9 Things All Young Entrepreneurs Should Know Before Starting UpMarch 28th 2022
There comes a point when every bird has to fly, and well, for the most part, that moment is generally bittersweet. Moving on up in the big world is challenging with ebbs and flows that you're sometimes prepared for and other times not. As an entrepreneur, making your mark can be even tougher.
But impossible? Definitely not. The sky is literally the limit.
What does it take?
Entrepreneurship is no easy feat, and as you step into this role as a young adult, you're already in control of your future. But what does it really take to be successful? For starters, a will to succeed sounds cliché, but it is not negotiable. You have to be willing to do what it takes to get to where you need to be. And, of course, you need passion. Doing something you love means that you will never work a day in your life. Don't believe me? Ask any successful businessman what his passion is.
Now with these basics in mind, let us explore some of the things you'd need to know before starting up.
You've probably already come across people that don't end up doing what they started out with. As you start your business enterprise, you're going to find out what works and what doesn't. And as you explore other similar businesses around you, you get to see and incorporate what works for them. You have to be able to adapt to this change.
Persistence and Perseverance
This is where it gets a bit tricky. Life isn't smooth sailing. There are plenty of bumps in the road. You're likely to lose clients and employees along the way, probably right at the beginning too. Laws and regulations may change and disrupt your progress.
And with all of this, your finances may be affected, and you'll hit a stumbling block. Understand what you can control and what you can't. If you're able to, have some cash reserves on hand to see you through these challenges. Know that you will be knocked down, but get back up and try again.
One of the quickest reputation killers is poor work ethic. A start-up can be extremely difficult, but guess what? Great work ethic pays off. You're your own boss, and that means that 9 to 5 simply isn't a thing, and especially not at the beginning. Your success as an entrepreneur is determined by hard work without hours.
Honesty and integrity
This is not a side hustle; it's the real deal. Shaking people down for a quick sale or deal shouldn't even cross your mind. Besides this, you're probably going to have a few stakeholders at some point, so honesty and integrity are the way to play this game. Keep your dealings with both investors and clients transparent. Even if you have a slow start, this goes a long way to building a solid brand image.
Now that we have addressed the non-negotiables let's look at factoring your business in.
Understanding the market
If you've found your niche, you need to get to researching. This is the beginning of knowing how your product or service fits into the market. You've heard about audiences and target markets on social media; now, you need to apply this in your business.
When I started out, I realised that the market was over-saturated. Or so it seemed. Until I found that there is a unique group that wants what I have to offer. Explore your passion and work towards giving your specific audience a unique product that will stand out from your competitors.
This right here is crucial. Getting your brand out there means networking and breaking bounds that will help to get you noticed. Step up your social game and find events specific to your industry that you will attend regularly.
Yes, you can do this on your own, but having an experienced mentor is seriously not given the credit that it deserves. You're young, and it is easy to lose focus. There are plenty of people that will be willing to take you under their wing. Don't be afraid to ask!
Sorry, but an entry-level logo just won't cut it. People are drawn to what they can identify with, and superior branding is key. When you're marketing your business, think of what you'd like to see.
How many shady brands are out there that you've overlooked simply because of something like bad aesthetics? Good, consistent branding, whether virtual or physical, is vital in building trust and reputation.
Keep an eye on competitors
That means checking their social media accounts too. How else would you know how to adapt? Your competitors, especially the larger corporations, are actually your game-changers. They have the resources to keep up with trends in the market and digitally. Copy what works and learn from what doesn't. It's a win-win!
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