What’s the Difference Between Working with Start-ups and Enterprise Companies?

by Marketing ScreamingBox
9 mins read
  1. Business
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As a digital agency, ScreamingBox works with many types of companies, on many different types of projects. Our developer pool is also very diverse and broad, with developers who prefer working with smaller clients, and those who like working with larger clients.

Do you wonder what the difference is between working with a Start-up and working with an Enterprise client? If yes, then there are a few factors you will need to consider, such as pay, workload, pressure, and accountability, among other things. If you’ve been working with Start-ups and want to switch to Enterprises, you might find that a few things are different, and vice versa.

The culture and workplace situation in these two business worlds are significantly different. In this article, we will examine how different working at both establishments is. We will also consider the pros and cons of working in a Start-up company and an Enterprise.

The Difference between a Start-up and an Enterprise: Definitions

A Start-up is a young, innovative, focused, and collaborative company in its first stages of development looking to scale up quickly. Start-ups are fast paced, stressful, flexible and very personality based. On the other hand, Enterprise companies are large established, productivity-focused, slow-moving, and hierarchical companies.

However, Enterprises sometimes operate like Start-ups, offering more flexibility in their decision-making process. Conversely, some Start-ups also operate like Enterprises in that they provide more structure and stability. Most people, including digital agencies, prefer to work in a Start-up and consider working in an Enterprise impossible.

Working with Start-ups vs. Enterprises: What to Expect

When you consider the characteristics of Start-ups and Enterprises, you will see why many people prefer Start-ups. Let’s look at the differences in their characteristics; you may consider some an advantage and some a disadvantage.

Working with Start-ups

Most people consider working for a Start-up an interesting choice due to its many perks. On the other side of the coin, there are potential disadvantages to choosing to work for a Start-up. You can weigh both options and decide if they suit your preferences and goals as a digital agency. Here are some of those perks:

It’s a Fast-Paced Setting

The Start-up environment is fast-changing, so you must be able to keep up with the changes. This can be exciting and present many opportunities to learn more than in an established company. Also, how you provide your service can change; today might be from home and the office on another day.

The Hours Are More Flexible

Working with a Start-up company offers you more flexible work hours because they have not established normal business operations. Conversely, you may need to work nontraditional hours to complete some assignments or projects, especially if you work remotely. Nevertheless, even with those unofficial work hours, you will still have some time off during the regular workweek between projects.

Communication Is More Transparent

When you work with a Start-up company, you can communicate more openly and transparently with the management or founder(s). Start-ups typically expect and appreciate feedback as they use it to validate assumptions, understand customers, and improve their business overall. The downside is that you cannot avoid conflicts; in fact, trying to avoid conflicts would be a big mistake. That’s because you have to proffer valuable solutions, even critical feedback, as it is considered an asset.

Additionally, you may find working in a Start-up preferable if you are proactive rather than waiting to be told what to do. Start-ups appreciate when you can use your initiative to figure out what needs to be done and do it.

Experience Something Distinct

As a digital agency, working with a Start-up means you’ll be part of the company’s structure-building process. Start-ups are still building their culture as a company; much of their business relies on their employees’ initiatives and feedback. If you’ve got new ideas, even unconventional ones, a good place to realize them is with a Start-up company. They are more open to innovative approaches to creating new products and services.

More Job Satisfaction

You are more involved in a Start-up company's growth and evolution, increasing your job satisfaction. A sense of fulfilment comes with knowing you can actively contribute to the company’s success. Furthermore, since there aren’t many employees in the company, the owners will put more effort into ensuring you’re happy working with them.

Less Supervision

There is minimal supervision with Start-up workers, meaning you can spread your wings and fly. You can make your own decisions, albeit within your professional role as a digital agency, and give valuable feedback. Due to the fewer employees at a Start-up company, the few supervisors available are more focused on teamwork than individual supervision.

Working with Enterprises

If you’ve been working with a Start-up and are considering swapping to an Enterprise, you might experience some significant changes. Here are some of the things to expect from working with an Enterprise:

  • More Brand Recognition

Seeing as Enterprises are more established and globally recognized, your brand may experience more recognition. All sundry will see your work for the Enterprise; many will know your name. This established employer branding adds more value to your digital agency brand. Then again, there are well-known Start-ups that offer this benefit, – such as Perfood and Tier.

More Established Operations

Established corporations typically have more well-defined business processes, which can be a disadvantage. For example, you will have fewer opportunities to influence the big picture or even get significant things done. These established processes are necessary as they create uniformity and clarity, but they also cause a lot of bureaucracy.

Less Transparent Communication

When you work with a large Enterprise, you may not see the boss until your work is done. That’s because the communication system in Enterprises is a lot more cautious. More so, as far as disclosing information to employees and the outside world is concerned, there is less transparency. To communicate with the big bosses, you will often need to go through a specialized department that would supervise it.

Safer and More Stable

Enterprises offer more stability and job safety than Start-ups because they are on the market longer. Start-ups are only around for a few years, and they adjust their products to meet market needs. Contrarily, working with a corporate business means more establishment and safety regarding the success chances of the business itself.

Averseness to Risks

Enterprises and larger corporations are less eager to take risks, unlike Start-ups. Furthermore, many people and systems are involved in the decision-making process, which is often logical and takes longer. This hierarchical setting makes governance easier, especially since the backend has valid processes. Therefore, getting a stamp of approval on your innovative, proactive ideas might be hard when working for an Enterprise.

Higher Wages and Wage Hikes

Enterprises typically pay a competitive salary at the start and can increase it depending on your performance and the company’s performance, among other things. That means if you do your job well, you can receive as high as a double-digit wage hike annually. On the other hand, Start-ups offer a low starting wage, and you may even experience delays due to different reasons.


Working with a Start-up has perks and downsides, as does working with an Enterprise company. From the viewpoint of a development agency like ScreamingBox, we like working with both, since they each offer advantages and disadvantages. Our developers also have their preferences based on their experiences over time.

It is important to recognize as a business or developer what are the differences between these types of companies; and decide what your preferences are and with whom you prefer to work with. Remember, businesses have a personality known as the company culture; and understanding the type of company culture you prefer will help achieve success within those businesses. Hopefully this article has helped give you some insight into the differences of working with Start-up’s vs. Enterprise companies.

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