Working for a startup may not be as cool as it seems. Before you make the move check out what you are dealing with. These are 4 things you should ask.
Working for a startup sounds like an exciting opportunity. A newly established business founded by a group of young people has enormous potential for success in the market because of the flexibility, innovation and creativity its creators can bring to the very core of the company culture. But, it is important to remember that startups have a 90 percent chance of failure which means that you should think twice before joining one.
Most startups fail to generate any profits within the first five years of their foundation and in the long run close down because they can’t balance out operation costs. According to CB Insights, this might happen because of poor market research, no financing, team disharmony, lack of focus and a working business model.
As a jobseeker who is hoping to get a job at a startup, it’s impossible to know all of this information by just researching the company. The following questions, however, should help you get a useful insight into what it’s going on and help you make better decisions.
1. Who Are the Founders?
You may think that getting to know the founders is a waste of time, but that’s not the case. In fact, it’s important that you learn more about them as soon as possible and before you make up your mind. Get to know what the background/history of the founders is and find out how these people met in the first place. This should tell you what brought them together, what their common purpose is and how committed they are to making it happen. Many startups fail because founders can’t agree on important issues and learning more about who they founders are can tell you a lot.
2. What is the History of the Original Idea?
Much of startup success relies on the viability of the idea. This means that if the idea on which the business was built wasn’t thoroughly developed, there is a huge chance it will fail. Just like you would want to get some background information on the founders, it’s also a good idea to find out what other opinions were heard and have been assessed before it became what it is now. Doing so ensures that the people responsible for this initiative have considered the alternatives and decided to move on with the best idea available. This one can withstand the weather and is more likely to help achieve business sustainability.
3. How Much Cash is There and How Long Will it Last?
The truth is that you can never know exactly when the cash will run out, but since most startups are venture-backed it isn’t too difficult to find out how much money was raised. For this type of startup, it is information you can easily obtain through press releases, etc. But, bootstrap and self-funded startups can be harder to get information on.
To help you out directly ask the founders what are their capital raising intentions and plans for development. Are they working with investors? Their answer should help you decide if they have a clear sense of direction money-wise and if they have prepared for the worst case scenario.
4. What Will the Startup Do For You?
Ultimately asking yourself what the startup can do for you will help you weigh up your options and find out what good might come of it regarding your own career development. Joining a startup is a big risk and will probably require that you wear multiple hats at work and taking on additional responsibilities. If you aren’t sure that you can keep up with this, perhaps working for a startup isn’t your thing.
See Also: The Best Predictor of Startup Success
Ask startup founders these questions to find out how the company is going to address potential threats and how they will sustain the business. It should help you get an idea of what you have to deal with once you become a member of the team and whether this is going to be beneficial for your career in the long run.
Are you considering working for a startup? Why do you think that will be a good plan? Let me know in the comments section below…