Research suggests the average age of a successful company founder is 42. This statistic stands in sharp contrast with the Silicon Valley image we all have in our minds. The pretty picture of a young, twenty-something making millions from their passion has somehow morphed into a blurry vignette shot of a middle aged man with a briefcase full of papers. It’s important to help keep the dream of the young entrepreneur alive… because the future and progression of business will be shaped by the Gen Xs and Millenials of the world. There is a start-up revolution in young people in the UK, the US, India and all over the world… We’re going to tell you exactly why young people shouldn’t be afraid of starting their own business.
Time Is On Your Side
There’s a real advantage to having time on your side when looking to start your own business. It gives you a little bit more comfort to make mistakes. It also gives you time to build on your passions, strengthen your skills and acquire a strong network. Being of a young age is often saddled with the burden of being inexperienced. This can feel like a hindrance not only when looking to start your own business, but also when applying for jobs. Experience is a word that school-leavers or university graduates can struggle to identify with. There’s something that mitigates this perceived lack of experience however, and that is access to information and education – and having the time to explore this.
Technology Is On Your Side
You see that image of the 42 year old with a briefcase we pictured above? While that’s great… it is on it’s way out. Young people are shaping a future that is pretty much paperless and online. People of all ages are building businesses on platforms like DePop, Instagram and on their own websites and we can’t ignore the consumer shift from print to online. Young people are at the forefront of that shift. Young people are the ones most comfortable with technology and all its possibilities – whether in Artificial Intelligence, 3D printing or Virtual Reality – these are realms that are still very foreign to the older generation. Staying in touch with technology allows young people to visualise a future that the older generation often can’t – and you can start making business plans for it.
Social Media Is Changing Business Forever
Speaking of technology… it has never been easier than in the present day to start a project online. Young people are incredibly in tune with the rest of the world via social media. We recommend getting your social media channels running and getting noticed on them. These social media channels could really change something from a hobby to a fully fledged money maker.
You Are Not Alone in Wanting to Start Your Own Business
Research in the UK carried out in 2015 showed that 82% of people aged 16-21 are interested in starting their own business. This is a big number considering the evidence suggests not enough young people actually are starting their own businesses. There will be a number of reasons for this including:
Lack of Confidence
The aforementioned lack of experience can contribute to a lack of confidence and self-belief. Many young people may simply be looking at the situation very critically – worrying about not being good at selling, making investments or saving up.
Lack of Funds
Often starting your own business can involve taking a real leap of faith. This is much easier said than done when it comes to finances and could explain the average age of successful start-up entrepreneurs being middle aged. They have had more time to build cash in the bank and invest in themselves. Taking out a loan can be scary – especially if you’re 23 with minimal savings.
Fear of Failure
Putting yourself out there can be scary for anyone – especially if they have never experienced failure before. Young people have to ensure they equip themselves and plan enough- while remembering that failure doesn’t mean the end of you or your dreams.
Tips For Young Entrepreneurs
Believe In Your Ideas
It’s important to believe in your ideas – and not just a little bit of belief. You have to believe in your ideas enough to action them with confidence.
Plan, Plan, Plan
This can’t be stressed enough. Forecasting is important… for rainy days and sunny days too. It is a common misconception that business owners only have to plan for the worst – but they need to plan for the very best too. Looking at things like scaling up in terms of production if you have a product, speed and usage if you have an app or software. Keep things going well with a strong plan for a bright future.
Research Your Competitors… And Your Audience
It’s always important to know just what your competitors are doing – and what they have done to get where they are. It is this knowledge that will help you know what to do and what to avoid too. If you are an innovator in your field, the first of your kind… some market research would be especially useful. This will help you accurately identify your target audience and what they would expect from your services.
Understand Money Better Than You Do Already
Keep your ears on the ground for all things financial. Stay
in tune with news on the economy, trading and financial opportunities. Figure
out where your business’ money is best spent – particularly if you have limited
Starting your own business is no small feat- but if you have an idea or a skill that could be put to good use, prepare yourself to take the plunge. The key word there is prepare. Prepare yourself with knowledge, innovation and research… and your passion could be the next big thing.