In the world of business start-ups, it’s not the ageing suits that have the best ideas – it’s the young idealists. Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Dell, and FedEx were all started by twenty-somethings with a dream and the eagerness to realise it.
The transition from an idea to a working business reality is no easy ride, however, and the wise entrepreneur will take heed from the experiences of others. With this in mind, here are some of the top tips for starting up a business.
Do what you love
A business will only succeed if the person in charge has a long-standing commitment to it. It’s far easier to commit to something you love than something you have little interest in, so make sure you do something that you enjoy.
While risk-taking is anathema to those with a mortgage, wife and kids, young entrepreneurs should embrace their youth and throw caution to the wind. Starting a business is inherently risky and will only work with significant investments of time and/or money. While money can be in short supply, young entrepreneurs should make the most of the relatively abundant time available to them.
For the strongly risk-averse, the level of risk can be reduced by formulating a bombproof business plan and carrying out copious amounts of research. Even with the best preparation in the world, however, businesses can still fail. Entrepreneurs should be mentally prepared to accept failure and to learn from their mistakes.
Use social media
Young entrepreneurs should take advantage of social media to advertise and make professional contacts. In the world of social media, innovative ideas can be highly rewarded.
For example, in 2009 Moonfruit.com offered Twitter users the chance to win an Apple MacBook Pro each day for 10 days just by tweeting the hashtag “#moonfruit”. The campaign kept the #moonfruit hashtag at the top of the trending topics for an entire week – no mean feat in a world where millions are spent on online advertising campaigns.
It should go without saying that a company website is essential. The internet is now the first port of call for people seeking a product or a service. Having a website built professionally can be relatively expensive – especially for complex sites. However, there are a number of providers that offer free site-building tools for those on a budget – click here for more information.
Meet a mentor
The main disadvantage faced by the young entrepreneur is a lack of life experience. This knowledge gap can be filled by finding a mentor who can advise and provide guidance on business matters. Identifying your weaknesses will help you find the right sort of mentor. For example, some people find the financial aspect of starting a business difficult, so finding an experienced number cruncher can make all the difference.
Young people – especially those who’ve been to university – have access to a wide number of resources. Graduate advisory services can provide information and contacts for budding entrepreneurs. They might advise you to pursue a bachelor degree in organizational leadership, which will help you explore the social and cultural aspects of business and how it relates and impacts business operation. Many online programs have been developed to help entrepreneur develop new skills. This degree will put you in position to face new challenges and realize your goals as young entrepreneur. Your friends can often offer assistance in their new-found careers.
Image credit: flickr
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