March 22 / 2021
Discover what a start-up is and learn how to create one from scratch. Learn about the most recent success stories in Spain.
The term “start-up” has been used more and more frequently in recent years to describe young, innovative companies. But what is a start-up really?
Start-ups are the lifeblood of the economy worldwide. They create jobs, new products, dreams and new paradigms in the markets. At Cloudworks, we believe that entrepreneurs are heroes who should be celebrated and, more importantly, backed by a community that supports them in their growth.
Throughout this article we will tell you everything you need to know; from the characteristics of this type of companies, to their advantages and disadvantages.
The definition of start-up most commonly used in business schools is that of Steve Blank, an entrepreneur and professor at Stanford, Berkeley and Imperial College. The definition is as follows: a start-up is “an organization designed to pursue a business model that is repeatable and scalable“.
In other words, start-up means an innovative company that focuses on finding an attractive and disruptive business model, and then focuses on executing it successfully. They usually use new technologies to develop their model and meet the needs of their customers.
This idea is reinforced by the definition offered by Neil Blumenthal, co-CEO of Warby Parker, who says that “a start-up is a company working to solve a problem where the solution is not obvious and success is not guaranteed”.
The translation of start-up literally means ‘start up’, but in business it could be translated as “emerging company”. So, we could say that the meaning of start-up, in relation to both translated terms, lies in launching a business idea from which a new company is born.
Regardless of the differences in the environments in which a start-up develops, there are always characteristics that are present in this type of companies. The 10 most common are listed below.
– They have a more dynamic, fun and energetic work policy. This allows them to face challenges with creativity and maintain a more fertile work environment.
– They work with integrity to convey confidence not only to their clients, but also to team members.
– They choose to develop innovative and disruptive business models, which sometimes satisfy a new need in the market.
– Their main objective is to grow rapidly and consolidate their business model.
– They manage productivity costs that are usually lower than those of already consolidated companies.
– They have the support of business angels or investors who provide the capital to start their operations.
– They use the internet as their main marketing tool and usually work or develop in digital environments.
– They take criticism very seriously and appreciate feedback. That’s why they place so much importance on the customer service department.
– They work to build communities loyal to their offer.
– They use a horizontal organization chart, made up of highly qualified workers, to facilitate communication and action taking.
Like everything in the business world, start-ups also present pros and cons in different areas. If you plan to start a new business with the characteristics mentioned above, you will want to know the advantages and disadvantages of a start-up.
–Agility: start-ups are agile because they are less structured. This allows them to transform their business models, processes and portfolio to meet new challenges. This enables them to better adapt to disruptive technologies and changing market conditions.
–Efficiency: start-ups offer their services in a more efficient, cost-effective and competitive manner. They are likely to be aware of their limitations and tend to focus on their strengths. This causes them to partner with other small organizations. Customers often benefit from a superior value proposition.
–Teamwork culture: start-up employees usually form a close-knit community that shares passion, beliefs and values.
–Personalization: start-ups deliver their products and services with a personal touch. This creates a unique experience for your customers. This allows them to build lasting relationships with targeted offers and responsive solutions.
–Growth opportunities: most start-ups support learning and have a higher tolerance for mistakes. Both factors enhance the versatility of new hires and allow them to grow within the organization.
–Flexibility: start-ups are very flexible and more likely to work at the time, place and in the way that suits them best.
–Risk: most start-ups fail within their first year of operations, so the risk of failure is high. This hinders the ability to attract experienced and competent personnel.
–Compensation: rewards can be low as it takes time to generate revenue and make a profit.
Unfamiliarity: many clients prefer a business they know rather than a new start-up. In addition, it is more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain old ones.
–Resources: most start-ups operate on a shoestring budget, compared to well-resourced competitors. It gives competitors an edge in product development, sales and marketing.
–Stress: working for a start-up is fun, but it can also be very stressful. Factors such as low compensation, many responsibilities and long working hours can negatively affect the members of such a company.
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and believe that you can take advantage of the above advantages and overcome the disadvantages, then it is time to start your business. Below we will show you the most important points to know how to create a successful start-up.
1. Look for new solutions: a successful start-up is characterized by providing a product or service that solves a problem more efficiently. Take Uber for example, its founders were frustrated every time they needed a taxi in San Francisco and couldn’t get one, and now they generate more than $15 million in revenue a year.
2. Create a scalable product or service: it is not a good idea to create a solution to a problem that cannot evolve. Your start-up idea must be scalable to allow you to venture into other sectors.
3. Lean on technology and a good team: the world is increasingly digital and the solutions that apply this trend to everyday problems will rule the new economy. If you know nothing about technology, create alliances with other start-ups or consolidated companies that do know; or form teams with professionals who can help you.
4. Set realistic goals: just because your idea is disruptive and innovative does not mean it should have unrealistic goals. Think about the real behaviour of the market you will enter in order to establish objectives that you can meet and allow you to grow. For this step, you will benefit from the help of start-up incubators that help entrepreneurs in the creation phase.
5. Get financial support: currently there are many crowdfunding platforms and figures such as business angels that can help you find capital for your business.
At the beginning of this article, we talked about start-ups as the lifeblood of the global economy. In Spain they have no doubt about it, for that reason investment in start-ups is growing every year; in 2019 alone, 1,218 million euros were invested, demonstrating that entrepreneurs in this country have what it takes to stand out.
Here are some examples of successful Spanish start-ups.
This Spanish start-up that was born in 2011 is already present in more than 36 cities in the country, and also in other latitudes such as Portugal or Latin America. Its business model provides an alternative to traditional taxi services and platforms such as Uber.
It is a Spanish start-up that is giving much to talk about due to its innovative proposal. With them you can receive the best haute cuisine dishes at home. It operates online through its website and offers an excellent user experience.
Another gastronomic start-up that is very trendy right now in Spain. They facilitate the purchase and delivery of food in the main cities of the country, and have already earned more than 30 million euros.As you have seen, creating a start-up is possible. At Cloudworks we make it easy for you: you only need your ideas; we take care of the space. Discover all our coworking space services and make your dream come true.