How often have you heard the term, ‘global startup?’ You may be wondering, like millions of others around the world, just how a business that is ready to go global can be considered a ‘startup’ unless, of course, they reach out to a global market from the very onset of their entrepreneurial endeavour. However, this is rarely the case. So then, how can a startup be both a startup and a global startup all at the very same time? Here are some points you may be missing.
What Defines a Startup?
Although it would be an extreme exaggeration, you could almost say there are as many definitions for the word ‘startup’ as there are startups. When you hear the word ‘start’ being referenced, you typically think of something new, a company that has just recently formed, right? Well, to some extent that is true of all successful global startups. The first vague definition of a startup has to do with the age of the company. Those just getting off the ground without a long history can be construed as a startup. But, what about those companies that have a solid track record of success that also publish press releases that they are going global? They are marketed as a global startup even though they have been in business for a number of years.
Innovations and Locations
Here we come to the next definition of a global startup. A company can be construed as a startup every time they launch a new product line that takes them in a new direction, especially if there is some sort of restructuring taking place at the same time. Companies that do well in their homeland and later branch out to other international markets are also defined as being a global startup, as are companies that launch new innovations for markets around the world. Some companies narrow down their niche in order to provide products more suitable to each market area. Each of these are global startups even though they may have been in business for two or more decades at home. It’s the global line that is starting out and that’s why they are marketed as startups. Semantics? Maybe, but in reality that is just what is happening.
Where Does that Leave a Fledgling Entrepreneur?
So now if all startups are not startups in the traditional sense of the word, where does that leave the fledgling entrepreneur who simply wants to take his or her brand global from the very onset? With the realisation that it takes time, money and expertise to launch a brand in a global market, experts suggest that you limit your launch to a few markets in the beginning. Choose those that are similar enough to share marketing strategies but broad enough geographically to capture a bigger market share. To most people, this is a true global startup but to financial gurus it’s just one of many definitions for the word.
There is nothing wrong with going global from the very beginning, just realise there are challenges you must meet face to face. Language and cultural barriers may impact your brand’s success much more than the products you are offering. Going global takes a global mindset. Are you ready to think outside the box? If so, you are ready to take on the world. That’s a global startup!