Many people still think of entrepreneurship as something that requires a lot of business experience. However, many of the most exciting innovations and market-redefining products have come from people new to the world of entrepreneurship.
At the same time, young entrepreneurs face the same hurdles as their more experienced counterparts, if not some additional ones. During these challenging times, it can be extremely helpful to seek guidance and advice from colleagues and mentors. Some of the most common pieces of advice for young entrepreneurs include the following:
1. Avoid delaying a launch because of limited resources.
Many experienced entrepreneurs launch their business with a significant amount of capital, which may come from personal savings or pulling on a network of venture capitalists or investors. Young entrepreneurs often do not have the same savings or as many connections, so raising the necessary capital can be exceedingly difficult.
However, there is good news: The majority of new businesses in the United States are started from home. In fact, a third of them are launched with less than $5,000. When you’re working with lower funding, you will simply need to get more creative. For instance, you can leverage the power of social media and other low-cost marketing to get the word out and excite potential customers. You can do a lot with a small budget.
2. Find some experts to serve as advisors.
Though your lack of experience may be a bit of a weakness, you can counter it by creating an inner circle of experts. These individuals should be trusted advisors you can call on for help and who can offer their unique insight to your business.
All entrepreneurs—but especially younger ones—should seek out opportunities to learn from others as much as possible and build connections with people who can become teachers and advisors. Having access to these other perspectives will prove to be incredibly valuable, and you should make it a habit of calling on your network for insight.
3. Be the sort of leader you would like to have.
Many millennials have turned to entrepreneurship after entering corporate America and being unsatisfied with the leadership. When you take charge of your own company, you will need to think about the qualities that you want in a leader—and make sure that you live up to your own expectations.
Employees, as you may well know, do not want to feel like they are just a cog in a machine. By learning from these experiences, you can emerge as a solid leader capable of inspiring your team to achieve remarkable things. However, doing this means making a conscious effort to evaluate leadership impact and make necessary changes.
4. Prepare to make sacrifices along the way.
All entrepreneurs need to pay their dues, and as a new business owner, you should understand that you will need to make sacrifices before you can find success. Even those businesses that seem to have skyrocketed to success have involved countless hours of planning and hard work.
To realize success, you need to demonstrate true dedication, which often means sacrificing both time and money to make your dreams come true. Staying behind to work instead of hanging out with friends on nights and weekends can be difficult, but putting in those extra hours is often what it takes to succeed. In a way, younger business owners have a bit of an advantage—they may not yet have a family of their own, and therefore will not have to sacrifice time at home to achieve their entrepreneurial goals.
5. Focus on expanding your business knowledge.
Young entrepreneurs need a great idea to make their businesses a success, but they also need some knowledge about the industry—after all, creative energy will only carry you so far. You can build skilled teams to manage your business’ finances, oversee operations, and orchestrate manufacturing, but it is important to try to expand your own knowledge in these areas as much as possible so that you can make the best decisions for the company.
While it is worthwhile to call on an expert for help, the role of the entrepreneur is to see the big picture and figure out how everything else relates to it, which is something that only you can do. You can develop a lot of knowledge by simply paying attention to what is going on around you and asking appropriate questions.