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What is the best way to find someone in marketing that can write a Market Requirements Doc?

I have products and have done some market research.Boot-strapping everything myself. I'm at a point of needing some expert help. To get funding? Or use EquityCrowdfunding? And before I pay for the doc. How do I know that it is a good report laying out of a market and how to get there? And most important what is a price for this work?

18 Replies

Chris Gorges
2
0
Chris Gorges Entrepreneur • Advisor
Partner, Strategy at Rocketure
Use freelance platforms such as the following to get fair quotes from smart people. Current / recent MBAs are probably a good go-to as they aren't terribly expensive (yet) and they do this type of thing in class regularly.

MBA & Company (https://www.mbaco.com/)
Toptal (https://www.toptal.com/business)
Upwork (www.upwork.com)

If you have very pointed / specific questions, use something like Wonder (www.askwonder.com) for high-quality fast research.
Doug Infiesto, MBA, TS/SSBI
1
0
Chief Operations Officer at TerraFrame
Maybe you could go to a Product Management Meetup in your area to find someone that could do it for you for a good price. In my experience, the "how to get there" approach would be in the marketing plan not the MRD. In your case, the price would depend on how much information you provide vs. how much info your Product Management consultant would have to do.
Laura Wallendal
3
0
Laura Wallendal Advisor
Entrepreneur, Sales and Growth Strategist
I do this type of work on a contract basis for startups and I'd be happy to discuss with you. I've also worked with undergrad business students on market sizing and discovery when I didn't have time or resources to do it on my own for my startup. They do it for coursework (read: free as long as they are getting credit for the work). Depending on where you are located, there are likely university programs or clubs that connect startups with students.

Looks like in Cleveland there are some programs with Case Western:


weatherhead.case.edu/employers/classroom-collaboration - MBA Consulting Services (Depending on timeline - they are on a semester schedule).

You know it's a good report when sources are cited and parameters are clearly defined. Sometimes it takes a little finagling to discover market sizing and opportunity, but understanding exactly how the results were obtained will help you determine the validity of the data.

Joel Williams
4
0
Joel Williams Entrepreneur • Advisor
Consultant at emLinux & Williams Consulting
I am going through the same issue now. As a techie, I am skeptical of marketing but recognize its importance. In addition to basic marketing skills I suggest looking for someone/company who:
1. already understands your particular market. Everyone is happy to take your money to study it.
2. has actual connections & experience within the target market. My product is targeted to national non-profits. (Haven't found anyone yet.)
3. has actual connections with funding sources and is able to provide meaningful introductions
3. is able to provide a transition from marketing strategy to sales support focus when the time comes to execute. Not just hand you a plan and wish you luck.
4. is able to scale & pace of their services to your budget and schedule
Richard Awni
1
1
Richard Awni Entrepreneur
Project Management | Clean Energy | Solar | Go-To-Market | Emerging Technology | Branding I Marketing I Non Profit I HR
I think Chris, Doug and Laurie have you on the right path. I would add having used Interns and hires for various types of help that you request 'samples' of past work. That will give you a feel for their work, style and make sure there a good fit for what you have in mind.
SHARIQUE NISAR
1
0
SHARIQUE NISAR Advisor
Founder at Market Quotient & Co-Founder at DataCusp.com
Will interns, MBA grads be able to produce quality stuff? I doubt.
I think you should reach out to someone who has some experiences as to what your end intention are. May be a mid-tier company who are typically cost competitive can help.
Chicke Fitzgerald
1
0
Chicke Fitzgerald Entrepreneur • Advisor
Game Changing Strategist, Advisor & Technologist | Board Candidate | Zigging where others Zag
I agree with Sharique. I've had an MBA team work on a business plan in the past under my supervision and the work product would barely have had a passing grade, let alone help me get funding. Interns? Forget it. It would be a waste of your valuable time.

Start with completing a business plan canvas. Even the best person won't be able to write a plan from a totally blank sheet of paper.

Find someone that is willing to believe in you and help you do the plan. The person that writes the plan and does the model must be around for the fund raising, as they will know the plan even more intimately than you.

Give them equity to stick around as your acting CMO and advisory board member. I've done this a number of times (this is not an offer!) and 1-2% or deferred compensation until you get funding are both acceptable models.
Parneet Gosal
1
0
Parneet Gosal Advisor
Senior Marketer & Product Head
Hey James, I recently found myself with some time on my hands and would be happy to help you - either point you in the right direction or help myself, whatever makes sense. Here's my profile for some background. Cheers, Parneet
Chris Gorges
1
0
Chris Gorges Entrepreneur • Advisor
Partner, Strategy at Rocketure
@Sharique & @Chicke, I'm sorry you had bad experiences, but saying that you doubt MBA grads and interns will "be able to produce quality stuff"? Then why do McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Goldman, etc. hire them?

Seems a bit short-sighted and maybe biased by a single bad encounter. Hiring a "mid-tier" company is still going to cost tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of dollars, while if you find the right MBA, it might very well be free -- but you need to make sure they're motivated, either by cash compensation, equity (probably not your best option) or class credit via a school-approved program.

You'd find that a number of great companies here in NYC have done just that with great success with NYU Stern and Columbia Business School -- and that's just two business schools.
Chicke Fitzgerald
0
0
Chicke Fitzgerald Entrepreneur • Advisor
Game Changing Strategist, Advisor & Technologist | Board Candidate | Zigging where others Zag
@chris McKinsey, I have a lot of respect for MBAs and the process of learning that the MBA programs use. Bain, BCG, Goldman, etc. hire MBAs because of that base eduction, but also so that they can train them the way that they want them to operate. They heavily supervise them with senior staff and partners and you would never see a fresh recruit assigned to deliver a document directly to a client. They are a clean slate, with no industry experience, which is good for the consulting firms, but bad for an entrepreneur that expects them to be able to produce a plan that will help them raise money.

The point of FD is to provide a wide range of advise to others and I just want to make sure that James understands both the pros and the cons of MBAs and interns. They are a terrific resource when supervised by a subject matter expert that knows how to write a winning plan.
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