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10 Things To Know Before Working in Start-Ups (2024)

The start-up culture is booming and many young people aspire to find employment opportunities at start-ups, well, here are few things to know before working in start-ups.

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Start-ups!! It’s a place where dreams come true. Start-ups begin with a bunch of motivated young professionals with big visionaries and a small start. Aspiring to have their own business is what brings these entrepreneurs into the field even if there are financial risks.


There is a saying that ” Entrepreneurs are born, not made”. Entrepreneurs come into the field of business or marketing with their instincts and a natural tendency for creating something which has not been done before.


Let’s start with a simple definition of start-ups 

Start-ups are small businesses that begin with budding entrepreneurs with a unique product or service that brings newness into the market.

The idea of a start-up is normally brought into the picture by these two categories of people.


  1. Students

Here students refer to the just-passed out buds with their graduation either in management or engineering with lots of ambitions and inventive yearnings. This category of people is normally passionate in the beginning and slowly their interests decline as they run out of funds or get a well-paid job. They are not risk-takers, they always keep a backup and jump into the easier task. This might be due to a lack of experience and professionalism. 


However, take it as advice or a tip- before hopping into starting your own business, have some experience, work in different companies, learn their strategies, how they process. Modify and implement these tactics into your idea and make a note of your plans and work accordingly. 


  2. Experienced

Experienced falls into the category of professionals who are generally bored with the monotonous 9-5 job or they might have an access to a huge fund and are searching for a better place to invest so that they get good returns. This group of people has industrial knowledge and enough skills to manage the new business. But holding on to it and stress management are components.


Considerations to be made before you make your hands dirty 

 Make sure you are prepared with all the credentials and necessities before starting up a new business.


  • Entrepreneurship and education 

Is education a must to become an entrepreneur? 

The answer is no. And yes, education gives you a special coating to carry out yourself in workplaces but it does not fall into the must category. There are hundreds of successful businessmen who are college dropouts with very less or no educational qualifications and are yet ruling their world. Dhirubhai Ambani, known as India’s most successful businessman who owns the “Reliance world” was extremely intelligent but didn’t do well at school and was a college dropout. Your idea and how you present it is all that matters. 


  • Supplement courses 

It’s good to have some knowledge about what you want to do with your new business idea. Taking up small courses before getting any further and knowing some basics is the right way to start with.


  • Early business plans

Map it up. Write down every step. Plans everything earlier. Always keep your thoughts listed in points or make a flowchart. Try to reach your daily targets. Make a rough protocol and make sure you follow it strictly. Staying organized and sticking to your schedule is a good practice in doing business. 


  • Networking 

Having contacts and support groups is as important as your work. Try to get networks with as many people as you can under your domain. Make sure of the loyalty and the services they offer. Sources of knowledge not only come from books or having an educational background. You can get learn things even by interacting with the experienced. 


  • Investment 

There are many ways to find investors for your new business. Choose them wisely.

  1. Apply for business loans 
  2. Ask for help from your friends and family
  3. Go for virtuous private investors
  4. Try for donation-based or debt-based crowdfunding investors 


  • Strong and trustworthy team

Select honest and reliable members for your troop. Categorize the work and assign every member to take up a particular job according to their qualification and ability. Always make sure to hire a skilled person and bring in keen interns.


  • Always have a backup

Bankruptcy is the major problem in most startups. Always make sure you have a backup and enough amount to pay your employees. Start-ups are mostly dependent on the fund so play safely and intelligently.


  • Keep in touch with professionals

Though we are the inventors of our dream job, a push from the experienced or a Guru is required. It gives us the willpower to move forward fearlessly and to make our hands dirty. Taking up advice from all the sources gives you more information. Because no knowledge is wasted.


Working in start-ups raises you with a lot of questions like how does it work? Do we get a good experience? Is it more flexible than a corporate company? Do we get a decent salary? and so on. In this article, you can find solutions to all your queries and know all the pros and cons and have a choice between working in start-ups or having a fancy tech job. 


It could be working in a start-up or a corporate company, everything has for and against points of judgment and perspectives. On average there are two kinds of job seekers, one needs good experience and the other goes by the name and maximum earnings. So when it comes to working in start-ups, it is a place for learning from the beginning. It is generally known as a “place to have fun and learn”. Start-ups set a perfect environment to commence your career as a trainee. Whereas working in corporate companies makes you stick on to a task for several years.


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Here are a few things to go through before you choose to work in start-ups or end up taking a job in a large company.


  1. A Platform for New Ideas 

Yes!! Working in start-ups is a great place for new ideas. As the foundation has just put up, it gives you an opportunity in pitching trendy thoughts, better suggestions, a platform for new proposals. Normally in start-ups, every single person gets their chance of opinions.


On a general note, start-ups are initiated with brilliant minds with a fresh start and enthusiasm. on the other note, fancy tech companies work according to the existing protocols and are more concentrated on maintaining their stability and reaching higher turnovers. These largely established companies give more repetitive jobs to large groups of employees. Wider the establishment, more is the work for maintenance. This turns out to be a tedious job. Hence, most of the employees are hired for similar jobs.


  2. Different Environment

Start-ups begin with freshers who come with brand new minds and an urge for modish innovations and with hopeful dreams. It builds such an environment that the whole team knows what they are up to regardless of their post like it could be interns, assistants or associates, managers, even the founder himself. It’s always the team’s work with almost equal efforts.


The working space in the start-ups is more likely to be flexible in comparison to that of a large established company. In a corporate company, the tasks are assigned to the respective post and the manager is the only person who knows the entire project and these tasks are often the same for a longer period.


When it comes to flexibility, it’s not just about the working hours, it also includes a friendly environment where the employees are encouraged with extra-curricular activities. Sometimes they even offer unlimited work from home benefits, a casual atmosphere and sometimes they even put up gyms after working hours to encourage the workers. Wearing casuals are also entertaining rather than stuffing yourself into formals for long hours. 


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  3. Always be equipped for the changes

Try to be comfortable with constant changes. Working in start-ups comes with a lot of changes. Sudden plans, different protocols, taking up lots of projects, and new tenders at a time are very common. High tech companies are well organized in how they process and always stick to a particular system. The employees here get to do repetitive jobs which makes them have constant behaviors in their workplace and is best suited for those who love to have a steady and anti-risk life with a fixed routine. 


Unlikely employees opting to choose for working in start-ups are generally prone to get frustrated with these constant changes and can even lead to quitting the job as working in start-ups is more than a 9 to 5 job. The change could be anything from the project table, desk assignments or it can be your desk spot itself. Everything keeps changing and you might feel hindered.


When start-ups start with a small space, it gives you all kinds of benefits like often catered lunch parties, happy hours, a lot of refreshment periods, but as it gets larger, the seriousness grows and the unnecessary expenditures will gradually be cut down. These are some of the irritable times. But acknowledging the situation and moving on towards bringing your business to the next level is more important. 


4. Put yourself together and stand in the front row. 

Proactive is key to recognition and success in any field of business. Take up all possible tasks under your domain and sometimes above it. Start-ups get launched with mini teams, so every member of the group impacts the functioning of the business. Try to do anything and everything possible.


Don’t push yourself too much but do what you can and what you know. Start-ups are the place to learn and get the maximum experience and even satisfaction in what you do. Expertise yourself in all the fields. Learn to code, do the marketing, implement the new technologies available in the market into your product or service which you provide. Try to make things more interesting and simple. Make sure you complete the assigned task before you meet the deadline. 


5. Know that you are a part of all ups and downs

Be ready to be responsible. Know everything about what you are doing and be answerable to any questions that might arise on your table. Keep patient till you find the right path to kick start your journey. Patience and presence of mind are the cornerstones for any successful business. 


A successful business is impossible without the taste of failure. Stay !! Stay to get rid of the barriers. Study the mistakes very closely, modify them, and reprocess your work. Never lose hope. Try till you succeed. Stick on to your visions. Research and gather as much information as possible. Be the first to know all changes and new trends in the field of business and if possible, set up a new trend yourself.


6. A balance between work and life

Understand the thin line between your work life and your personal life. Working in start-ups is not an easy task, it requires a lot of dedication and all those over-time efforts to reach your goal. Balancing between these two places is very important to maintain your standards.


As I have mentioned before about the benefits of flexible hours of work and the advantages like work from home sometimes do not last for a longer time. Things get harder when the actual work starts or when your team members are less and each one of you has to take up a large piece of work and finish it within the deadlines. So make sure you are ready for these sudden changes that could happen at any moment. 


Always try to take things on a positive side. Getting aggravated is very common when you are working in start-ups. But think about success. For example, Infosys also started its journey as a start-up with just 7 engineers and very low initial funding, now it has become Indian’s second-largest IT company and 596tn largest company in the world based on revenue. You will never know what might happen with the start-up you are working in. But try to be a part of its victory or at least try to explore all the skills before you take up other offers because start-ups are the only place for learning when you are working.


7. Performance matters

Finally, company and even individual performance are all that matters. It applies to both start-ups and large tech companies. But in comparison, start-ups need more hard work, there is a higher risk of shutting down the company within no time due to issues in funding and chances of employees giving up their tasks due to heavy working load.


 As we know start-up begins with lesser funding and a small team, it is your responsibility as an intern or even the financial analyst or a technical person to know as much as you can about all the works and graphs of your company performance.


8. Salary and experience 

The pay you get in the well-established company and the start-ups have a huge difference. Start-ups with smaller funding may not afford to pay you well for your extra hours. These low pay companies somehow manage to cover up these problems by providing other perks, like free lunch and a tiny token of achievement for better performers.


Working in start-ups gives you a unique experience. Trendy innovations and creativity are put together and provide a favorable work environment. Start-ups generally hire employees mostly based on their skills. It helps to groom up your skills and provides all the knowledge in every domain of your business. 


Working in start-ups teaches you more. You learn more than you expect. Working in a right and ambitious start-up can bring you more opportunities and exposure to how things work in building a business from the basics. It teaches you how to trust your inner instincts. Sometimes taking risks is a good thing. Place your ideas and move forward. Always have a belief in your gut feeling, sometimes it works more efficiently.


9. Benefits  

There are many reasons to choose for working in start-ups over getting a job in a well-versed company. It is not always about the salary, it is also about improving the artistry of your knowledge. Big companies teach you discipline, processing, and scaling up the business globally. These can be experienced in later stages of your career but knowing the base of the foundation is equally important.


Endure the basics and then step on to bigger tasks. Apart from all these, start-ups help you to build a resume with loads of expertise in different fields which makes you a sustainable worker and an aptness to take up ownership. Your career growth is always exponential, either you fall or reach heights in a very short span. You get an opportunity to build professionalism in your way and an identity comprising your attitude and you become a versatile player with the ability to take up multiple tasks.


Start-ups also bring a great deal to our economy. As the number of start-up companies is built, the employment rate increases, and thus our economy boosts. Developing countries like ours need more number of start-ups and employment opportunities. Growing startups with inventions lead to healthy competition among young minds. 


10. Marketing 

Any business, it can be a small start-up or large fancy company, everything must reach your clients or the customers when it comes to doing a business. Publicity, logistics or even renting your services, everything demands large-scale financial support. Having rights marketing tactics help you to attain your goal. Start-ups need to grow faster to overcome all the riddles and reach stability.


Choose the right and suitable marketing method for your business type and make sure you reach larger crowds. Make use of traditional marketing along with digital marketing. Doing this can outstretch your business from local to international audiences. Make things interesting for your fundraisers and make them understand the motto of your brand or business. 


Keep in mind to always have your local surroundings as your targeted customers when you have just begun your business. 


Start with basic marketing methods. Give off pamphlets, print brochures, put up advertisements on newspapers, radio, television. A “word-of-mouth” or a referral talk is also a great marketing strategy to popularise your business among the local people.


Make sure you provide all the necessary information regarding the product or services you are providing. Establishing a business with trust is a crucial part of making your business successful. So reach out to your customers and understand their needs and give an emotional touch to your marketing.


Digital marketing is another important aspect to grow your brand or business vastly and to get more clients. Any business providing great products or services is nothing if it is not reaching the people. 


There are different types of digital marketing techniques which includes

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Social Media Advertisement 
  • Email Marketing 
  • Content Marketing 
  • Pay-per-click Advertisement 
  • SEO Marketing 
  • Affiliate Marketing 


These are the new generation techniques to reach out to your customers in a more efficient way. Learning all these techniques makes your business easier and helps to get success with faster rates.


Learning these tactics is an effortless job as we are accessible to online courses that teach you tricks and methods to approach your clients. It is always suggested to have a marketing background and strategies in hand before starting up any business. 


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Pursuing your dream is ultimately left to your choice whether it’s a startup or getting a job in your dream company. But choose to have things which are best suited for you. Working in star-tups teaches you to survive sustainably and you get to experience all the pain and joy and a chance to understand the real world in a very short amount of time. It helps to stand still even after a failure. It helps you to be an inventor. It provides a space to showcase your creativity. Start-ups are the best platform to get recognized only by your performance. Finally, you have to be responsible for your work and be prepared to take up any risk. 


Nevertheless, you can also get good experience by taking up jobs in big companies as time passes and when you are put on a fast track. The job seekers who look for better insurance and well pay can opt for it.


“Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”

                                   – Drew Houston, Dropbox Co-founder

A Biotechnology Engineer and a Certified Content Writer form IIM SKILLS. Reading fictional, non-fictional, motivational novels is my leisurely hobby and love to stream online movies and series. I am also passionate about writing and have a special interest in health, fitness and wellness.

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