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How start-ups differ from local small businesses.

Do you want to conquer the world with a product or service?
Do you want to supply the best product or service in your home town or local region, instead?

When putting your business together, these questions should be decided early.

Start-ups have “conquer the world” type missions. They must seek international markets for sustainability. Their growth strategy shall be to scale. If your business has been expanding by at least  7% every week adding more users or revenue, then that’s a good sign you can scale the way start-ups must do. If the start-up has 100 trial users already, you should see 7 new ones ( considering those who drop off ) 7 days after you start counting … and on and on.

There are legendary examples of start-ups that went from 900 to 900,000 sign-ups within a year. Such growth is not possible for small business type firms because typically, the market size for a small business category is tiny, compared to the world dominion goal that will need 100s of new employees the start-up can use as it takes off.

Local small businesses do not have conquer the world goals. Instead, local small businesses exist to provide a convenient product or service when there are thousands of other companies doing the same things somewhere else, but not right across the street.

More Differences:

It can cost more money to start a local small business than it does to start  a start-up because of a need for renting physical space (bricks and mortar). A dry cleaners needs a sales counter, an automotive repair company needs service bays, a pizza shop needs space to fire-up an oven.

Most startups open as a web site costing $10 a month. Google started as an Internet based search engine. YouTube and Facebook used Free Open Source software and white box cheap server computers to run prototypes and launch.

There are exceptions that require medical scientific labs or manufacturing spaces, but most startups don’t get into expensive leasehold arrangements until much later in their lifespan.

( c) Stanford University