A startup is like an egg, you have to manage and groom it consciously and carefully to ensure that it doesn’t fall. If it falls, you may be unable to pick up the pieces.
At this stage, it is very fragile and requires 100% attention from the entrepreneur. Nevertheless, if you survive this difficult phase and become stable, it is not yet uhuru. It doesn’t mean your business is no longer a startup. This is one mistake many entrepreneurs make.
They erroneously conclude that they have passed the startup stage and are ready to be tagged a blue chip company. Meanwhile, some entrepreneurs prefer the tag startup because it gives access to funding. Whichever divide you belong, no one will question your decision. However, before you make such a choice whether you are still a startup or not, here are five signs to look out for to aid your decision.
1. You survive the risk stageEvery potential entrepreneur knows that starting a business is a risk. When you enmeshed all your efforts in running your business and it can’t still survive, it is advisable your stay as a startup. Risk factors like borrowing money from the bank, able to provide stable electricity, pay your taxes among other risks. If you struggle to do this at the startup stage, you should just remain a startup and vice versa.
2. You have more than 30 employeesEmployees are the heartbeat of any business. If your workforce doubles or triples after several years of coming on board, it means you are gradually exiting or exited the startup stage. But to be sure, you should have at least 30 employees on your payroll.
3. You can pay your employees and yourselfPaying your workers as at when due is an important metric to decide if you are no longer a startup. If you can conveniently pay your employees including yourself, you are slowly leaving the startup stage.
4. Your brand can survive without youAt the startup stage, you have to go after clients to market your business. In addition, your business can run itself with little or no input from you. So, if your brand can sell itself and attract attention and turnover, you are no longer a startup. It may be time to expand but make it gradual.
5. You are acquiring other startupsIf you are able to acquire another startup and run it successfully, it is an obvious sign that you are not a startup. But, it is important to do a thorough audit of the startup before buying it over so that it won’t negatively affect your own business.
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