Experts note that most profitable businesses on earth today were started by individuals who had little or no income. It is also on record that some entrepreneurial students who started businesses in their classrooms have now become global business moguls.
For instance, Microsoft, a resounding name in the Information Technology sector, began in Bill Gates’ Harvard dorm room. Google was also started by two doctorate students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, at the Stanford campus as their computer science project.
It is obvious that not all entrepreneurs will end up making it big like Gates, Brin or Page, but the ability to get the basics before starting you business will definitely give you an edge.
Below are 10 success tips for young entrepreneurs
1. Start the business you love
Management consultants say most successful entrepreneurs started businesses that they love doing. According to them, the passion which an entrepreneur puts into a particular trade, to a large extent, depends on how much love he has for the business. They say many successful young businesses have one basic factor – their owners love for what they do.
They advise prospective small business entrepreneurs to choose ideas which support their respective business interests, no matter what these ideas are.
2. Be aggressive
Being aggressive when starting a business involves committing much energy, time, resources and expertise to your growing business for as long as possible. The Managing Consultant, Simply Exponential Consult Limited, Mrs. ‘Fayo Williams, in a chat with this correspondent, noted that many entrepreneurs tend to be slack in the process, especially when they are not seeing expected returns in the early stages of the business. This should not be, as different businesses have different challenges.
Experts advise young prospective entrepreneurs to try a venture which no one or only a few people have done. They say the ability to shake-up the market with an entirely different, but acceptable product, will guarantee ample returns for the shrewd entrepreneur. By adequately undertaking a service or delivery model which established companies neglect, the entrepreneur may create a successful niche for himself.
3. Decide what you want
For a student, or an employee with a company, it is important to decide what you really want before starting up any business. According to experts, you should be able to decide clearly whether you are ready to quit your job or studies for the business. They say it is also important to know if the business will only be an additional source of income, that is, if you already have one. And for students, you should ask yourself if the business will become a side project. The ability to answer these questions adequately, experts say, will enable the entrepreneur organise and prioritise his objectives.
4. Take advantage of available resources
Many young entrepreneurs, most times have limited financial resources. As a result of this, experts say it is advisable to look out for opportunities at your disposal that will enhance your business. For student entrepreneurs, experts say you can use the free internet services at your institutions. A lot of things can be learnt while surfing the web. Workers should look for ways to market their products among co-employees, provided this is acceptable to your company.
5. Play by the rules
Find out what obtains from the government, task force and associations in your area. This will help guide you in running your business aright. If it is important to register with the local authorities, do so. Avoid misplacing important records and receipts of taxes paid. Be conscious of happenings around your business environment.
6. Ensure adequate time management
For an employee running a small business as an additional income source, the ability to apportion the right time to the business is vital to its success. The Lagos State Co-ordinator, National Directorate of Employment, Mrs. Odunwa Stella, during a press conference in Lagos recently, noted that it was important for an entrepreneur to understand what was required of him in separate roles
Experts advise entrepreneurs who find themselves in this situation to employ planning and organisational tools, such as an adequately updated appointment/schedule book, time/business management system or use of Microsoft Outlook to make the most of their daily activities.
As you employ all forms of aggressiveness, do not hesitate to give yourself a wholesome treat when necessary. Try to relax when fatigued. Consultant managers say no matter how aggressive you are, some days will overwhelm you. On such days, you can hang out with friends, visit pleasure centres with your family or go to the beach and get some fresh air.
8. Learn from a mentor
There may be a lot of people who have achieved success in your chosen line of business. Experts advise that you partner a local business entrepreneur with visible achievements and learn from him or her. No man is an island and it is not possible for one man to know it all. Your mentor will help you understand the dos and don’ts of the business and may also provide you with better clues on how to grow your idea. Sometimes new entrepreneurs get assistance from their mentors either in kind or by the providing them with useful investors.
9. Encourage yourself
Young entrepreneurs tend to lose steam if they are unable to make good returns as anticipated within a given period of time. Knowing how well other people have done in business and how they were able to scale through the hurdles in record time may demoralise a small business owner. Experts say the ability to stick to one’s guns will go a long way in bringing the business to limelight.
They advise the prospective entrepreneur to always tell himself that he is not competing with anyone but himself. “Do your best and leave the rest,” says Williams. “Do not be discouraged, because challenges will definitely come.”
10. Update yourself
Use the internet occasionally to update yourself on latest developments in your chosen field. This may not be too important for some small businesses, but it might give you better ideas on how to run similar businesses.