A startup consultant is someone who hired on a short term contract basis. They help identify current issues, future issues and provide recommendations on how to overcome those issues. They are not a part of the team, but rather an outside perspective whose expertise is valuable.
What Services Purpose Branding does not Provide
Purpose Branding does not help start-ups with anything financial like preparing for or helping determine whether to go after more investments.
Consultants can provide a big-picture view as well as seeing any blind spots in your strategy before you spend lots of time, energy and money. They may have a specific discipline (see below) or provide recommendations about the start-ups business in general.
Product Focus: What is the minimal viable product? What problem is it solving and why should anyone want to use or purchase it?
Audience: Who is the product for? What pain is it taking away for the audience? Can you perform a focus group or twitter survey?
Market: Are there any competitors out there? If there isn't, why? Has any come and gone, and why? Is there a need or open space in the market? Are there any existing market research on the industry or market you're planning to enter?
Talent: Are there any missing pieces in your team to bring this idea to fruition? Are you need of some expertise (as a partner, contract for hire, or temporary consultant) to provide the answers to any unknowns?
Consultants should provide a 30-minute initial consultation free. This initial meeting will determine if you really need their services. It should let you know if they are the best person for the industry or type of business you are trying to create. If they are a good fit, a proposal of fees should be discussed and a payment plan or terms will be agreed upon. Usually, a percentage of the total will be paid up front before any services are started.