5 Things to know before joining a Startup

The opportunity to join a startup is easily a challenging as well an attractive choice, and it is something people consider at some point of their career either earlier or later.

Working for a startup comes with a multitude of advantages; they are seen as a great way to boost and broaden one’s skillset, to gain a wider understanding of business mechanism and can lead to large financial gain.
Startups typically have the agility as well as the ability to adapt at an unprecedented rate. Their dynamic nature means they can quickly respond to market demand, which in turn can lead to rapid growth within a relatively short space of time.

In short, they can be a very exciting and pioneering place to work.
But it is not very easy to describe how exactly a Startup workplace should be. Each company has a different working environment, culture, mindset, owing to the people who have founded it and its early employees.

If you haven’t worked at a Startup before, then this list will certainly help you to consider when joining a Startup:-

#1. Who are the founders and Investors of the Startup, what expertise do they possess?

The most important question before diving into the startup world is knowing its stakeholders. Do some research as to who the founders and main stakeholders are.

The second most vital part before joining a Startup is the financials.

  • Is the company funded by venture capitalists?
  • Is it privately owned?
  • Or is it built on private equity?
  • How long does the business have this investment for?

Having a leadership team with relevant experience will ensure that the startup has the best chance of success. If they have prior industry expertise, they will bring along their invaluable market knowledge, experience, insights and a long list of networks, which they will be able to utilise and tap into. Having strong foundations and this kind of direction can make or break a young startup business.

#2. Why do you want to join a Startup?

The most common answer can be – “Well, they are paying more than the corporate job.”
Or “I love working in a high-intensity environment.”
But the most important thing is what you want to do with your career will define the answer.

#3. Are you comfortable with unpredictable working hours?

If you are someone who wants to maintain a strict work life balance, then maybe working in a startup company is not meant for you.

On some days, you’ll enter office post-lunch and leave after the evening snack. On other days, it would be a 9 to 9 grilling session, with work carrying over for the weekend.

There are good days, then there are bad. It’s how working for a Startup is going to be, a roller coaster ride. And for most parts, you’re also going to love it.

#4. Does the product or service being sold have potential?

The biggest cause of failure amongst Startups is an insignificant product. If the service or product isn’t solving a client or consumer problem – or if it copy an existing product or service too closely – the risk of failure is tenfold.

Many Startups fail due to lack of market needs, poor product and ignoring customers, too much competition, lack of Industry knowledge etc. It is due to poor thought-out business model. If you are considering about joining their business then make sure you quiz them about their target audience at the interview stage.

You should try to find out whether the company has what it takes to survive the next 6-12 months, because if they don’t and you have even the slightest doubt, you need to start asking for assurances.

5. What is your role in the Startup? Are you flexible to work multiple roles?

If you are thinking of joining a Startup, probably giving up a corporate job or something else, then you need to know what your role will be in the Startup. Will you be a regular 9 to 5 employee who comes, does his job, and leaves? Or is your role going to be pivotal to the success of the company, or one of its products?

When you know the exact roles and responsibilities its impact on the future of the company, you will be motivated to work harder.

Another thing Startups do is delegating various roles to a single employee. Startup companies do not like to hire many people on board and they ensure that the people they do hire are multi-tasters as well as smart individuals. So, don’t be surprised if you have to lend a hand with marketing, or maybe business development, or maybe even updating the company’s social media pages once in a while. So be prepared for the fact that you might have to prove your abilities by working on an assignment or the project.

The Way Forward

Working at a startup can be an exciting and uniquely challenging career experience. While life at an up-and-coming venture may seem endlessly exhilarating, it doesn’t come without its share of risk. If you’re drawn to the world of entrepreneurship but are not sure that you want to blaze your own path as a business owner, then joining the ranks of a startup might be the right move for you.

“Startups represent giant experiments,” writes Bussgang in the Harvard Business Review.
“Every initiative is new. One hypothesis after another is being tested. Titles, functional boundaries, roles, and responsibilities are often fluid. The team works as one, inventing, creating, moving toward shifting goals—all while working without a playbook.”

Always remember one thing, “Ten years from now, make sure you can say that you Chose your Life, you didn’t Settle for it.”