If you’re thinking of joining a Start-up instead of an established firm, then we don’t blame you. Everyone these days finds Start-ups trendy, path breaking and glamorous. And we don’t blame them either. They were right. Start-ups were the most happening and successfully advertised business model before the “dot com” bubble collapsed. Start-ups are now infamous due to a higher rate of failure, in some business line as high as 90 percent. So while the rewards, which a Start-up might offer to you, might sound tempting. Still some grounded research is necessary to understand and weigh the risks involved against those benefits.
Business Concept & Model
It is only sensible to understand the Business Idea of the Start-up and judge it against chances of success and failure, before you bet your career on it. Consider the services or products the business is planning to market from the perspective of a buyer or a consumer. Do you consider it to be good enough or competitive? What are the differentiators? Know the competition and understand the market where the Start-up will operate to weigh in the risks and advantages.
It is only prudent to find out who the management/owners are and their backgrounds. It will only boost your confidence if you discover they’ve launched or handled similar projects before.
Any new business takes time, before it starts generating revenues and longer yet to become profitable. So it is important to know how well Start-up is being funded. Ideally a venture should be financially backed to last 6 months to a year even with unsteady Revenue.
Age & Stage
It is important to consider how far the Start-up Concept has materialized into execution. It’s safer to consider a Start-up that’s backed by a Venture Capitalist Firm, as those hawks never bet on a loser.
Typically, Start-ups do not adhere to the stricter norms of the corporate culture. That doesn’t means it’s an easy life environment. You can expect to play multiple roles, work long hours and expected to take initiative and think way beyond even the box. The demands and commitments at a Start-up business are expected to be monumental. But so will be the rewards, if you can pull it off.
Needless to say, a successful stint at a Start-up will be a unique and highly rewarding for your career. The knowledge and skills that one acquires overcoming obstacles, developing business strategies, creating professional bonds and networks is an unmatched journey.
Expect to be paid less or even less regularly at times with no long term health or insurance benefits being offered.
Needless to point out, that even after carefully considering all risks and benefits, the most promising Start-up you choose, can still fail. Also, the Start-up you predicted to be a dud, may turn out to be the next Google or Facebook. So apart from calculations, remember to factor your instincts in your career decisions.