Startups are known for their passion, their endless drive, their single-minded focus and ability to navigate beyond insurmountable roadblocks to find success, even when it seems unlikely.
But while being a startup is an exhilarating ride, somewhere along the way, things change.
Your company has made it through the first year, and past the difficult hurdles in the beginning. You're seeing growth and maybe even profitability. One day, you realize that your company is no longer operating on a low-profit margin, and you're hit with the reality that you no longer need to work around the clock, or desperately try to solicit funding from angel investors or venture capitalists to make it.
If this sounds like you, congratulations! You're out of the startup phase, and transitioning into a growth-stage company.
But if you, like so many other startups, are finding it difficult to pinpoint where you're at in terms of growth, and uncertain about whether your company still qualifies as a startup or if you've crossed over into a fully-grown company, you're not alone. Many startups feel stuck in limbo, passing themselves off as a startup while deep down, wondering if maybe it's time to start thinking of themselves as a growth-stage company.
While opinions vary considerably across the board on what constitutes a bonafide startup, there are a few telltale signs that a company has outgrown the startup phase, and needs to move on. After all, growing up's a fact of life, and it signifies that exciting times are in store for your company.