rewarded for posting jobs regularly by earning a 2% credit back to their account for each amount they spend.

  • Companies only pay the agreed-upon freelance hourly or project rate with no added fees tacked on by Perfectlancer.
  • Perfectlancer provides a secure payment and support system upon project completion.

YunoJuno is a platform that specializes in putting together global talent teams. They focus on helping companies recruit freelancers faster and more efficiently. They have an expert talent team with international recruiting specialists who work to match you with the right talent. 

  • YunoJuno’s team of recruiters hails from all of the top industries, including tech, finance and business.
  • Their payment platform adds a 12% fee to every transaction, increasing some of the cost for most big projects.
  • Major client PepsiCo U.K. benefitted by saving 77% on their recruiting fees for a hiring push.

Robert Half is a global firm that works with companies to provide business consulting services. They have a long history of success, founded in 1948, and a solid reputation for providing solutions for startups and other ventures. Their recognized name brand may give you access to the best startup consultants in the industry.

  • Robert Half has a dedicated subsidiary, Protiviti, that focuses on vetting and recruiting consulting experts.
  • Your team has the option of hiring a permanent worker, temporary staff member or a contractor with Robert Half’s service plan. 
  • The firm handles the recruiting and worker management process throughout your partnership with their team.

Founded in the U.K., Movemeon is a venture that recruits talented business consultants and executives for freelance or permanent roles. Movemeon has a unique process for hiring startup consultants, focusing on quality and results. They analyze your startup’s challenges and create a plan of action to get your project’s needs met and your business up and running.

  • Their system is a freelance virtual bench that gives you access to expert startup consulting professionals to scale your business.
  • Movemeon freelance members tend to return regularly to the site, even years later, due to the valuable advice and career tips. 
  • They feature more than 50,000 niche candidates and over 5,000 corporate clients.

Ureed is an online freelance business platform that spotlights remote talent in the Middle East. Freelance consultants from this part of the world are not represented as much on other sites from this list. The site has offered freelance talent since 2017 and continues to build up its portfolio of international clients.

  • Start the process by posting a free project or scope of work and go through each freelancer’s pitch when you get responses.
  • Ureed only releases payment to the freelancer once you are completely satisfied with how things turned out.

Fintalent has a different approach to hiring and vetting talent than its competitors. This freelancer platform for the business and finance crowd is invite-only, giving companies more confidence in the quality of its workers. Startups benefit from Fintalent’s focused consultant services on business expansion, financing, due diligence and more.

  • Fintalent provides services to more than 40 countries around the world and features a global talent pool.
  • They promise a 48-hour turnaround time for hiring expert consultants.
  • They have found consulting experts for companies like eBay, TMobile, Oakley Capital and Ramboll.

Ideamotive is an outsourcing agency that primarily recruits for the IT industry and startups. They have streamlined the process of working with freelancers with a monthly service and fee. They pride themselves on helping their clients raise more than $1 million in funding for startup initiatives.

  • Ideamotive has specific product packages for consulting services or customized options.
  • They will provide a short list of potential freelance consultants in 24 hours for you to review.
15. Contra

Contra advertises itself as a one-stop shop for hiring and scaling businesses, including startups. They have a convenient all-in-one tool that screens candidates, manages the workflow and processes the payment for freelance work. They allow companies to post a project for a low fee and for ongoing tasks, access their site with a monthly subscription.

  • Contra has three hiring options: using the “Discover” tool that allows for matching, posting a project, accepting bids or creating a proposal for a preferred freelancer.
  • They offer a free trial to help you decide if their services are a good fit for you and your team.
  • Their online platform also allows you to use collaboration in the hiring and management process for your business goals.
Not happy with this selection?

Guide to Hiring Freelance Startup Consultants

It is a huge undertaking when you need to learn how to hire startup consultants. A talented business consultant has to have many years of experience in the industry and a proven track record of success. 

There is a small community of freelancers who possess both of these traits, making it tough to find great team members in this role. You need to partner with a specialized recruiter to find this talent and screen them for suitability for your startup’s needs and goals. 

Additionally, the demand for business consultants will grow in the next decade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, management consultant jobs will grow by 10%, much faster than the average growth rate for other positions. In the United States alone, the consulting industry is worth more than $329 billion and will continue to expand.

The role of the startup consultant has also changed and adapted throughout the years to new trends in business, like AI. Many businesses may turn to AI to help them make strategic decisions instead of hiring a freelance consultant. The jury is still out on how effective AI may be for building a new startup’s success. 

Startup consultants have to navigate other changes in the industry that make scaling a business more challenging, such as the digital marketplace, cyberattack risks, a weaker economy for venture capital, lack of creative talent and lower customer engagement. Finding business management consultants who have the capability to solve these problems may continue to be tough.

Hiring a Freelance Startup Consultant

The nature of a business consultant’s job makes it much more effective if you hire a freelance startup consultant. As a startup, you have limited funding and other resources, so using a freelancer gives you a way to hire on an as-needed basis, saving money big time.

Freelancers often work on your schedule and have flexibility with their hours or methods of collaboration with your team. Working with a freelance consultant also gives you a fresh outside perspective on what your team needs to do to advance to the next level. 

Benefits of hiring freelance startup consultants

What Does a Startup Consultant Do?

You have to start by asking this important question: What does a startup consultant do? Startup consultants take on a variety of roles, but they primarily bring in industry-specific knowledge for your team. They may start their partnership with you by providing an objective assessment of your startup’s strengths and weaknesses. They analyze your business model and work with your senior management teams to address any issues in your plan and structure.

5 ways consultants can help your startup

Why hire startup consultants? Management consultants help startups reorganize an operating budget and eliminate waste. They help you get more insight into your competition and other industry-specific challenges you may face. Some consultants work with you to finetune your target audience and look for more marketing opportunities to expand and scale. They may advise about potential marketing pushes and how to spend a promotions budget.

Startup consultants also offer expert advice regarding human resources. They may work with your startup management and apply their hands-on experience to your industry and situation. A consultant helps startups develop a structure for management, labor and human capital. Some startup consultants for hire could also work with your business owner to create human resources policies, staff handbooks and procedures for employees.

One example of a startup company that found awe-inspiring global success is the errand gig platform TaskRabbit. When the site first got its start in 2008, founder Leah Busque Solivan reached out to startup business consultants to grow and develop her idea. She used talented consultants, such as Scott Griffith, CEO of Zipcar, and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss, to help expand her small startup to a global powerhouse that Ikea acquired in 2017.

Startup business consultants have the capacity to offer you expert advice that boosts your new company’s potential for success. When you hire dedicated startup consultants to advise you on the operations of your young venture, you can maximize your funding and resources to give your business the best chance of long-term viability.

How To Hire Startup Consultants

Hiring for a startup consultant requires a different, more customized approach than recruiting for other types of skilled team members. Instead of looking for specific skills from a consultant, you need someone with vast knowledge of your industry and the type of business you run. This creates some unique challenges, so it may be worthwhile to reach out to a recruiting firm or freelance platform.

Some startups look in their own network for consultants as a first stepping stone. Within your industry, if there is another expert business owner with a strong track record, they may be offering consultant services on the side. Another source of expertise may be from former CEOs who either stepped down or retired from their positions. Their experience and insight could give your company a boost.

It is also possible to recruit startup business consultants through online social media networks, such as LinkedIn. Before reaching out to a potential consultant, invest some time in regularly reading industry reports and blogs from well-regarded professionals. Make a short list of writers and experts who have the skills and talents you need for your startup’s goals and connect with them. This method may take several months of reading, researching and reaching out before you match up with someone who has the time and tools to help you.

The most convenient and easy way to find business consultants for your specific needs is to partner with an outsourcing recruiter or to use a freelance platform. If you want to make the process streamlined, consider partnering with a site that offers a dedicated account manager. This could save you time, effort and brain power and reward you with a consultant to guide you through the development phase.

What Skills To Look For When Hiring Startup Consultants

Before you connect with a business consultant, you need to know what startup consultant skills are the most important for your team’s goals and vision. Start by identifying the top soft skills that a business management consultant should possess for your needs, such as this example list:

  • Ability To Collaborate - Consultants spend most of their time working together with your team, so they need to have strong teamwork capabilities.
  • Problem-Solving Skills - Their most valuable asset is their ability to help your startup solve tough problems and create innovative solutions.
  • Effective Communication - Consultants have to keep you in the loop by providing consistent, daily communication about the work they provide.
  • Strong Charisma - When you work closely with a consultant, you need to team up with someone who has strong charisma and a good personality fit.

There are also some required hard skills that most startup business consultants should have. These are more tangible skills that should be part of a resume: 

  • Bachelor’s Degree 
  • Administration and Management Experience
  • Knowledge of Human Resources
  • Sales and Marketing Knowledge
  • Understanding of Accounting, Database, Conferencing and Other Essential Software
  • Expertise in Customer Service
  • Experience in Your Industry

How Much Does It Cost To Hire Startup Consultants?

How much does It cost to hire startup consultants? According to Payscale, the average annual business consultant salary is $80,368. Full-time startup business consultants usually also earn other incentives, such as bonuses, profit sharing and commissions, increasing your investment. The mean hourly rate for a business consultant is $45.81, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Tips for Writing a Startup Consultant Job Description

Your company has to be strategic when you write a startup consultant job description. If you use a recruiter or a freelance platform, the job description is a key factor in matching you with the right people. Start with a specific job title for the startup consultant job description, give details about compensation, promote your company culture and offer details about exciting projects and initiatives for your startup.

Candidates who submit their resumes should be able to demonstrate their aptitude with industry-specific evaluations. When you get some candidates to interview, mix up the interview process by presenting some problems for the applicant to solve. Use panel interviewing or pressure interviews to find the right person. Be sure to have an open mind and prioritize diversity when checking credentials.

Common Interview Questions To Ask When You Are Looking To Hire a Startup Consultant

Depending on the type of interview you schedule with potential candidates, you may have to create a set of questions to evaluate the applicant’s suitability. The best interview questions help you get a clear idea of the applicant’s ability to apply their technical knowledge and experience to your startup’s challenges. Interview questions may also address general soft skills to find out more about the applicant as a person and a company culture fit.

Start by asking this question: What is your experience and knowledge in this field? The ideal person for the job should be able to show off their extensive understanding of your startup’s industry. They should have years of experience in different management roles in your industry. 

Next, ask this essential question: What is your strategic planning model for a startup? This question will give you more of an idea of their problem-solving process and planning ideas for your type of startup. They should include details about planning, a timeline and different components of streamlining a new organization and optimizing it for success.

A final recommended question to ask is, how do you track and measure success for a startup? Startup business consultants should rely on a variety of data-driven tools to measure success. They should have experience with industry-specific tools that allow you and your team to see if marketing and customer outreach campaigns are working. There should also be tools to measure financial success, such as accounting assessments.

How To Find Freelance Startup Consultants for Hire

When you need to find startup consultants, you should be strategic with sourcing through multiple channels, such as recruiting events, industry conferences, networking and social media. Using proven sites to hire startup consultants, such as Toptal, may give you access to a stellar team of consultants. Toptal benefits your startup by giving you an instant link to experienced, knowledgeable consulting pros who work on your terms — without you having to do all of the legwork.

Your startup business could be a stunning success if you master the art of hiring the best startup business consultants. This type of team member may be an invaluable component of your startup’s story. There are many ways to find a talented consultant, so start strategizing and looking for your next mentor with a startup consultant.


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