I am excited to be writing my first post on this platform. I have had this thought in my head for some time now but have just been lazy to put it down… However, just yesterday, while at my office, I stumbled on a CD titled “How to Start a Startup”, suddenly the light in my head went off, then I decided to write this post. Really? is there a difference between starting a startup and starting a business?
First, what is a Start-up? Investopedia suggests that “ A startup is a company that is in the first stage of its operations. These companies are often initially bankrolled by their entrepreneurial founders as they attempt to capitalize on developing a product or service for which they believe there is a demand.” Similarly, Wikipedia says “ A startup company is an entrepreneurial venture which is typically a newly emerged, fast-growing business that aims to meet a marketplace need by developing a viable business model around innovative products, service, process or a platform.”
Please note the portions in bold texts. A startup is a COMPANY in its early stage that is developing a PRODUCT or SERVICE in which there is a DEMAND for! Wikipedia says it is a BUSINESS that aims to meet a marketplace NEED! Building a startup is no joke. It is serious business. You are solving real life problems. It is not all about “Disruptions” and other techy words, it is hustling!
Other examples of Startups
This definition or description of a startup sounds like every other business being started by anybody. So, my father is looking to deploy his pension and gratuity to starting a poultry farm in his village, to supply both eggs and chicken to the local community and other major distributors from Lagos. This sounds to me like a startup!
My cousin is currently working as a sales girl in a local departmental store, she came to me to seek for funds to start her own neighborhood grocery store (While she is still working at the departmental store). This sounds like she is working on her own startup while in paid employment.
Have this in mind
Building a startup is about identifying a real life problem, finding a solution to that problem, offering the solution to your target market, iterating your solution based on market demand, maintaining an efficient operating structure, expanding market share, expanding to other cities, layering on additional complementary services, identifying your competitive advantage, building a MOAT around your business and ensuring sustainability etc. Guys, this is a TOUGH task.
Trust me guys, being a “startup entrepreneur” is not for the faint-hearted! It is not all about having an office space at Yaba or being profiled by Techcabal, Techpoint or even Techcrunch. It is a lot of strategy and implementation.