The business world abounds with different amazing ideas just waiting to explode into light.
Due to this reason, the number of startups continues to increase every year and with them comes the need for engagements with well-established corporations in order for them to gain experience and see their business grow.
Corporate startup engagements have a huge benefit for corporation too and this could turn out to be a long fruitful partnership between the two innovation entities.
However, engagements can also turn out to be a bit messy.
Many problems associated with startups can make the engagement which was likely to yield fruit to become a disaster.
Due to this reason, there is some trait in startups which may clearly signify to the corporation that forming an engagement with this startup may be a very bad idea.
The following are some of these problems or traits;
1. LACK OF MARKETING
Corporations should avoid startups who feel they can rise to the top without effective marketing.
This type of startups strongly believes that because their idea or product is quite unique, all they have to do is develop their brand or products and wait for the customer to come which they believe will surely come.
Hence they feel advertising and promotion of their work is a big waste of time or quite unnecessary.
This is one thing the corporation must avoid.
This may be counteracted by starting an engagement with a startup that already has a strong customer base.
Doing so will ensure that the corporation’s engagement with the startups does not end up in vain.
Corporations should avoid startups which do not like to have necessary feedback on their product.
In fact, these type of startups does not like others to see their products in other to review it and give them feedback.
The need for feedback is essential because that is the only way you have a chance of building improving the quality of your products.
This type of startups would not be the ideal partner for an engagement. In this world where “the customer is king”.
Not allowing for feedback from your customer can make your business decline over time no matter how amazing your idea is.
Corporations should notice the signs and try to avoid startups who have this nasty trait.
3. LITTLE OR NO MOTIVATION
A business or corporation strives on many motivations.
They are interested in seeing their business go and how the market changes over time.
They have long-term goals which they believe would lead to the further growth of their corporation.
For a corporate startup engagement to work, this is the same motivation which the startups must have.
When the startups have little or no in the market trends of his business or his only motivation is about making money. This might just end badly.
Corporations, therefore, should go for startups who are passionate about their work and have deeply entrenched value to assist people in the aspect which they are focused on.
This will help to ensure that they are committed to seeing growth in their business and in the market.
4. LACK OF STRONG SET OF SKILLS
There is a difference between giving your people their different duties in an organization and having the necessary skills in all aspects of your business to make sure startups keep heading in the right direction.
When there is a lack of skills on the part of the startups, this will affect the way they build up their organization.
Such lack of skills would show in the tech area for example.
This is yet another red flag for corporations to identify earlier on before any engagement takes place.
It would be fruitless to start a partnership with startups which do not even know how to make sure their organization yields the growth which is expected of it.
Therefore when considering the type of startups to go for, the corporation should be specific about the startups that have the necessary technical expertise to at least moving forward if left on their own.
This will ensure that the engagement process is successful.
5. UNNECESSARY SPENDING
When running an organization and corporation, keeping track of the amount of money spent is essential.
This is due to the fact that money can be compared to be the oil in a machine which ensures the machine performs smoothly and efficiently.
This is what makes choosing what you spend on and making it is important to the growth of your business very crucial.
Therefore, startups who do not really keep a record of how much money they spend signifies that they do not really have the ability to handle money efficiently.
They could spend money on things which are not necessary.
This kind of startups must sometimes, will not be successful unless they correct this red flag before it does its damage.
Corporations, therefore, should have this in mind when looking for a startup to form engagements with.
The growth and value of your business as a corporation depends on how well you can handle your finances.
Therefore, forming an engagement with startups who do not understand this fundamental principle can only lead to a cartload of disaster and chaos.
6. LEADERSHIP PROBLEMS
Behind every strong corporate body, there is an excellent leader or a group of leaders who keep the corporation afloat.
These leaders maintain an excellent team which is focused on the goals set before them.
This usually does the corporations a lot of good.
Therefore, startups which are plagued with the problems of poor leadership should be avoided.
What good leadership brings to the table include such things as stability and consistency.
Having poor leadership skills leads to instability and lack of consistency.
Therefore, a corporation should analyze the leadership of any startup and assess whether they possess the necessary grit to survive in a business world which is very brutal and ruthless.
If they do not have, it will best that the corporation avoids forming any sort of engagement with them in order to avoid precious time to be wasted.
About the Author: Simon Hitchens is a startup enthusiast, columnist, researcher and educator living in Chicago, IL. He dreams of someday living somewhere warm and writing a novel -- in ink.
About Gearbox: Gearbox.AI provides the leading corporate-startup engagement solutions designed to help innovation leaders, corporate development professionals, and strategic partnership executives master the art and science identifying and aligning with what's next.
Through a unique combination of a membership community, AI-driven software, and cutting-edge expertise, Gearbox is focused helping corporations keep pace in an ever-changing digital world and providing startups with new avenues for growth.
The result for modern innovators is unprecedented agility, risk management, and superior results. Headquartered in St. Louis, MO with offices in Denver, Chicago, and Los Angeles, Gearbox serves as a pivotal partner to large corporations and a champion to innovative startups.
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