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What to look for before joining a startup

Date posted:  10/28/16 10:15:00 AM Team meeting

It's the age of startups.

All of the popular internet and technology companies today were once fledgling startup companies. We've all heard the stories of co-founders thinking of an idea, cultivating it in a basement or garage, and turning it into a successful business model.

These days, working for a startup has become a coveted opportunity for many in the workforce. No matter if your background is in software engineering or marketing, startups have positions for a variety of professional skills.

Startups typically have a few preliminary goals to grow their businesses quickly. One could be to connect with as many investors as possible to develop a sizable market presence and then open to the public. In other cases, some organizations want to attract the attention of technology mainstays in an effort to be bought out and cash in.

Whatever the instance, you may find yourself drawn to the startup industry because of its culture and drive to create new and innovative products.

However, for every Apple, Facebook or Snapchat, hundreds of startups fail. Because of the possibility of turnover, you need to ensure you know what you're getting into.

Failure is common
According to Fortune, nine out of every 10 startups fail. The biggest reason was because there was a lack of demand in the market for the products.

The rapid evolution of mobile application stores has allowed companies to create services that can seem revolutionary, but are ultimately ignored by users.

Research as much as you can about a startup you may be interested in working for, even if you only plan on staying there for a short amount of time. Since failure is so common, you don't want your work to go to waste or to unexpectedly find yourself without a job.

What's the funding situation?
Startups need money, and savings accounts or credit cards can only go so far. According to TechCrunch, there should ideally be enough money to keep operations running for at least one year.

Anything less and they are already considered to be failing.

Do you believe what they're selling?
Startups often carry a cultural atmosphere that presumes the product or service is life changing and will have a global impact. In some cases, this is true. Even so, do you personally agree with the philosophy of the company and its leaders? You also have to look at the upper management and ask yourself if you believe in their vision for the company and if you believe in the value of the product or service.

Working for a startup can be a fun and informative experience, but you must also weigh the risks.