5 Things Every Millennial Needs to Know About Starting a Business
Thinking of starting a business of your own? As a millennial, you cannot afford to miss these 5 tips.
Twenty percent of 18-34 year olds have a business idea, but most of them never get up the courage or capital to explore it. Starting your own business is a scary thought and an even scarier process, but with the rights tools, knowledge, and resources, the experience will be life changing and the benefits will make all of the blood, sweat, and tears worth it. Today, young people are more than three times more likely to be unemployed than the rest of the population which makes becoming an entrepreneur more and more enticing for America’s young adults. At Viking Mergers and Acquisitions, we encourage the entrepreneurial spirit and are here to provide tools and services to help entrepreneurs succeed.
Starting a business consists of many moving parts and sometimes it’s hard to stay focused on what really matters. To make the process a little bit easier for you, here are our 5 Big Tips for Young Entrepreneurs:
Take the risk. There is a risk involved in everything you will ever do. Nothing is completely risk free in this world. In order to open your own business you are going to have to take a risk…a big one. If you are serious about opening your own business and passionate about what you will be doing, then accepting that there is a great deal of risk involved is the first step. There are ways to minimize this risk, but there is no guarantee that the time, money, and effort you put into your business will pay off. Although this is a scary thought, there is no better time to take a risk than in your 20’s and 30’s. Entrepreneurs have a unique way of thinking; they look at challenges as opportunities and know everything requires effort. This way of thinking will make accepting risk easier and will make focusing on the end goal a top priority.
Create a business plan. By creating a business plan you will be forced to identify and analyze your target market, price points, location, customer base, marketing strategies, jobs/job structures, goals, mission and vision statements, core values, financials, statistics, suppliers and other essential information as well as your products and business as a whole. Your business plan should forecast the next five years, by year, or even quarters or months to establish concrete, measurable goals. You will spend hours researching and educating yourself on all components of the business plan which will give you a better idea on how to run your business and what to expect. Another great thing about creating a business plan is that the majority of the research can be done via the internet for free. Taking advantage of free education, tools, and resources will only help you and your business!
Network, network, network. You probably already have a bigger network than you realize. Friends, family, old professors and colleagues, social media friends, and LinkedIn connections are all part of your network. Don’t be afraid to use your social media as a way of networking and getting your business idea out there. See what support you can gain from your online connections. On top of that, you can attend networking events to meet new people and develop relationships with professionals inside and outside of your industry. Building and maintaining your network is extremely important when starting and operating your own business. Famous actors, Johnny Depp and Channing Tatum, were discovered by being at the right place at the right time. You never know when you’re about to get a lucky break. So, attend as many networking events as possible. Come ready to sell yourself and your business idea, but also be ready to embrace other’s ideas. This behavior will create mutually beneficial relationships that will help you down the road. If you’re lucky, you will meet someone who has experience in your industry and is willing to mentor you.
Utilize your resources wisely. There is an endless amount of resources for you to utilize during all stages of opening and owning your own business. Some ideas are listed below:
- Learn how to manage and run social media pages to attract business and build a web presence.
- Find a mentor. A mentor can offer you advice on how to tackle challenges and what they learned from the mistakes they made when they were in your position.
- Start local. Attend networking events and expos, join the Chamber of Commerce, pass out flyers, or sponsor a sports team.
- Scrounge the internet. Look for success and horror stories of opening a business. Read about people’s mistakes and what they learned from them. Research your industry. The internet is your number one free resource for unlimited information.
- Intern/job shadow with a business similar to the one you would like to open. This is a great, free way to obtain knowledge about running the business.
Know what you want, have high expectations, and do what you love. Knowing what you want out of your business is important when first starting out. This will help you shape the foundation of your business and is a vital part of setting goals. By setting goals and having expectations for yourself and your company, you will always know how your business is performing and you will be able to address and investigate problems as they occur. This is especially important in the first 3 years when processes and procedures are just being established and are easy to change. Setting goals that are high, but reachable, will motivate you and your team and will make for more realistic predictions and better outcomes. Doing something that you love is always better than doing something you hate. Studies show that people are more productive and motivated when they like what they are doing. Make sure to choose an industry and business that fit your lifestyle and personality to make the long hours more enjoyable.
Following these tips does not guarantee a prosperous business, but they are key things that should not be overlooked. Deciding to pursue a career in small business ownership can be exciting, yet intimidating, but as a millennial, you have many resources and experiences on your side. Having grown up in the age of technology and the 2009 recession, you are programmed with resiliency and technological prowess. Like many generations of entrepreneurs before you, the skills and experiences of your time will make for a different but equally rewarding entrepreneurial journey.