Things You Need to Know About Joining a Startup
In recent years, there has been a major boom in the rate of startups being founded all over the world. Investors who are interested in startups try to accelerate the growth of these companies by organizing competitions that provide seed funding or grants to the winning startup idea and many entrepreneurs have taken advantage of such opportunities. Also, this is the 21st century and many have adopted an entrepreneurial mindset and are therefore becoming independent and starting up their own businesses. Hence, the large number of startups.
A startup is a new company, organization, or business venture designed for rapid growth. With the present technology takeover of our present world, a good percentage of startups are tech-focused, although they all try to carve a niche for themselves and focus on a certain area, for instance, tech-education, tech-finance, or even tech-food. Startup ideas generally have discovered a huge gap and expect to fill it as quickly and as possible. They include companies selling apps that help users shop and make online payments easily to those that sell specially designed online courses that help students prepare for exams. Most startups begin as small businesses run between 2 or 3 people to a sizable team and a major company.
For every startup, it is important and a major goal to leave the beginning phase and expand. With visible growth and an increase in their client base, they become interested in hiring more hands to handle and match the pace at which the company is growing. Are you thinking of joining a startup either as an employee, an investor, or a partner? Either way, it is always necessary to know all you can about the company you are about to begin or continue your career journey with, whether it is a legendary, established organization with many branches or a startup that is still trying to get off the ground. What then are the important things to bear in mind before joining a startup?
Factors to Consider Before Joining a Startup
Find below some of the factors you need to consider before joining a startup. With these, you can be guided in making an informed decision.
- Company Culture: The number of staff in a startup is smaller when compared to a full-blown organization. This invariably means that you have to work in close quarters with everyone in the company. Find out the company culture before you join. Are relationships in the workplace close-knit? How is the company run? Is there a hierarchy? Is formality expected all the time? You can ask these questions during an interview or onboarding session as a prospective employee. You need to know about the lifestyle of the company, the value, the story, and the motivation behind the brand – this is what usually influences company culture. Keep an open mind as you review the company culture because every organization has its way of doing things and what it wants to achieve and it usually differs from the next. However, make sure that the company values and entire environment appeals to you. Working in an environment that does not align with your values can be stressful. If you are Ok with a startup’s company culture, then you are assured that you will feel relaxed and comfortable working there.
- Your Finances: The most common questions people ask about working with startups include, “Does a startup pay well?” “What is the salary range of startups?” Honestly, the word “startup” says a lot about a company’s financial situation. If you choose to work with them, then it affects yours too. Wait a minute. Are we trying to say that startups cannot afford to pay their employees? Definitely not! However, the truth is that startups are still trying to get off the ground and may not be able to pay a competitive salary when drawn up against companies that have gained ground. Also, some startup founders might still be funding their companies from their own personal pockets while biding the time when the company will be strong and steady to generate its revenue. In this case, they will not be able to offer much without endangering the health of their startup. Therefore, it is important for you to review your finances. You have to ask yourself if what you are being offered will be enough to take care of your bills and other financial issues. If you decide to sacrifice and accept an average or slightly less than average salary, make sure that the company’s goals towards growth are feasible. Is the client base growing? Are there plans of bringing in investors or getting revenue from other sources? Strike a deal that makes sure your interest as an employee is protected. This could mean a pay raise as the months go by or increased perks and bonuses. Just know that the company’s finances are tied to yours. If they do not have enough funding, then they may not be able to pay you well or on time.
- Work-Life Balance: With few employees and the pressing need to get the company up and running, the workload in a startup could be much. Before you join a startup, find out the work style. Is it flexible? Will it give you time to attend to other aspects of your life? Is the schedule so tight that it can impinge on your career or other life goals? How many hours are you expected to work and during what days of the week? These are definitely important things to know before not after joining a startup.
- Your Passion: Passion is a great motivator. While you might need a job to pay your bills, jumping into a career with a startup you know nothing about can be challenging. You should have enough interest to learn about the business or at least to keep you motivated enough to give back value to the company. Passion aligns your interest with the goals of the company, making everyday work-life interesting for you. If you have passion for the job, then you will be able to give it your best shot, make a mark in the industry, and tackle any challenges that come up. Simply loving your job can make a big difference and make your career more rewarding. On the other hand, you could find yourself feeling stuck in let’s say, a tech career if you do not like anything about tech and are not ready to learn.
Joining a startup can be very fast-paced and comes with its challenges. But come on, what job does not? Go through the pros and cons prior to joining. Be sure of the decisions you are making. If you join, it is a great opportunity to grow and make a change as that is what a lot of startups aim to do.