WHAT IS A START-UP?
A start-up is a company in its preliminary stages of growth with these entrepreneurial ventures usually built by one to three founders who specialize on capitalizing on a projected market demand by developing a sustainable product, service, or platform. Start-ups mostly focus on improving existing products or creating completely unique sectors of goods and services, disrupting conventional modes of thinking and doing business across multiple sectors.
During the initial stages of development, start-ups are most often bootstrapped by members of the founding team; however, some entrepreneurs gain financing from an investor or take out a loan to financially bankroll their business.
Start-ups suffer significant vulnerability and risk at the inception, yet a small percentage of them go on to be profitable and prominent. Founders should indeed raise capital, design a company model and plan, recruit key employees, straighten out technicalities such as stock holdings for partners and investors, and prepare for the long term.
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY A START-UP?
Being a start-up is a crucial stage in the business life cycle and not a continuous stage for any company. It is applicable to every sector and is therefore not limited to the tech industry. Having trouble identifying start-ups? Here are some of their standouts.
- A relatively new company that is still in its initial stages of branding, marketing, and recruiting and trying to build something valuable.
- Lack of defined boundaries and a sole objective to disrupt, reform, or improve the traditional perspective of the industry in which they operate.
- Still in the process of seeking product/market fit, aiming to determine its target customers, products and services they purchase, at what price ranges, and how frequently they execute these transactions.
- Attempting to fill a gap in the industry structure and designing and implementing a concept with the goal of becoming a viable business model.
- Team members are led by passion, creativity, actions, and work collaboratively to accomplish a shared objective.
These are only a few of the many characteristics of a start-up company. As previously said, this is not a lifelong stage, and some start-ups have morphed into large businesses and corporations.
PROS OF WORKING IN A START-UP
Now that you fully understand what a start-up company is and how to identify them, let us move on to the pros of working in a start-up.
- Several start-up companies allow their employees to function within flexible hours, and some even permit employees to work remotely or hybrid if they like, providing you more time for other commitments outside of work.
- Opportunities to add value to and be part in the company’s growth, evolution, and success, which will provide you satisfaction with your own capabilities.
- Access to varieties of benefits to keep the employees happy and productive as well as ensure job satisfaction is at its maximum. Some of the benefits provided could be casual environments to work in, free food and drinks at work, leisure rooms and sometimes, employee equity as the company thrives.
- Freedom to make decisions and be creative within professional roles as well as the capacity to contribute to the start-up’s growth.
- The process of learning directly from the founders since you will undoubtedly work closely with them, and since there are few employees, more responsibilities beyond your skill set will be assigned to you, encouraging you to learn and develop.
These are some of the bonuses or perks of working with a start-up, and as employees, we can all agree that having a stimulating workspace is critical to innovation and creativity.
CONS OF WORKING IN A START-UP
Just like you already know everything in life goes both ways and if you are going to make your decision on whether to work for a start-up or not, you ought to know everything important. Here are some of the disadvantages of working in a start-up.
- Obligations to work longer hours, especially in the early days of the start-up, because these new companies must swiftly leverage on metrics to experience early growth. Work-life balance is hard to attain, and long hours at the workplace may be draining.
- Lesser pay than what the employees are genuinely worth until the start-up experiences considerable profitability and revenue growth.
- Susceptible to job threats like technical developments and new and improved technologies which has the potential to drive mostly start-ups out of business so lack of job security for the employees.
- Heavy workload for covering tasks both within and outside your skill sets all at the same time which will in turn make the job a lot more taxing.
- Lack of an established structure or very constant change in the hierarchy of a company hereby causing a lot of uncertainties and delays.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what a start-up is, how to identify one, and the pros and cons of working for one, it is up to you to decide whether you want to work for one. Just make sure to ask the appropriate questions during the interviews to ascertain whether you can handle the situation.