Why Startups Should Target Big Enterprises

Why startups should target big enterprises

Marketers know that to reach their targets, they need to target big enterprises. But what if you’re a startup? 

Startups should go for big enterprises as it’s worth it in the end. Here are some reasons why: 

  • It will lead to long-term partnerships and profitability.   
  • You’ll be perceived as an expert in your field.
  • You’ll have access to resources that can help you grow your company much faster than if you were just targeting consumers or SMBs.

Startups should be focused on disruptively innovating the market, and you won’t do that if your target audience is limited to a small subset of people.

Startups are already at an inherent disadvantage because of their limited resources, so it makes sense not to limit yourself even further. 

Innovation is always risky, but it’s worth thinking carefully before you decide between targeting either segment of the population. 

For example, if most of your resources are dedicated towards disruptive innovation for the sake of just making something different (but not necessarily better), then going after corporations might be a safer bet as big companies function on less risk because they’ve already succeeded in one business model iteration.

Reasons why big enterprises need startups:

  • Turns out innovation and company size are actually on opposite ends of the spectrum. Research suggests that large, traditional companies work more than twice as hard but produce less than twice as much value.
  • Big enterprise’s workforce consists mainly of employees who follow standard protocols instead of innovators who experiment with new ideas. This means innovation efforts happen largely outside the company walls which creates a way bigger opportunity for outsiders like you-me-startup.
  • A study found that innovations can actually flow from smaller organizations to larger ones. This means startups could start doing the work then provide it to a bigger company for later implementing and making money off of their idea without taking on real responsibility themselves. 

Rapid advancements in technology have made it possible for almost anyone to take their project or idea and become an entrepreneur.

Capitalizing on big data, security and scalability are three major trends to be aware of when targeting enterprises as customers.  

The benefit to your startup for targeting big enterprises is that the sheer volume of information that large companies collect gives you more data than ever before, which provides new opportunities for finding your niche clients, a win-win for both parties. 

The last thing any startup wants to do is go after a small potential customer when they could be going after the big fish. 

Don’t miss out on your opportunity by not understanding how targeting large enterprises can help you grow faster and more efficiently than ever before.

What Is An Enterprise Client?

An enterprise client is a company that usually has more than 10,000 employees. It is a large company with the money to hire IT specialists and create its software for nearly any project. 

Enterprise clients need more sophisticated software than they may be able to find in off-the-peg, unspecialized commercial products. The result of this specialized demand is an increase in the customization allowed by developers and designers, which also means an increase in cost to the firms’ budget.

Enterprise companies have vast employees, but many of them are focused on the “what” rather than the “why” and lack a creative focus.

Enterprises can’t innovate like small startups because they over-focus on testing within their own company. In contrast, smaller teams can be more flexible and make bolder decisions to push innovation forward in new ways. 

Enterprise clients are companies that are interested in enterprise tools to connect and engage with their employees better. 

The term generally designates businesses in the Fortune 500, which is a list of American publicly traded companies on the NYSE or NASDAQ markets whose aggregate market value equals or exceeds $10 billion and businesses that meet specific other criteria that indicate a large global footprint.

What Is Considered An Enterprise Account?

An enterprise account usually has a large number of employees, which may require individual access to data. Enterprise accounts often have more advanced functionality available to help manage the environment efficiently. 

Accounts like these typically come with an administrator and other team members who can control some aspects of the security measures. 

Typically speaking, companies with over 25 employees are considered “enterprise” size; however, that is not always true – it just has to do with organization level or processing volume rather than the number of employees. 

For example, some pizza franchises count as enterprises because they’re larger than 25 people, but that’s probably considered small by most standards.

Every company has the potential to be considered an enterprise account one day by product and service providers. 

The difference between startups and enterprises usually lies in their financial standing. Startups are startups because they’re currently without revenue but should one day become profitable if all goes well, while enterprises have already reached that stage.

Why Startups Should Launch Quietly

Startups should launch quietly to focus on making their product great before promoting it to a broader audience. There are many benefits of launching without promotion: less competition for customer attention, more time to make tweaks and improvements based on feedback from early adopters, and a greater likelihood that customers will come back for updates later.

Too much marketing and hype can cause people to quickly become disappointed if the company doesn’t live up to their great expectations.

You’ll find that many successful startups don’t even have an official launch date and instead gradually release products in beta or invite-only mode.

The idea behind The Lean Startup is simple: build only what’s needed, when it’s needed; go as far as necessary but not beyond; waste no time on activities that don’t lead to customer learning; measure everything, so there are complex data around which decisions are best.

When a company launches quietly, they don’t deal with all of that, which leaves them free to develop their product on their terms without outside interference. This means they have more time, less stress, and vastly minimized risk compared with other strategies. 

This can be good if you’re not yet well-known in your industry or solving a susceptible problem. Still, it might look like cowardice or even self-sabotage (if word eventually gets out about what’s going on behind closed doors).

In addition, launching “quietly” means that when the product does launch, it will be genuinely astounding for those paying attention due to the lack of noise surrounding a slow initial release.

Quiet launches also help protect sensitive information or intellectual property from competitors for much longer than contrasting methods which might require earlier exposure.

Launching too early may leave you vulnerable to specific issues such as bad press or negative feedback from customers who are likely not familiar with what your business has to offer. 

On the other hand, if you wait until everything is perfect before going public with your product, then by definition, you will be late-to-market – meaning everyone else could have beaten you to market and taken up all of the potential customers for yourself.

What Is A Pilot Program?

An experiment within a business is conducted to determine if a potential enterprise has product-market feasibility. A pilot program might be in the form of beta testing with select customers or other targeted individuals.

Since many small businesses fail during their first year of operation, companies occasionally put together pilot programs interested in testing the market by evaluating cost and demand before committing resources past the startup phase.

Since it is cheaper to launch new concepts on a smaller scale, an entrepreneurial company may initiate pilot programs to test unproven ideas, gauge overseas prospects, innovate around customer demands, or diversify revenue streams. 

Pilot programs can also provide invaluable insight into how successful an idea might be with consumers while allowing companies to refine marketing strategies before going live with their campaigns.

If successful, most companies would roll out large-scale commercial campaigns that capitalize on the favorable results obtained during initial markets tests.

How To Price A Pilot Program

Pilot programs, or test projects as they’re sometimes called, are used to reduce the chance of spending unnecessarily on a project that never makes any profit. 

In other words, the pilot program provides a budgeted cost against an estimated budget. It assesses whether it has so significantly exceeded expectations that it warrants further consideration to full panning.

Here are some guidelines for pricing out the development phase of your project:

  • Determine your total available funds/budget.
  • Estimate what percentage you would like to commit on the pilot, then using this percentage, determine how much you need in dollar amount committed for exploration purposes (some firms will also use time commitments).
  • Assess how long you would estimate before being confident enough to launch.

Taking into account all operational and financial risks associated with pricing at each end of the spectrum, it is usually more sustainable for startups and smaller firms in industries with few large corporations (e.g., internet service providers) to charge low or no fees on customer-facing products as they build their user base into something worth trusting for in future offerings.

Moving From Startup To Big Company

There often is a difference in culture between large companies and “startups.” For many people, this makes the transition difficult. The explanation comes down to ownership of products when moving from a startup to a big company. 

In startups, everyone owns the product, whereas decision-making is delegated upward through management levels where momentum for change slows at big companies. 

So while you may have gotten used to having flexibility with your workday or some privileges that were given to you as an employee of your own startup company (like wearing shorts on the job), these kinds of things can confuse colleagues who are used to more formal routines in their day-to-day lives outside of work. 


The enterprise market is vast and lucrative, but it’s also filled with competition. If you have a product that can fill an existing need or solve a problem for big companies in your industry, then this may be the right place to start. 

It’s important to know what type of company you’re looking for before launching your startup; if they are already using something similar, then the chances are slim that they’ll switch over to yours just because it came out on the market. 

You want them to see how your solution will benefit their business and why switching would be worth their time. 

Launching quietly allows customers to get used to seeing your brand without feeling overwhelmed by new information or features from other startups vying for attention.


A value proposition is a business’s offer to its customers, the point of difference, and the reason for differentiating from competitors. A value proposition will motivate a customer to make the purchase decision and then provide some benefit or reinforcement for making that choice.

Market volume is a measure of the total value transactions processed by an exchange during a given period. Estimates of market volume are usually calculated in dollars. They will be shown as both per minute (e.g., $1,000 per minute) or as total dollar values over different periods (e.g., half-hour – $25,000).

Enterprise customers are large enterprise corporations who purchase, for example, software licenses in bulk for use by their entire company.

A target customer is someone to who you want to sell something. Target customers can be individuals, businesses, or the public as a whole. Your company may have several different target customers.

A target market is the audience of people you aim to attract with your product. The goal in business is often to treat them as individuals and not as numbers on a spreadsheet.

A market opportunity is defined as a market that an individual or company can successfully enter into and where the profits are more significant than the costs needed to penetrate it.

Enterprise sales are when a company sells its product to other companies. Enterprise Sales usually means that you have to deal with different businesses, industries, and potentially even countries. You will need a lot more expertise than someone who only makes retail sales. Your potential customers are larger organizations with diverse teams and divergent objectives.

A sales strategy is a set of calculated decisions that help guide the logic you use to sell products and services.

Content marketing is about creating and sharing valuable, relevant content with your customers.

Digital marketing uses social media, email, search engine optimization (SEO), and e-commerce to attract and acquire customers.

Product market fit is when a company has discovered a way to create and deliver its product so that it meets the needs and wants of the customer.

Enterprise software is a type of software that can track tasks, decisions, finances, and other measurable facets of life within an organization. It provides the functionality desired by businesses such as accounting, payroll, and customer relationship management processes.

A market segment is a group of customers who share everyday needs, wants, or characteristics. The piece’s size and demographic details are often used to help guide decisions about reaching potential customers. Market segments can be classified in many ways by what they have in common such as by time spent within a category, a level of brand loyalty, or their purchase influencers.

An early adopter is an establishment or company that has adopted an innovation during its initial stages.

Venture capital is a type of financing that involves an investor providing capital for either long-term growth or new ventures.

A marketing campaign is a coordinated set of related marketing communications that aim to achieve one or more strategic objectives (frequency goals, increased market share) within a given time frame to gain new customer loyalty or satisfy existing customers.

The market potential is the number of customers or people you can reach with your marketing message.

Competitive analysis is a process to measure the strengths and weaknesses of one’s rivals in the industry.

A buyer persona, or customer avatar, is a composite sketch of your typical buyer. Buyer personas are essential because they help you to know your target customers and what will excite them. They enable businesses to design their products and services around their unique needs to target buyers through marketing methods that resonate with their desires.

A marketing plan outlines how the company predicts consumers might react to its products and services. It may also outline the company’s objectives for new developments in those products or offer further details about pricing forecasts.

A sales cycle is a series of stages in which someone might buy your product.

A marketing strategy is a systematic plan for analysis, decision-making, and implementation of an advertising campaign or any other marketing communication program.

The addressable market demands a particular product or service that one supplier or multiple suppliers can fulfill.

An enterprise buyer is an individual or organization that spends a lot of money on goods and services every year.

Large organizations are generally large networks of companies that collaborate to promulgate their goals.

A tech startup is a company that offers some innovative digital service or product.

A startup founder can be an entrepreneur to a CEO or even just the first employee or salesperson with the business idea working on customer acquisition. However, most of the time, the founder is a small business owner.

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Wasim Jabbar

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