10 differences between Startups and Small business

With the emergence and rapid growth of businesses, It’s not surprising that the term “startup” has quickly merged into the common vernacular of the business community. So much so that individuals use it frequently when describing small businesses.

But these two terms differ significantly from one another in terms of both revenue and intended growth.

All business owners must recognise their differences early to set their business objectives clearly.

In this blog, we shall check the differences between startups and small businesses.

Table of contents

Need Startup Accountant

Work with a London-based accountant for tax, accounting, payroll, & EIS/ SEIS needs.

Have a question? Call us on
0203 900 3500
Monday to Friday 9am – 7pm

Top  10 differences between startups and small business

  • Funding

Venture capital firms frequently back startups.

To obtain funding, entrepreneurs must define the growth trends and explain how the proposed investment would increase the startup’s value.

When proposing ideas to venture-supported enterprises, they should present a business plan demonstrating how they can achieve growth and increase the startup’s value in the market.

On the other hand, small businesses don’t connect with large venture capitalists.

As a result, they get much funding from different lenders/small company loans or banks.

  • Technology

Startups are pioneers in pursuing ideas that have never been explored before.

To achieve their objectives, they must therefore use equipment that is more sophisticated than currently available in the market.

Small businesses don’t need cutting-edge machinery to produce goods or provide services in the market.

Therefore they can use conventional technology and only modernise their equipment if they wish to improve efficiency to achieve more financial success.

  • Risk factor

Startups make huge promises about their immense potential, high rates of return on investment, and ability to bring about revolutionary changes in their industries.

Any business that claims to have an innovative idea that will transform an entire industry is taking a path with high risk.

Small firms don’t want to take any risks. They proceed down a route taken a million times before with positive results.

Since they have a substantially lower risk profile than startups, they are far more reliable and provide steady returns.

  • Business objective

A startup has a big vision but starts small and comes into existence to demonstrate how its business model can significantly influence the market today.

The goal of startup founders is to build a large, disruptive business that will either reshape an existing sector or create a brand-new one.

Small businesses follow a proven path and are well-organised structures that operate according to a well-established business model.

The primary aim of small business owners is to maximise earnings while providing their clients with value.

They usually follow a successful business model, hold onto a profitable market position for an extended period, and obtain business financing to support the company’s expansion.

    Your monthly Startup advice by 123Financials

    Enoll for Our free Update
    • Accounting and Bookkeeping and Tax Guide

    • Startup news and Updates

    • Growth

    A startup and a small firm differ most significantly in their growth plans. Startups use an innovative, scalable business strategy to grow as quickly as feasible while generating top-line revenue.

    Small companies usually have a more conservative growth approach that prioritises sales.

    They seek consistent, long-term growth to produce a profitable, long-lasting business. For entrepreneurs who are less risk-tolerant, this business plan works significantly better.

    • Profit

    Small business is focused on starting income and a profit from the very first day.

    The firm’s profit is initially low, but as it grows, its profit rises, and the owner decides if they want to compete or sustain themselves in the market.

    For a startup to make its first pound, it could take months or even years. Their fundamental priority is creating a product that customers will appreciate and purchase.

    If this objective is achieved, the firm’s profit could be in the millions.

    • Team and management

    For a small company, only a certain number of employees are usually hired, so the company operates within the defined growth limitations.

    Startups usually have a leader and management team with a dream to grow as fast as possible. As the company expands, they have to increase the number of staff, directors, and other concerned teams.

    • Way of life

    Compared to startups, small businesses have fewer duties, making it possible for them to handle both work and personal life.

    They usually have a fixed schedule with greater job satisfaction than positions with larger companies.

    For startups, if there are investors` funds, the firm will start making a profit earlier. So there is no time to lose, and you have to work. Sometimes you have to work beyond your working hours to create something unbelievable.

    • Innovations

    Small businesses don’t claim to be one-of-a-kind and are similar to many businesses.

    This isn’t to imply that small businesses don’t strive for rapid and consistent growth; they do but in a different way. Small businesses will focus on bringing consistent revenue while keeping expenses low.

    The most important thing for a startup is innovation. Startups are designed to create something new or enhance an existing product.

    At the same time, startups are created for rapid and constant growth to draw more investors and financing rounds at each stage of their development.

    • Scope

    Small business makes continuous progress within limits set up by the business owner. They limit the firm’s growth and concentrate on serving a specific circle of clients.

    A startup has no limitations on its expansion plans and tries to get as much market share as possible. Entrepreneurs try to increase their influence and become a leader in the industry.

    Final thoughts

    Both these business types are founded by entrepreneurs and may appear the same at first but have entirely different concepts that set them apart, making them as different as chalk and cheese.

    Notably, both small businesses and startups need to prove their ability to excel at their relative business models to become candidates for funding regardless of their growth aspirations and risk. Whatever path you choose, ensure that it is something you love doing.

      Learn more about Accounting , Bookkeeping and Tax

      Subscribe to get our monthly dose of accounting, bookkeeping, tax and startup knowledge, inspiration and news.