Has it crossed the minds of the young people in your life to set up a business?
There’s always a lot of pressure on the younger generation. Young people are unemployed. Young people find it harder to get on the property ladder. Young people are rude. Young people are lazy. At times that seems like the general consensus on the news and in the media but, according to The Guardian, UHY Hacker Young found there were 26,420 companies with a director aged 21 or under in the UK in 2015.
We’re in the business of helping businesses grow- that means enterprises that are in their infancy or long established, led by entrepreneurs young and old. With that in mind we’ve put together five killer tips young entrepreneurs should have in their arsenal if they’re considering launching a start-up- after all we’re depending on them to pick up the entrepreneurial mantle and carry on innovating, (no pressure!).
#1 Lasting Passion
This tip isn’t just limited to young budding business men and women but all entrepreneurs. For your business to be successful you’re going to be pouring a lot of effort, energy and hours into it and making sacrifices, such as when it comes to your social life. If you set out to just make money, or launch a business just to say you have or just to be your own boss, eventually you’ll end up resenting and regretting it, especially as most successful entrepreneurs live and breathe their business.
Be passionate about your business idea from the word go. Make sure your business notion is one that you look forward to working on when you wake up, that brings a smile to your face not a groan. Ensure it’s a passion that will withstand the test of time. Have a zest for your idea, confidence in it and you stand a chance at success.
#2 Maximize Your Mentor
Owner and CEO of PilmerPR, John Pilmer recommends finding a mentor on Entrepreneur and we couldn’t agree more! Your tech and social media knowledge might be great, you might be even greater, and your idea might be the greatest but what you can’t possibly have as a young person is experience. Experience is a valuable thing. It teaches us how to avoid making mistakes, especially the same ones we have made before, and avoids wasting our time and taking unnecessary risks.
So why not find a trustworthy and knowledgeable mentor who’s been around the business block a few times? Glean all insight you can from their experiences, shadow them at work, observe, keep in regular contact with them, and take their advice on board. Having more than one mentor isn’t greedy either as we’ve all had different experience and picked up different tips along the way.
Who knows maybe your mentor’s business advice could save you from business suicide…
#3 Do Your Homework… And Then Some
Everyone knows starting a business involves some element of risk so why not take the riskiness out of risks? Our blog post ‘Are You A Riskaphobe?’ reveals how to turn a potentially dangerous chance into a ‘careful risk’ (and no it’s not a paradox!) but the crux of it is: never underestimate the value of doing extensive research.
Research the industry you’re going into, find out if there’s room in the market for your product, familiarise yourself with the competition and get to know your target customer inside out. That way you’ll be prepared for anything, give a great first impression to investors and people you sell your business idea to.
Startups cite the British Library’s Business and IP Centre in London for unlimited access to an abundance of market research and all for free! They have centres through the central libraries in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield if you’re not located near the capital.
#4 Have A Plan A…And Plan B
You’ve heard the saying “failure to prepare is preparing to fail” right? Having a solid business plan can help you feel confident with the knowledge that you’ll be prepared for all eventualities and have a back-up. It can also prevent you from over estimating your budget and limits, whilst setting out bite-sized steps for you to follow to bring your business to life.
The Prince’s Trust offers some great business plans to help you get started…you can even ask your mentor for a hand!
#5 Face-to-face is the way Forward.
Though social media is a powerful tool and a nifty way of reaching a lot of people to spread the word about your business for next to no cost, don’t underestimate the value of face-to-face networking. One day having that personal touch and taking the time and effort to follow up with prospective could help them travel that last part of their customer journey to signing up to your company’s services.
Building relationships with like-minded people can also mean you have support when you experience set-backs and people to celebrate with as your business grows.
If you’re based near us in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, there’s a great networking event held on the last Friday of every month called Young Professional Fridays– why not pop along?