Steps for Young Start-ups: Business Essentials for Entrepreneurs

Many young people have aspirations for starting their own business and may already have the seed of a great idea and a plan that they would put into action.

Many successful businesses such as for example, have a niche or a way of serving their customers that means they continue to grow organically and thrive in their chosen industry or profession.

Making your own employment

There is no conventional path to self-employment and running your own business. It could be that you develop your skills and contacts working for someone else before branching out, or it could be that you are in the young entrepreneur category and want to control your own destiny from an earlier age.

It is believed that at least one in five of people between the age of 18 and 34 years of age have an idea for a business, and aspirations to turn the idea into a viable business.

A noticeable statistic in recent years has been the level of unemployment amongst the younger generation, which correlates with a subsequent rise in the number of young self-employed people registering a business.

If you want are young, hungry and talented, and want to set up your own business, here are a few pointers to consider.

Get some experience

In the past, the path to self-employment was sometimes when a middle-aged worker was made redundant and forced to find a way of earning a living using the skills and contacts they had acquired over the years.

If you are a young entrepreneur, you will probably not have much experience to match your enthusiasm, and you certainly don’t want to wait until you are into middle-age before launching your business.

A happy-medium would be to decide what type of business you want to run and then get a bit of industry experience for a little while, before starting out on your own. Spotting where you can make minor, but often decisive adjustments and understanding what works and what doesn’t by observing from within what could turn out to be a rival in the future, might allow you to learn how to avoid mistakes that could have been costly and spot a niche that you could exploit.

The importance of a business plan

A business plan is so important to the success of your venture in a number of different ways.

Not only does a business plan allow you to demonstrate the viability of your business so that you can attract investors or start-up finance, but it can also give you a solid framework to measure how things are going and what cash you will need to get you through the early days and beyond.

Putting a business plan together can be reasonably straightforward and involves a number of key components such as sales and cashflow forecasts. If you are unsure about the financial figures, it is always best to get some professional help, as it is critical that you get the numbers right, especially if you are trying to raise some start-up capital from external sources.

Get some feedback

It is very easy to get enthusiastic about an idea that you had for a business and you will obviously need enthusiasm and commitment to the cause in spades, if you are going to succeed.

It is never a bad idea however, to get some valuable feedback from a range of other people not connected with the proposed business, so that you can get an unbiased opinion as to whether they think your ideas will be commercially viable.

Create a sales pitch. A good way to practice how to be succinct and sell the idea is to develop what is sometimes referred to as an elevator pitch.

In an imaginary scenario, you have the time allowed while you are travelling to your chosen floor, to convince the other occupant that you have a great business concept or product. It is a good technique to practice, so that you are ready with all the details and present them efficiently in a real situation and in front of someone who might be looking to invest in you and your business.

Other points to consider when you are creating a start-up as a young entrepreneur, include understanding your market and your competition. You also need to network like crazy, not just in order to attract customers but also to run ideas by like-minded individuals and mentors, who are often willing to offer some help and advice, if they been there themselves at some point.

There are always plenty of obstacles and challenges to overcome as a young entrepreneur, but you have the time and energy to create a successful business that you can call your own.

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