Often, when entrepreneurs ask the difference between startup vs acquisition, they are confounded by the differences and can’t make up their minds about which choice is right. They often think that there are clear winners and losers in terms of an entrepreneur’s success or failure. The truth is that there are subtle differences between startups and acquisitions. For starters, it’s not the size of the company that makes the difference between a startup and acquisition; in many cases, it’s the lack of a market or the size of the market that makes the difference.
Startup vs Acquisition
The differences between a startup and an acquisition vary primarily based on the size of the target market. A startup may be started to fill a need in the marketplace; that is, it was created to address a problem that existed in a segment of the population that had not been well served by established companies before. For instance, many new food stores started as franchises that expanded to meet the needs of a local market. In such cases, the company’s success came from its ability to serve a specific segment of the population.
With acquisitions, on the other hand, the objective is much different. Buyouts are done primarily to acquire control of already mature companies with long-standing operating systems, market shares, and patents. While these companies may have the necessary attributes to be attractive targets for a startup, they are unlikely to have strong market shares or a profitable business model.
Sustained Growth & Profitability
An acquisition occurs when a business owner takes control of a company that is doing well in the market but lacks the ability to sustain growth and profitability. As the buyer, you typically don’t acquire a startup with the intention of developing it into a successful business yourself. Instead, you look for a business that can help you realize your financial goals. This can mean developing the company further to bring it closer to the goal you’ve set, or it could mean acquiring a company with complementary assets.
Startup vs Acquisition: The Key
The key to both startup and acquisition is finding the right partners. Acquiring a startup is easier when you purchase a successful company because you already know what it’s capable of. On the other hand, you’ll have a lot of work to do when buying an established business. Take for example the purchase of an organization (and we see this all the time at Tip of the Spear). At the time when the purchase was made, Company #1 was the largest company in their sector and had already demonstrated its ability to grow and profit. Therefore, making Company #2 in a desirable position to purchase/acquire Company #1.
Because of the Startup vs Acquisition — A Comparison of Two Entrepreneurship Models, it’s easier for one company to acquire another company. By using a strategy for its acquisition, an organization can quickly became a dominant player in the industry. This type of acquisition will work best for entrepreneurs and venture capitalists with a proven track record in developing successful businesses. However, if you’re starting from scratch, it’s probably a better option to go for a startup rather than an acquisition (Don’t get me started on how hard it is though!)