Startup vs. Small Business: Which One Are You?

Startups and small businesses are born of the same lineage, but they differ in as many ways as they are similar. Depending on who you ask, you will hear that the 2 are either synonymous, or completely unique; nevertheless, there is a reason for different titles. So which type of business do you have—and what does it mean for you? Here we take a look at the key characteristics of the two types to find out what defines you as a startup, or a small business.

Startup vs. Small Business: Primary Motivations

It is generally held that a startup sets out with an ambitious idea and intends to “break in” to the business world by inventing or reinventing a market for itself. A small business, on the other hand, generally intends to find its own place in a niche or large, existing market, such as those staples of the economy: Restaurants, electricians, flower shops, etc. One is breaking new ground, while the other usually builds on what’s already there, like a prospector discovering a developing town in the Old West. But startups don’t get to have all the fun; small businesses still have the opportunity to redefine the industry standard through innovation and by creating an outstanding, original company.

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