5 Reasons Your Startup Will Remain A Start-up Forever

Posted on January 11, 2020Comments Off on 5 Reasons Your Startup Will Remain A Start-up Forever

The word startup has a romantic ring to it. At a seminar, on a date with your crush or while making excuses for failing to reach out to an old coursemate, mentioning that you’re working on your startup has the power to fetch you points. Bonus points if you throw in the word “investors”.

Beyond the façade of the expression, when the word has been de-feathered to the flesh of reality, a startup is not such an attractive haven. It’s a world of uncertainties, struggles, and sighs. With time, when efforts fail to translate to credit, the word startup loses its attraction. This is bleak and only a fortunate few go on to enjoy the fruit of their labors. Mostly, with startups the steam runs with full force at the beginning then gasoline runs short and the startup folds up.

If you own a startup that has failed to graduate into the next big thing, you’re right to ask why your business isn’t growing. Here are five reasons your startup isn’t moving out of the unpredictable waters of startups.

1) Your startup is not actually a startup.

This is where most of the problem comes in: what many refer to as startups are not startups at all. Your pig farm is not a startup. Your “barbing” salon is not a startup. Your weave-on shop is not a startup. The Small Business Association defines a startup as a term “associated with a business that is typically technology-oriented and has high growth potential.”

Technology-oriented. Virtually all startups are online because the kind of growth and reach a startup demands are the kind that can be best served via the internet. Does this exclude your barber’s shop? Ay, your barber’s shop is a barber’s shop. Except you can give hundreds of people across the cities in Nigeria haircuts at the same time while relaxing in your living room. An app that would link clients to barbers is a startup.

While your pig farm is not a startup, however,  if you can create an app and connect pork buyers with farmers then you’re headed the startup way. A startup has a boundless market that is open for business 24/7, which does not require physical presence to transact.

2. Your startup is just an idea.

Sometimes people mention a startup but when asked about it they say it’s a secret that will shock the world soon. Indeed, it’s shocking already that they are referring to an idea as a startup. An idea is not a startup. It’s called a startup for the reasons that it’s on the motion – started.

It might be one reason why your startup hasn’t grown. Ideas don’t grow. Startup businesses grow.

3. You’re trying to do it alone.

No. One man riots don’t go with startups. Your startup, in order to grow into a giant company, into something that will shock the world, you need funding. Most times, the kind of fund you do not have and no uncle will lend you.

Most startups are the craftsmanship of venture funds. Many people do not try to get investment because they believe no one will buy their startup ideas. But, the fact is simple. If you can’t convince an investor to put their money in your business, you’ll find it harder growing your business into something thousands can use every day.

4. Your startup is already dead.

The British author Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel “Treasure Island” is a masterpiece about a voyage to a dangerous non-inhabited island in search of treasure. One of the rallying cries of the pirates in the story is “dead men don’t bite”. Dead men do not bite, nor do dead businesses grow.

Is my startup alive? This is a question every business should ask itself at intervals which many do not bother asking. The dread of confronting this question keeps many ashore in a boat of “what you don’t know won’t kill you”. It will kill your business, it might have already killed your business.

The merits of constant diagnosis are never understated. Sometimes yours isn’t entirely dead but the efforts of resuscitation might cost you twice what it would take to begin a new, more lucrative business. There is no shame in a failed business. The pity is on flogging a dead horse.

So before you curse your business for stagnancy, check its pulse. For all your hustling, you may be carrying a dead child.

5. You’re impatient.

A fair possibility with people who expect to shock the world. They look at Facebook or Instagram and just can’t wait to hit one billion users. It does not happen overnight. Take a look at the time it took these startups to hit 50 million users:

PayPal, 5 years; YouTube, 4 years; Facebook, 3 years; Twitter, 2 years. It took the internet itself five years to break this barrier.

So, if your app linking kids with chocolate doesn’t go viral in a few months or even a few years, it doesn’t mean it is dead. It is alive, teething. No two businesses have the same timeline. Your kind might be one that stays in the soil for years then grows into a giant tree within weeks.

Ask the right questions about your startup. Water it. Seek investments. Then watch it.