What are Startups and how do they work?

Entrepreneurship is defined as the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which is often initially a small business. The people who create these businesses are called entrepreneurs.

A Startup is a new business/company initiated by individual founders or entrepreneurs looking to develop a repeatable and scalable business model. This business usually aims to develop a viable business model to meet a marketplace need or problem.

Startups begin with a single founder or co-founders that believe to have a way to solve a problem. They have to figure out what they intend to develop, to whom the product or service will benefit, why is it needed and how are they going to do it. Defining the initial strategy and key milestones for the next few years as well as how are they going to develop and implement the product and scale is a very important step.

The initial idea must be one that creates value.

It’s also important that the founding team have balanced skills that tackle all critical areas on the business. For example, an IT Startup, like Switch Caseideally starts with one or two technical oriented founders and one that handles clients, marketing, social networking and the overall awareness around the business.


In this stage, the startup starts developing its MVP (minimum viable product). This first version of the product will be used to get valuable client feedback, understanding needs, what needs to be changed, what the client likes and doesn’t like.

Keeping the IT startups example, when these startups don’t have capital investments from the start, they usually look for clients and build solutions based on their needs, usually websites, web or mobile applications. The profit made should go into developing the initial idea. This idea should be the main focus and the “face” of the company.

As the project goes on, it’s important to keep an eye on the KPIs (Key Performance Indicator). These KPIs evaluate the success of your business.

But what is exactly the KPIs based on?

These three questions will help you define your KPIs and understand your needs.

1 – What is the main purpose of your specific job? Explain how it aligns with your company mission.

2 – What are the 3 most important ​quantifiable​ things you should keep track of in your day-to-day work? For each of these provide a ​quantifiable​ goal within a specified timeframe. (These are your KPIs)

3 – How are your KPIs aligned with your goals? Describe how your KPIs are actionable and attainable.

These aspects are very helpful when scaling a business because they help the founders understanding users, customers, revenues and the market.

After the business is well-established it should be easier to attract financial and human resources.

Although it might seem easy to build a successful startup or business, the truth is, most startups fail. Getting Mentoring and Forming Partnerships may increase growth, efficiency and the overall success rate.

Switch Case focuses on helping startups and small businesses grow their online presence creating websites, apps, and social media strategy. Forming partnerships could dictate the growth and outcome of a business.

A Startup can also look for early training. There are institutions and universities that provide training, usually, the requirement is that one of the Startup members is a current or former member of the institution/university. This training involves helping the Startup understanding the market, the laws involved, entrepreneurship courses and the aspects of the business.

There are also Incubators. An incubator is a company that helps new and startup companies to grow by providing services such as management training or office space.

If the Startup gets enough attention, it might even attract investors. These investors evaluate the business, measure the risk and the potential Return On Investment (ROI).


Now let’s talk about Unicorns!

No, not the mythical creatures…

Unicorn is the status of a startup that is valued at over $1 Billion. In 2013 Aileen Lee came up with the term Unicorn to represent the statistical rarity of such successful ventures. The country with more Unicorns (in March 2018) is China(131) followed by the United States(76). In Portugal alone are 3 Unicorns, Farfetch, OutSystemsand Talkdesk.



There is a lot more to it, but for now…

Are you involved in a Startup? What are your favorite Startups?

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