What is a Lifestyle Business?
August 26, 2015

There are a ton of resources for startups, but what about lifestyle businesses?

Que Ventures aims to help lifestyle businesses succeed.  We support and encourage steps to grow any business.  Hobbies and side projects spur great innovation, so why not support all types of projects?

We feel there is a limited amount of resources for people to understand the process to transform a hobby into a business and want to help.

To start, what is the difference between a startup and lifestyle business?

Startup: A startup is a temporary organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model (via Steve Blank).

Lifestyle: A lifestyle business is a business set up and run by its founders primarily with the aim of sustaining a particular level of income; or to provide a foundation from which to enjoy a particular lifestyle (via Wikipedia).

– Most local stores (Mom and Pop Shops) are lifestyle businesses.
– Most service and repair shops are lifestyle businesses.
– Most restaurants are lifestyle businesses.

There difference comes down to growth and money.  In a startup, an entrepreneur raises money from other people.  Those people expect the startup to be a smashing success or a failure.  That is ok for them.

In a lifestyle business, an entrepreneur likely starts the business with their own money.  They may not want to work 100 hours per week, but want the business to provide sufficient money to support themselves and their family.  That is ok for them.

Often, technology companies are generally referred to as startups.  There is an expectation that the software will grow to a large audience over time.  The same piece of software (or product) can be sold to multiple people (often millions of people).  This is called a one-to-many business model and is characteristic of a startup.

In a lifestyle business, it may be difficult to sell the same product to multiple people.  For example, one pizza serves one customer, not the entire neighborhood.  The one-to-one business model is a characteristic of a lifestyle business.

Previously, most lifestyle businesses were also restricted to their limited geography.  Over the last 10-15 years, the Internet has changed the geographic reach dramatically.  Now, a lifestyle business can cater to customers all over the world.

Technology companies, such as Etsy (a typical startup) support lifestyle businesses and we feel this trend will only continue.  In these bi-weekly newsletters, then we aim to discuss technology trends that impact small businesses.  It takes a lot of time to run a company.  We want to help simplify the process and raise important trends that may impact your company in the future.