What Does It Mean To Be a Startup?

A startup is a company that is still in its initial stage of business. Typically, a startup will be a newly set up company, business or venture; literally one which has just been ‘started’ up. startups will need to attract investment to get off the ground, but are normally founded by one or more internal or external entrepreneurs who choose to invest because they believe the company offers a product or service that is valuable and in demand in a specific market.

A startup can be any type of business, from a childcare business like a nursery, so a SaaS product or something else. Startups may in time also develop and become a scale-up, marking a milestone in their development and business progression.

Starting a company can be a difficult endeavour; longevity and success can never be certain. startups usually don’t generate profits or even revenue for a few years after being founded, so patience and perseverance are critical ingredients to anyone working to start a company.  

What Do Startups Do?

The life of a startup company in the UK generally follows this outline: it must begin with a great idea, and then be complete with plenty of market research to prove that this idea is feasible and desirable in a certain market. After this, comes the business plan and obtaining funding as well as any required licences, permits and paperwork. 

On a level, startups work like any other company, but as opposed to other businesses that may simply try and improve and duplicate what has been done before, a startup needs to be more unique. 

They will generally need to be a company or venture that brings a product or service to the table that founders want to bring to the market, but do it in a way that rewrites what is done in its sector to ensure it can be successful. 

How Can Startups Succeed?

Besides a great idea, to get a startup off the ground there are a number of different factors these companies will need to consider: 

  • Why is the idea good and why now? – Have a think about why people haven’t had this idea before, why is now the time to introduce it?
  • Is there passion? – Establishing and starting a startup is difficult and will not succeed if everyone in the team is not totally passionate and committed to making it work. Every employee must be willing to put in the time, this may mean incredibly long work days, so if the team isn’t devoted the company will struggle
  • Is there a market for it? – It is typically more profitable for the idea to fit into a big market. Though there is value in succeeding in a niche market, too small a market may actually prevent a company from being large enough to survive
  • Expertise of the founders – The founders of a startup must know everything about the space in which the company operates, and the market the company is aiming to enter

Advantages and Disadvantages of Working In Startups

Working in a startup has many unique benefits. First off, as startups typically have fewer employees, those who work there will likely need to take on a real variety of responsibilities and roles. This can be an exciting prospect and give those who work there the unique opportunity to learn skills across the board. 

Due to being new on the block, working in a startup may also mean that new innovative ideas are welcomed with open arms. The company will want to grow and push itself, so it is likely that it will run with any good new ideas that employees bring to the table.

startups may also have better workplace benefits as, with a smaller group, it is likely there will be a stronger communal experience and increased employee interaction. 

On the other hand, working in a startup can be a risky business. With a new company comes the risk of it failing. Often, startups need to raise some capital before they can turn a profit, and if they don’t, not only will investors be dissatisfied, but there is a risk of the company failing altogether and losing money in the long run. 

This can be a stressful environment to work in, and may lead to long hours and tough competition to keep the company afloat.