While it might seem a little backwards to work for someone else when you have a bright idea that you want to jump on, there are a number of ways it can benefit you and your future business.
By spending some time working in somebody else’s start-up venture first, you can expose yourself to many of the ups and downs that come with entrepreneurship without it affecting your own business.
Let’s look at some of the ways this can be an effective first step in creating your own start-up!
- You will learn the ins and outs of building something from the ground up.
It might seem the most obvious, but this is one valuable component of working at a start-up that isn’t your own. You will be front row as you assist in building a business, all the while seeing what works and what doesn’t. Such an opportunity allows you to see and learn from mistakes and assess what you would or would not do in your own venture.
- You will see innovative solutions.
Entrepreneurs have a different way of thinking and seeing problems. While you will be exposed to all sorts of issues that come with a fresh company, it will also give you the opportunity to learn from those around you. Watching how others approach problems with creative solutions can only help you grow and see further outside the box in the future.
- You will get used to change.
If there’s one thing that you can be sure about working in a start-up, it’s that things won’t stay the same for very long! You will get very used to things changing in the blink of an eye. Everything from your job title, desk location and current projects; there is no rest for the wicked! While it can take some getting used to, you will learn to embrace the chaos and know that things will always pop up unexpectedly. The sooner you get used to this, the sooner you will be able to keep up!
- You will gain more skills than you expected.
As pointed out above, you will rarely maintain the exact role that you were hired for in a start-up. As a business grows, you will find your role expanding to encompass things you might not have expected. Yet, if you embrace the many hats thrown at you, you will expand your skills and learn about other sectors of the business that you may not have been exposed to elsewhere. This experience will be highly valuable once you come to start your own business, so embrace it!
- You will learn to be frugal.
If there is one thing that every start-up aims for, it’s being able to do more with less. It’s this fact that often finds the business developer learning website coding or the marketing director doing dishes every second day. You will learn how to make the most of social media in your marketing campaign and how collaborations with other business can benefit you both financially. Keep your eyes and your mind open to all of the possibilities – frugality is important in every a start-up!
- You will be given more responsibility.
When you work at a start-up, the chances are you will be working with a small team (often in the single digits). No founder will be hiring just for the sake of it, if you have found employment with them, it’s because they need your specific skill set. This means that no one else has what you have to offer in the company. It also means that all of the responsibility for your area of specialty lies directly with you. It gives you the opportunity to take something and run with it. You won’t find yourself so heavily involved and integral to the business at a larger company.
You will also learn, from this, the importance of an efficient team. As, with such a tight-knit group, when one person drops off, it can heavily affect the rest of the business.
- You will gain access to industry veterans.
Once a business starts to take off, you might find that the company brings in industry experts to help them take it to the next level. While some might find it scary or feel threatened, it’s important to embrace such an opportunity! These are often people with extensive knowledge after years of working in the industry; professionals with qualifications, impressive track records and network connections. If you were working in a larger corporation, such people are likely to be completely inaccessible – they’d be locked away in an office somewhere! Yet, in a start-up they might just become your mentor.
- You’ll learn your strengths and weaknesses.
Possibly the most important factor is that you will learn what you excel at and what you find a huge struggle. You will often hear successful business owners say ‘hire to your weaknesses’. Working for a start-up will give you the opportunity to suss out exactly what your weaknesses are, so that, when the time comes to start your own business, you know what areas to hire for first.