People often have a romantic view of the entrepreneur lifestyle. And in some ways, it’s actually true. You get to set your own hours, do what you love, and don’t have to answer to anybody. This also means that you have to leave behind the certainty of a 9 to 5 and be the captain of your own ship. Many end up failing after realizing that they weren’t cut out for this life and jump right back into the rat race. But with the proper guidance and the right idea, anyone can be a successful entrepreneur with the right dose of effort and determination. In this article, we’re going to give you a few simple tips anyone can implement to become a successful young entrepreneur.
The more responsibilities you have, the harder it will be to start and take care of a business. Work, school, family life, a mortgage, student loans, are all things that could weigh you down and take energy, time, and resources away from your business. If you’ve caught the entrepreneurial bug early, go for it. There’s no better time to start a business than in your early 20’s when you have little to no life or financial obligations.
Know Your Market in and Out
One of the reasons so many businesses end up failing is because they don’t understand their market. If you want to be successful in any venture, it’s essential that you know your target audience in and out. You also have to know what your competition is doing and study what they’re doing well and where they could improve.
This way, you’ll be able to understand what makes your audience tick and how to speak to them. You’ll be able to understand how to reach them, how much they’re willing to pay for your services, and whether there’s actual demand for your products or services. The more you know about your market, the lesser the chances for costly misfires.
Also, if you are interested in doing something like multi-level marketing, for example, try to know everything there is to know about the program before you get started. Get second opinions from other members and try to gauge if there’s actually demand for the product. You could also check independent MLM program reviews, so you can get a clearer picture of a particular company.
Be Ready To Make Sacrifices
Don’t expect your business to be a huge success from day one. Know that being an entrepreneur, especially in the early stages, is a lot of work and little reward. So, be ready to work long days and sacrifice your time, lifestyle, and money to make your vision happen. This might mean cutting some of your friends loose, making lifestyle rearrangements, and downsizing your expenses to make it work.
Find a Mentor
Finding a mentor could be one of the best decisions you make. Try to find a mentor in your particular field of business. They’ll be able to show you the ropes and may even be able to warn you of possible obstacles before you encounter them.
As a business owner, you’ll often have to make very important decisions that could make or break your business. This is where a mentor could help. A mentor could also help you with things like scaling and telling you what you can expect as your business grows. If you don’t know where to find mentors, you can check out conferences, alumni networks, or your local chamber of commerce for information.
Learn How To Sell
If you’re an introvert, sorry to break it to you, but you’ll eventually have to break out of your shell at some point. I haven’t met too many entrepreneurs who couldn’t sell their business to a certain degree. Knowing how to sell yourself and your business is an essential part of any business, and without this skill, you’ll end up handicapping yourself. To get your business off the ground, you’ll eventually have to be able to sell your business to clients, partners, and financiers on your side, so be prepared for that.
Beware of the Shiny New Toy Syndrome
Don’t jump from venture to venture when you’re just getting started. That’s one of the biggest mistakes so many young entrepreneurs make. They just found out about a few business models and want to try them all at once. If you do that, you’ll eventually end up spreading yourself thin and won’t be able to concentrate your efforts on one single business and actually make it work.
Instead, work on the business that you have the most interest in and go for it. Once this business is successful, you’ll have enough resources to reinvest your profits into your next one.
Go With What You Know
If you have certain expertise or talent in a particular field, then it would be wise to start a business along these lines. While many will advise that you go with what you’re passionate about, it won’t do you any good if you have absolutely no knowledge about the business aspect of it.
Having knowledge in a certain domain is a major plus when starting a business. This means you don’t have to learn a completely new skill from scratch. This also means that you don’t have to surround yourself with people who actually know about the business you’re getting into.
If you have programming skills, for instance, and you have a few ideas for some cool apps, all you’ll need is probably a creative to become your partner and will be able to use your initial knowledge to do the rest. You’ll also be able to troubleshoot issues yourself and won’t have to rely on a third party to check for bugs that you could easily work on yourself.
Constantly hiring freelancers or having someone on the payroll can have a huge toll on your bottom line and could end up hurting your business. So, as above, try to go with what you know, unless you can afford to hire help.
Work on Your Elevator Pitch
Self-promotion is a skill you’ll eventually have to master if you’re intending to become an entrepreneur. An elevator pitch is a quick pitch, usually under 30 seconds, that lays down what your expertise is and what your business is all about. The pitch should be short, clear, and enthusiastic, and the end goal should be to hand out your contact information, usually in the form of a business card.
Working on your pitch should also give you clarity on what your goal actually is. Try to make it more than just a pitch; make it your mantra.
Forget About Partnerships at First
Before you rush into a partnership with someone, learn how to work with yourself first. There are too many examples of ventures who ended up failing because the founders just didn’t get along or had completely two separate visions. Unless you have absolutely no choice, try to stay away from partnerships. Only seek a partnership once you feel you’re ready and make sure that you are very picky about who you choose to partner with. Never undersell yourself under any circumstances.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask for Help
While it’s great to start a business in which you have a certain level of expertise, you have to be able to recognize your limitations. Nobody has every single skill needed to operate a successful business. Maybe you understand the production side of your business more. But what about content marketing? Social media? Customer relations? Employee management? Know that there is no shame in asking for help. If you’re lacking in a certain area, don’t be able to reach out. Companies like ESBO are out there to help.
Embrace Your Role as a Startup
It’s very important that you recognize you’re still a budding entrepreneur and your business is still in its infancy. Don’t fall into the trap of wanting to look the part before you actually make it. Don’t start spending on a fancy office and a brand new car, even if you have enough personal money. Start small, you’ll get there eventually. The goal should be to keep your reserve high and overhead low. Then you can start spending.
Don’t Be Afraid of Failure
Entrepreneurs usually fall into two extremes. On one side, you have entrepreneurs that spend so much of their time analyzing every single part of their business that they end up never actually launching. And on the other extreme, you have anxious entrepreneurs who end up jumping head first and have too many fires to put out at once.
Try to be in the middle. Yes, you do need a plan, but don’t try to anticipate everything that could go wrong. Know that some fires may flare up but be prepared to put them out as they do. And also, be prepared for the occasional failure here and there.
Embrace these failures. They’re a chance to learn and grow as an entrepreneur, so don’t discourage yourself and try to get the most out of the experience.
Don’t Assume That You’ll Get Investors
The best mindset when starting a business is not expecting that angel investors will come out of nowhere and start pouring money into your business. Try to create your plan with no external financing in mind. Try to be as frugal as possible and work within your budget.
You have to make your business successful first with the limited resources that you have. This will eventually be what will sell your business to investors. They will be impressed with what you can do and will be interested in investing in your vision. Trying to get investors when you haven’t proven anything can be very difficult, so don’t count on getting financing early on.
Watch Your Health
You may not think that your health is a major part of running a business, but it is actually crucial. The life of an entrepreneur is not easy, no matter what you may think, and can be full of stress, long hours, and can be a real rollercoaster at times.
With all of this in mind, it’s important that you focus on your health, so you can not only be productive but don’t actually work yourself sick. Remember, this isn’t a 9 to 5 and you don’t get sick days, so every day that you can’t work on your business actually comes out of your pocket.
Try to work on getting a proper diet and getting enough exercise. Treasure your sleep and make sure that you get the amount you need to be able to work on all cylinders. All this effort will eventually pay off in the long run.
Be Truthful About Your Progress
Don’t try to embellish your business’s progress to others in order to impress them. Try to be realistic when people ask how your business is going. If your business is new, just say that you love what you’re doing and that you hope things will eventually pick up. That’s it. Nobody expects you to become a success overnight.
Also, if your business does end up being a failure, don’t let your ego do you in. Close the doors and move on. Make sure that you learned about your mistakes so you won’t have to repeat them. Most successful entrepreneurs have one or multiple failures in their past, so don’t be too harsh on yourself and pick yourself back up.
Get Some Management Skills
Many people may know how to start a business, but not many are ready when it’s time to actually scale it. Too many businesses end up failing at this very stage. They end up overextending, can’t meet expectations, and end up becoming victims of their own success.
You should also learn how to manage a workforce early. As your business grows, you’ll also have to think about hiring employees, so you’ll have to get familiar with things like formation, employee retention, conflicts, and employee morale and engagement. The earlier you learn about the principles, the lesser the chances you’ll be caught like a deer in headlights when you have to deal with all these issues at once.
Becoming an entrepreneur could be the best decision you’ve ever made. But you have to be ready for what being an entrepreneur actually means. So make sure you follow these few simple tips and keep learning and growing every day.