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Don't Be a Lost Startup: Find Your Guide with a Business Startup Consultant

Updated: Apr 9

Starting a business can be tough. You have a great idea, but there are so many things to figure out: what to do next, how to avoid mistakes, and where to even begin! This is where Business Startup Consultants - like our 7 Fits Coaches - come in. Think of them like experienced guides who help you navigate the world of startups. They handhold you, tell you what to do, what not to do, and help you make smart choices. In this article, we will try to explain why Startup Consultants are important, how they're different from other advisors, and how they can help your new business succeed.


What is a Business Startup Consultant?


You have a big dream for your business, but starting it feels like exploring a new world with no map. It's exciting, but also confusing and maybe a little scary. The role of a Business Startup Consultant is to help you reach your dream! They're like experienced guides who help you navigate the world of startups. 











These consultants know the ropes, they have gone through the challenges as they are startup founders themselves so they can tell you what to do, what to avoid, and how to make smart choices. 


What "ideally" sets Business Startup Consultants apart is their lived experience. Unlike other advisors, they haven't just studied business; they've built companies themselves. Like the 7 Fits team, they've tasted the highs of success and the lows of failure, learning valuable lessons along the way. This "been there, done that" perspective makes them uniquely qualified to guide your startup, helping you avoid their past mistakes and reach even greater heights.


Business Startup Consultants possess a keen understanding of the nuances of the startup ecosystem, encompassing diverse areas such as:


  • Idea Validation: Helping founders validate their ideas - the most important but often overlooked stage in the startup development- to see if there really is a business opportunity worth pursuing.



Free Guide: How to validate your startup idea in 6 weeks



  • Cashflow Management: Helping founders structure their funding-related decisions i.e. when to bootstrap, when not to bootstrap and start looking for investors, how to secure funding.

  • Product Development: Shepherding the startup team's innovative concept from ideation to a market-ready solution.

  • Customer Acquisition: Working with the startup teams to help them craft effective strategies to attract and retain their target audience.

  • Lean Startup Methodologies: Implementing agile and adaptive approaches to validate the startup concept and optimize their resources.

Beyond their comprehensive knowledge, Business Startup Consultants offer a distinct value proposition for aspiring entrepreneurs:


Tailored Expertise: They recognize that every startup is unique and requires a customized approach. Through in-depth assessments of your specific needs and goals, they develop personalized recommendations that propel your specific venture forward.


Strategic Navigation: Mere advice is not enough. They assist in charting a clear roadmap to success, meticulously considering market trends, competitive landscapes, and your long-term vision.


Build-Measure-Learn Loop: A startup is not a structured organization. There is too much ambiguity. Hence success is not guaranteed. Focusing on small, testable features empowers startups to iterate quickly, gain user feedback, and adapt their product based on real-world data, leading to a more successful product in the long run. This is what a business startup consultant can help with.


Challenge Transformation: Having witnessed diverse startup journeys, a business startup consultant possesses the ability to anticipate and tackle common hurdles like funding roadblocks, operational inefficiencies, and marketing complexities. Equipped with a consultant's insights and strategies, you can navigate these challenges with confidence.


Sustainable Growth Enablers: Their mission extends beyond simply facilitating launch. They strive to equip you with the tools and knowledge necessary to achieve sustainable growth through optimized operations, effective customer acquisition strategies, and a foundation built for long-term success.


Ultimately, whether you are an entrepreneur brimming with a nascent idea or a post-launch venture facing scaling challenges, a Business Startup Consultant or an Entrepreneur Coach can be your invaluable partner. They serve as a trusted advisor, empowering you to make informed decisions, overcome complex challenges, and transform your vision into a thriving reality. 


Lean Startup Overview


As the 7 Fits team, we are advocates of the Lean Startup methodology, so all of our startup consulting practices are structured as "lean".


In the dynamic startup environment we believe that the Lean Startup methodology, championed by Eric Ries, emerges as a cornerstone for entrepreneurial success.


Departing from traditional, linear development structures, the Lean Startup philosophy emphasizes iterative learning and customer-centric validation. At its core, it advocates for the rapid cimplementation of Minimal Viable Products (MVPs), followed by meticulous analysis of their performance in the target market. This data-driven approach minimizes resource expenditure, maximizes learning opportunities, and accelerates the critical quest for product-market fit.


Consulting startups using Lean Startup as the methodology helps us provide fast and easy to implement solutions for the founding teams we work with. We are not yet-another firm or agency that provides consulting for startups. We are startup coaches, who are hand-holding Pre-PMF (Product-Market Fit) founders in every step of the way. Our intention is to "Make it Happen". This creates the difference between startup failure (which happens in 95% of the startups) and success.


Cornerstones of the Lean Startup Methodology:


  • Minimal Viable Products (MVPs): Abandoning the pursuit of perfection, the Lean Startup encourages the creation of MVPs, streamlined versions of your product equipped with core functionalities. This enables gathering vital customer feedback early on, preventing significant investment in features that may not resonate with the market.




MVP 101: Free eBook with examples of Minimum Viable Products from Renowned Startups


  • Continuous Feedback Loop: Central to the Lean Startup philosophy is the unwavering commitment to customer feedback. By rigorously testing MVPs with real users and actively soliciting their insights, a continuous feedback loop is established. This iterative process guides product development, ensuring alignment with evolving market needs and preferences.

  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Subjectivity has no place in the Lean Startup approach. Crucial metrics are identified and meticulously tracked, providing objective data to inform improvement efforts and strategic decisions. By leveraging data analysis, ventures can confidently pivot their offerings based on concrete evidence, rather than intuition or guesswork.

  • Embracement of Experimentation and Adaptation: Recognizing the inherent uncertainties of entrepreneurship, the Lean Startup methodology fosters a culture of experimentation and adaptability. It encourages entrepreneurs to view learning as a continuous process, actively embracing failure as a stepping stone towards valuable insights. By readily adapting to the ever-shifting market landscape, ventures can increase their chances of achieving and sustaining product-market fit.

Benefits of Implementing the Lean Startup Methodology:


  • Reduced Resource Consumption: Focusing on MVPs minimizes the risk of investing heavily in features that ultimately prove irrelevant to the market. This judicious use of resources allows ventures to maximize their impact and extend their financial runway.


  • Accelerated Learning and Innovation: The rapid feedback loop inherent in the Lean Startup approach leads to quicker identification of customer needs and preferences. This accelerated learning cycle fosters greater agility and innovation, enabling ventures to respond swiftly to market trends and opportunities.


  • Optimized Path to Product-Market Fit: By continuously validating product iterations against market realities, the Lean Startup methodology dramatically increases the likelihood of achieving and sustaining product-market fit. This translates to increased customer acquisition, enhanced user engagement, and ultimately, greater venture success.


The Lean Startup methodology equips entrepreneurs with a powerful framework for navigating the complexities of product development in a dynamic and uncertain marketplace. By embracing its core principles of agility, iteration, and data-driven decision making, ventures can significantly reduce waste, accelerate learning, and ultimately achieve the coveted goal of product-market fit, paving the way for sustainable growth and long-term success.


How Important is Lean Startup in the Practices of a Business Startup Consultant?


The dynamic and multifaceted landscape of the startup ecosystem necessitates an agile and iterative approach to product development. In this context, Business Startup Consultants emerge as vital catalysts, leveraging their expertise to guide early-stage ventures towards sustainable success. Among the methodologies they employ, the Lean Startup framework stands out as a cornerstone for optimizing client development processes and finding the coveted product-market fit.


Embedding Lean Startup Principles within Business Startup Consultant Practices:


  • Streamlined Development: Traditional, linear methodologies often prove cumbersome for startups, leading to resource wastage and missed opportunities. The Lean Startup methodology, with its emphasis on minimal viable products (MVPs) and rapid iteration, empowers Business Startup Consultants to guide clients in testing, learning, and adapting swiftly, minimizing risk while maximizing learning potential.

  • Reduced Risk Mitigation: In the face of inherent uncertainty, the ability to "fail fast" becomes an advantage. By nurturing a culture of rapid experimentation and hypothesis testing, Business Startup Consultants facilitate the early identification and addressal of potential pitfalls, preventing significant resource investment in unsustainable approaches.

  • Efficient Resource Allocation: Early validation through MVPs enables Business Startup Consultants to guide clients in prioritizing features and allocating resources based on real-world market feedback rather than assumptions. This ensures that precious capital is not squandered on irrelevant elements, ultimately optimizing resource utilization.


  • Customer-Centric Focus: At the heart of Lean Startup lies a profound understanding of the customer. Business Startup Consultants who leverage this philosophy effectively instill a deep customer focus in their clients, leading to the development of products and services that resonate with users and drive sustainable growth.


  • Navigating Uncertainty with Adaptability: The early stages of any startup are inherently unpredictable. Lean Startup, with its iterative and data-driven approach, equips Business Startup Consultants with the tools to assist clients in navigating unforeseen challenges with greater adaptability and resilience, increasing their chances of success.


Beyond Minimal Viable Products:


While MVPs remain crucial, Business Startup Consultants who truly leverage Lean Startup take a sophisticated approach. For instance, we incorporate our own framework; the 7 Fits Framework into our daily startup consulting practices.


Integrating Lean Startup principles into their offerings elevates Business Startup Consultants from mere advisors to empowered partners in the journey towards product-market fit. By guiding clients through rapid experimentation, data-driven decision-making, and a relentless focus on customer needs, Business Startup Consultants equip startups with the agility and insights necessary to navigate the market's uncertainties and emerge as thriving ventures.


How Different is a Business Startup Consultant from a Startup Management Consulting Firm?


The burgeoning landscape of early-stage ventures is fueled by an array of support systems, including expert guidance from professionals specializing in startup success. While both Business Startup Consultants and Startup Management Consulting Firms (SMCFs) play crucial roles in this ecosystem, understanding their fundamental differences is paramount for entrepreneurs seeking the most suitable partner.


The Individualized Touch: Business Startup Consultants:


Business Startup Consultants - like our 7 Fits Coaches - embody the spirit of personalized expertise, operating as solo practitioners who offer in-depth, tailored guidance to individual startups. Their core strengths lie in their:


  • Deep Domain Knowledge: Possessing an extensive understanding of the startup ecosystem, Business Startup Consultants provide holistic guidance encompassing diverse areas like funding strategies, product development, and customer acquisition.

  • Entrepreneurial Experience: Given our shared experience as startup founders, we believe a strong entrepreneurial background is crucial for effective Business Startup Consulting. However, we recognize that established Startup Management Consulting Firms may utilize diverse expertise, including non-entrepreneurs, to achieve successful outcomes.


  • Agile Adaptation: Unlike larger firms bound by standard methodologies, Business Startup Consultants offer the flexibility to adapt their approach based on the unique needs and challenges of each client, fostering a more intimate collaboration.

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Compared to firms, Business Startup Consultants may offer more economical solutions, particularly for budget-conscious early-stage ventures.


The Synergy of Teams: Startup Management Consulting Firms


SMCFs represent a different model, leveraging the collective expertise of a team of specialists to offer a wider range of services. Their distinctive advantages include:


  • Comprehensive Resources: Startup Management Consulting Firms often boast wider access to resources, including specialized talent, proprietary tools, and industry networks, which can be invaluable for complex challenges.

  • Structured Methodology: Firms typically employ established methodologies and frameworks, offering clients a well-defined pathway towards achieving their goals.


  • Scalability and Reach: Their larger teams and broader industry connections enable SMCFs to cater to a wider range of clients and address diverse business needs.


Who Should You Choose; a Business Startup Consultant or a Startup Consulting Firm?


The answer to this question lies in theno-code stage of your startup. But by "stage", we do not refer to the funding stages but instead, we talk about the maturity of an early-stage startup in terms of product-market fit.


With our comprehensive product-market fit framework, we deep dive into the different stages of an early-stage startup. We start by first grading the startup to see how far their business is from finding the product-market fit; for this we use the 7 Fit Score for Startups.



 

Find out where you are in your journey towards Product-Market Fit


Take The Free 7 Fit Score Test



 


For the highest scoring startups - the businesses that have achieved product-market fit or are very close to finding PMF - we suggest working with a startup consulting firm.


For the mid and low scoring startups - the businesses that are in the pre-launch phase or in the post-launch phase with a vague offering - we suggest working with a business startup consultant like our 7 Fits Coaches.


Here is a more detailed stage-based decision template as we see it:



Who Should You Choose; a Business Startup Consultant or a Startup Consulting Firm?


Potential benefits of a startup consulting firm:


  • Expertise and experience: Consultant firms bring deep knowledge of various business areas like marketing, finance, or operations, helping you avoid common pitfalls and make informed decisions.

  • Network and connections: Many firms have valuable connections to investors, potential partners, or industry experts, accelerating your growth.

  • Structured approach and methodology: Consulting firms often use their frameworks and processes to guide your business development, ensuring a systematic approach.

Potential drawbacks of a startup consulting firm:


  • Cost: Hiring a consulting firm can be expensive, and early-stage startups might have limited resources.

  • Generic solutions: The "one-size-fits-all" approach employed by some firms might not cater to your specific needs and industry.

  • Lack of entrepreneurial experience: Not all consultants in a startup consulting firm have firsthand experience building startups, potentially limiting their understanding of your unique challenges.

  • Focus on short-term goals: Consulting engagements often have defined timelines, potentially neglecting your long-term vision and strategy.


Besides, the decision should also weigh in factors like budget constraints, desired level of personalization, and required service breadth. Remember, regardless of the chosen partner, embracing a framework like the 7 Fits Framework can significantly enhance your chances of achieving product-market fit and unlocking the full potential of your venture.



7 Fits Framework Towards Product-Market Fit

How Different is a Business Startup Consultant from Business Advisors?


Now that we have talked about the difference between a business startup consultant and startup management consulting firms, we may start focussing on the difference between business startup consultants and business advisors. While both offer invaluable support, their approaches and areas of expertise can differ significantly.


The Wisdom of Networking: Business Advisors


Business Advisors often embody the role of mentors and strategic thinkers. They draw upon their wealth of experience and diverse business knowledge to provide:


  • Broad Strategic Guidance: Their focus lies on crafting long-term vision and direction, helping entrepreneurs navigate complex industry landscapes and formulate sustainable growth strategies.


  • Holistic Insights: Their expertise spans a wide range, encompassing areas like financial planning, risk management, and organizational development, offering a comprehensive perspective on your venture's overall health.


  • Connections and Networks: Leveraging their established networks, Business Advisors can open doors to valuable partnerships, funding opportunities, and industry connections, accelerating your path to success.

  • Repositioning: Business Advisors do not usually come to play in the venture building phase but at the later stages. For instance, when an established company experiences issues with profitability and tries to reposition their services amidst competition, they look for outsider business advisory.


The Hands-On Approach: Business Startup Consultants



The Hands-On Approach: Business Startup Consultants

Business Startup Consultants, on the other hand, delve deeper into the nuts and bolts of building a business from the ground up. Their specialization often lies in:


  • Tactical Execution: They assist with immediate challenges and concrete tasks, guiding you through market analysis, developing funding strategies, and optimizing operational efficiencies.


  • Domain Expertise: Many consultants possess specific industry knowledge, offering targeted advice tailored to your unique market and its specificities.


  • Personalized Support: Their approach is often hands-on and collaborative, working closely with you to implement strategies and overcome obstacles as they arise.


Who Should You Choose; a Business Startup Consultant or a Business Advisor?


The decision between a Business Advisor and a Business Startup Consultant ultimately hinges on your specific needs and stage of development.


  • Early-stage ventures grappling with fundamental challenges and tactical execution might benefit from the hands-on approach of a Business Startup Consultant.


  • More established businesses seeking broader strategic guidance, mentorship, and industry connections might find greater value in partnering with a Business Advisor.


How Different is a Business Consultant Startup from a Startup Mentor?


While both play supportive roles in a startup's journey, their focus and methods differ.


The Wisdom of Professional and Entrepreneurial Experience:

Startup Mentors


Startup Mentors embody the spirit of guidance and inspiration, drawing upon their wealth of industry experience to provide:


  • Invaluable Insights: Based on their personal journeys and successes, mentors offer candid advice and strategic direction, helping entrepreneurs navigate complex challenges and avoid common pitfalls.


  • Network Access: Leveraging their established connections, mentors can open doors to valuable industry players, potential investors, and key resources, accelerating your venture's growth.


  • Emotional Support: The entrepreneurial journey can be fraught with highs and lows. Mentors often serve as trusted sounding boards and confidantes, offering encouragement and support during critical moments.


While a startup mentor's support is important, it is not usually an ongoing support. Mentors usually offer free advice to several startups on a one-off basis hence they are not able to walk hand-in-hand with a specific startup.


Business Consultant Startups: Walking Side by Side


While mentors offer essential guidance and support, Business Consultant Startups provide a structured and hands-on approach tailored to your specific needs. 


Founded by experienced entrepreneurs themselves, these firms establish a collaborative partnership with your startup, focusing on achieving tangible results within agreed-upon timelines. While not directly accountable for your business outcomes, they work alongside you to develop and execute strategies that maximize your chances of success.


Who Should You Choose; a Business Consultant Startup or a Startup Mentor?


Startup mentors offer their one-time advice for free while business consultant startup relationship is a commercial relationship. So a startup might benefit from the support of both parties.


How can Startup Advisory Help an Early-Stage Startup?


Startup Advisory services can be a lifeline for early-stage startups by offering expert guidance on critical decisions, strategies, and practices. But how exactly can an advisor empower a fledgling enterprise?


Tailored Expertise at Your Fingertips:


Unlike generic consulting solutions, Startup Advisory offers personalized guidance tailored to your venture's unique needs and challenges. Think of it as having a seasoned entrepreneur by your side, offering:


  • Strategic Clarity: Advisors help you refine your business model, ensuring it aligns with market realities and long-term objectives. They challenge assumptions, identify blind spots, and guide you towards strategies that truly differentiate your offering.


  • Target Market Precision: Deciphering the market landscape can be overwhelming. Advisors leverage their experience to pinpoint your ideal customer base, understand their needs and preferences, and help you tailor your product or service for maximum impact.


  • Marketing Savvy: Reaching your target audience effectively requires a well-crafted marketing strategy. Advisors can help you navigate the complexities of marketing channels, develop compelling messaging, build a solid marketing funnel and optimize your online presence to attract and engage potential customers.


  • Funding Navigation: Securing funding is often a critical hurdle for early-stage startups. Advisors, with their industry connections and fundraising expertise, can guide you through the process, helping you craft a compelling pitch and connect with the right investors.


Making the Best Choice for Your Journey:


With a diverse range of Startup Advisory services available, picking the right fit is crucial. Consider factors like:


  • Industry Expertise: Seek an advisor with demonstrable experience in your specific industry, offering targeted insights and connections.


  • Stage-Specific Focus: Ensure the advisor specializes in supporting early-stage startups, understanding your unique challenges and limitations.



 

Trying to understand your startup's maturity level

in terms of Product-Market Fit Stages?

Find out which questions you need to ask yourself!


 

  • Methodology and Approach: Align the advisor's approach with your needs, whether you prioritize strategic guidance, marketing expertise, or fundraising support.


  • Personality and Compatibility: Ultimately, choose an advisor who you feel comfortable collaborating with, fostering trust and open communication.


What is the Business Model of Startup Advisors?


Startup Advisors often receive equity in exchange for their expertise and guidance, aligning their incentives with the long-term success of the startup. This doesn't necessarily imply advisors work for free or solely altruistically.


Here's why:

  • Equity shares represent potential future value, not immediate income. Advisors invest their time and knowledge, anticipating a return if the startup succeeds.

  • While many advisors prioritize the startup's success, financial gain can still be a motivating factor. Their expertise is valuable, and equity ensures fair compensation.

  • Advisors play a diverse role within the startup ecosystem, with varying motivations and approaches. Some prioritize personal gain, while others are driven by mentorship and impact.


In summary, startup to startup advisor relationship is a win-win scenario in the sense that;

  • Startups gain valuable experience, connections, and strategic guidance from advisors.

  • Advisors build their portfolio, gain exposure to new ventures, and potentially see significant financial rewards if the startup succeeds.



What is the Business Model of Startup Advisors?


How Different is a Startup Consultant from a Startup Advisor?


The distinction between a Startup Consultant and a Startup Advisor often lies in the scope of their engagement and the nature of their contributions. Startup Consultants typically provide more detailed, project-based services with a focus on solving specific problems or achieving specific goals. Startup Advisors, conversely, offer ongoing guidance and mentorship, focusing on broader strategic advice and support over a longer period.


Project-Specific Expertise: The Role of Startup Consultants


Startup Consultants typically function as specialist problem-solvers, tackling specific challenges and delivering tangible outcomes within defined projects. Think of them as expert surgeons performing targeted interventions:


  • Deep Dives: Consultants excel at diagnosing specific roadblocks, conducting in-depth analyses, and crafting tailored solutions for issues like marketing strategy, operational efficiency, or financial modeling.


  • Deliverables-Driven: Their value lies in achieving defined goals within a set timeframe, providing reports, actionable plans, and concrete deliverables that directly address your immediate needs.


  • Targeted Expertise: Many consultants specialize in specific areas, offering profound knowledge in domains like fundraising, market research, or technology implementation.


Ongoing Mentorship: The Value of Startup Advisors


While consultants excel in targeted interventions, Startup Advisors offer a more holistic and long-term perspective. They serve as seasoned guides, providing ongoing mentorship and strategic support:


  • Big-Picture Thinking: Advisors help you navigate the broader landscape, offering strategic guidance on business model refinement, target market identification, and long-term growth strategies.


  • Sounding Board and Support: They act as trusted confidantes, offering mentorship, advice, and support through the inevitable ups and downs of the entrepreneurial journey.


  • Network Access: Leveraging their established connections, advisors can open doors to valuable industry networks, potential investors, and key resources.


Depending on the stage of the startup, both startup advisors and business startup consultants are important in the future of a new venture. So if you are a founder of an early-stage startup, you should consider working with both a business consultant startup and a startup advisor at the different stages of your startup.



Network Access of a Startup Advisor


Can a Startup Consultant Really Help If I Want to be Successful in Starting a Business?


Yes, a Startup Consultant can significantly increase your chances of success in starting a business. Their expertise, insights, and strategic guidance can help you make informed decisions, avoid common pitfalls, and efficiently navigate the startup journey. By leveraging their experience and specialized knowledge, you can accelerate your startup's development, achieve product-market fit more quickly, and set a solid foundation for sustainable growth.


A Startup Consultant is not a magic bullet, but a valuable ally in your entrepreneurial journey. With careful selection and collaboration, a startup consultant or in other words a startup coach can be the key to unlocking your venture's true potential and propelling you towards entrepreneurial success.



7 FITS STARTUP COACHING: ROADMAP

 

Average Startup Company Success Rate is less than 5%

Find out how our business startup consulting practices

 can get your startup out of the 95% majority



 


Conclusion: Your Trusted Business Startup Consultant - 7 Fits Coaches


Throughout this article, we've explored the invaluable role Business Startup Consultants play in navigating the often-challenging journey of building a successful business. We've compared them to other support systems like Startup Management Consulting Firms, Business Advisors, and Startup Mentors, highlighting their unique strengths and how they can best benefit entrepreneurs at different stages.


But What Truly Sets 7 Fits Coaches apart as your Ideal Business Startup Consultant? 


We go beyond mere guidance and advice. Our 7 Fits Framework forms the core of our approach, providing a structured and data-driven methodology to optimize your startup's development and maximize your chances of achieving product-market fit.

Here's what makes the 7 Fits difference:



  • Actionable Insights: We don't just tell you what to do; we help you do it. We work collaboratively with you to develop concrete action plans, track progress, and measure results.


  • Focus on Sustainability: We're not just interested in short-term wins. We equip you with the tools and knowledge to build a sustainable business that can thrive in the long run.


  • Data-Driven Decisions: We don't base our recommendations on guesswork. We leverage experimental data and analytics to provide insights that inform smart, strategic choices.


  • Your Trusted Partner: We're more than just consultants; we're your trusted partners on your entrepreneurial journey. We offer ongoing support, encouragement, and accountability to keep you motivated and moving forward.


Ready to unlock the full potential of your business idea? Contact us at 7 Fits Coaches today and schedule your free consultation. We'll help you assess your current stage, identify key areas for improvement, and develop a customized strategy for achieving sustainable success. You don't have to go it alone. With the right partner by your side, you can transform your vision into a thriving reality.


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Minimum Viable Product Examples from Renowned Startups

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Examples of Minimum Viable Products from Renowned Startups

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