Sometimes there is no one right answer to a problem.

Howard Moskowitz once famously said that there is no perfect spaghetti sauce, only perfect spaghetti sauces, and this approach can be applied to startup coaching and the world of business at large.

Every startup is unique, and not every startup will benefit necessarily from adapting one approach over another, as circumstances may necessitate a more bespoke approach.

Here are some popular startup methodologies and when they are best for your business.


Lean Startup

Building your startup lean is a very specific set of principles that treats the market, and indeed the product you plan to sell, as an experiment that is constantly tested, evaluated and iterated upon, once you have a minimum viable product to sell and early adopters willing to buy.

It was initially designed with software in mind, and the approach is often ideal for apps and digital services. However, if constant iteration proves expensive for your business or your customers, lean startup principles can be more expensive than you think.

Having an agile, adaptable and tiny workforce can be incredibly cost-effective, especially if they can start to deliver returns on their investment early in the development process. However not every product can be innovated, and for those, you need a more traditional approach.


Traditional Business Model

By contrast, a more traditional startup model is about having a business plan in place and being ready to take several years to get a unique product ready to market, whilst looking for investors that share your vision of success.

This can be best visualised through television shows such as Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den, where small businesses offer a stake in their company in exchange for an investment.

Unlike a lean startup, which lives or dies on the strength of its minimum viable product and willingness to innovate, startups need a strong business plan to emphasise how big a business can become and how much it can make a venture capitalist investor.

For a business where a large amount of initial capital is required, to either manufacture an innovative product or in research and development, this business model is better than attempting to retrofit lean principles, but it is also risky for both the investor and the startup founder.