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3 key functions in your start-up that can be (and probably should be) covered by outside contractors

Of course your tight group of company founders are capable of wearing multiple hats and can Do It All … but I believe that by using competent outside professionals, your team will be able to focus on what each member does best.

theDeviceDr can help make an assessment of functionality that your company needs … and in most cases recommend a professional resource that can dive in to contribute immediately. These Key Functions can be successfully covered by outside contractors:

1. Quality system

2. Accounting

3. Initial marketing

These are important functions for your success… but likely can be efficiently performed by resources outside your direct organization.

Here are some key characteristics to look for when searching for contractors or consultants for these functions:

1. Quality System

If you have ever put together a Quality Management System after your company has made significant progress in developing a new technology or product… you are as convinced as I am that a Quality System needs to be put into place as early in your process as possible. Even a simplistic system for tracking your documents and development data will make your transition toward commercialization easier, even if this seems some time away.

In start-up mode, a part-timer or consultant that has experience can help construct a workable system that can function for you. Look for a consultant that has:

  • Experience with creating a QMS from scratch

    • Many have QMS SOP/document outlines that can provide a path to follow quickly

  • Has worked with technologies in the Regulatory Classification in which you expect your products to fall…

    • …ideally similar medical objectives or technology space.

  • Time available for you… and willing to provide ongoing or on-call support.

2. Accounting

I am betting that most folks reading this have used QuickBooks… and there are other software sets available, of course. The main thing is to create a logical chart of accounts that can grow with you. Unless you have more than a couple founders/employees, a part-time or consulting accountant can set up a system for you, and provide oversight on your accounts with just a few hours per month.

Don’t put this off for long, because any potential investor your approach will want to know you have expense tracking and at least some control elements.

Your accounting resource should be…

  • … a CPA, if you already have outside funding or plan to seek significant funding soon.

    • Look for someone that has had experience within a company that successfully moved from raw start-up to commercialization… and acquisition.

  • Once set-up, a diligent bookkeeper can perform much of this function.

    • Oversight once a month by your CPA should be sufficient.

3. Initial marketing

In start-up mode, the depth of marketing needed really depends upon your situation:

  • Up-stream marketing (defining market targets, product functionality and features) is very frequently controlled by your technology- or clinical-leaders (frequently in the Founders group).

  • Commercialization or down-stream marketing is most likely not yet needed.

What IS needed is marketing effort to help potential investors understand the size of the market and the benefits provided by your technology. Your founders group is likely able to fill these needs. If not, then a part-time or consulting marketing resource person can be very efficient in these areas. Look for a resource who…

· …is familiar with your clinical space or your technology

· … has been through this type of rodeo before

· … can be available to create initial materials… and then on an ongoing/on-call basis to help your team as needed.

These 3 functional areas are critical to your long-term success… but in most cases, experienced part-time or consulting team members can put your start-up organization on a positive path.

I will be happy to explore the unique requirements of your situation in a 15min discovery telecon to see where I might be useful to you.

Click here to set up an appointment in my Calendly scheduler:

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