The first question I pose to all startup founders is about their exit strategy. The majority of them tell me about their IT app or medical device startup getting acquired for umpteen bazillion dollars by funders who drop from the heavens with open checkbooks. After all, that’s the type of sexy startup news which makes the Twitter feeds, WSJ and TechCrunch. “That” scenario means “startup” to them.
That’s an A to Z startup strategy that leaves out steps B to Y. Sound like your strategy? Take a page out of the “non-sexy” startup playbook, please.
Startups involve work, hard work. There’s a lot of unsexy, non-glamorous poop involved. Are you too focused on your exit, and not focused enough on doing the work that moves you towards your exit? Why exit?
Not all startups are IT apps or med / biopharma ventures. Some startups are food carts, restaurants, engineering and manufacturing services. These startups are not sexy; however they are keys to economic development. These types of startups are nascent small businesses. Their founders are dedicated and conscientious. They are committed creating a sustainable legacy organization.
What’s not to like? These are startups all of us can relate to, buy into, and become customers of. Count me in.
These types of startups aren’t focused on their exit. They don’t expect any funder will ever descend from the heavens to scoop them up for millions of dollars. Their IPO is their ability to feed their families, and their employees’ families, and remain competitive in the local, regional and global marketplaces.
These types of startups are what my country, and your country, are built upon. These types of startups are the key to the future of global economic development.
Are you involved in this type of startup? Kudos to you.
Not all startups are sensational and sexy. Many have humble beginnings. They are founded on no less passion and faith and commitment than your IT or med device startup. These startups are practical, realistic and feasible nascent small businesses. Perhaps you can take a page out of their playbook.
These startup founders are not legends in their own minds. They haven’t bought into how their press is going to appear in social media. Chances are there will be no press about them. Just jobs, revenue, profit and economic impact.
Those are the statistics we need to focus on: creating a sustainable economic impact on the environment. It’s not all about exit strategies. It’s about creating an enduring legacy.
These types of startups are the ancient marketplace translated into the digital millennium. Do you have one of these types of nascent small businesses? I have plans for you.
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers, LLC, catalyzes revenue-producing business transition, startup growth and professional development, one millimeter at a time. She works with manufacturing and engineering firms and small business entrepreneurships. Download her newest White Paper at her Free Resources Page.