Starting a business is a very risky journey, and even more so when you are a young entrepreneur with big ambitions but it can definitely be done. I was recently invited to contribute my top ten tips to budding entrepreneurs to a Californian magazine and I had to think really hard about how I would transform 16 months of a very intense and fast paced journey from me starting my business on my own to having strategic partnerships and building a solid brand into ten simple tips (talk about a marketing challenge). I think that many of those tips have an emotional aspect which cannot be ignored as half of the journey is to be fierce and to believe in the dream. The rest consists of practical tips that worked for our business model allowing me to refine my vision and to create exactly what I wanted to offer to our clients in the long run. So there they are..
My Top 10 Tips to Budding Entrepreneurs:
- Take The Risk– that’s the first step and it is a huge one but once you have clearly established that there is a real demand for your product or service – go for it. Plan, plan and plan more - things don't have to be perfect but planning will allow you to understand the risk that you have taken and to process this information more efficiently.
- Dream Big – Set yourself some big challenges and go for them. You might hurt yourself a little in the process and it’s likely to take all that you have but it is doable.
- Build Your Network – Your first year in business is all about surviving, if you can make through the first year, things will get easier. Make this possible by surrounding yourself with people who can make things happen for your budding business. If you can - get a mentor. Harness the power of social media and reach the people you need to be speaking to.
- Keep It Simple – Don’t get the accountants involved too early; focus on your vision and refining your idea first.Once you get this aspect of your business right then you can move onto getting investment and having the right accounting strategy.
- Still Keep An Eye On Costs – Avoid unnecessary overheads when you first start and keep the structure as cost effective as possible – look at shared offices, virtual spaces and outsource where you can.
- Enjoy The Journey – Starting a business is probably the toughest personal development journey you will go through but take the time to enjoy the victories and have fun.
- Make Lists – Don’t let a good idea pass you by, always make notes of what you have seen or the ideas you have had.
- Be Positive – When you first start it is likely that people will put down your idea or tell you you’re too young, too inexperienced - young entrepreneurs are leading the way with corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter so why do you have to be plagued by age discrimination? Keep your ideas to yourself if you feel that your ambitions are being put down, the truth is many people won't get your vision.
- Focus On Your Customers – Have your focus on your customers and cherish the relationships you build with them, they are the ones who took their first leap of faith with your business. Take the time to research and really understand your target market and deliver awesomeness and value.
- Push Through – Starting a business will take every inch of energy you have and there will sweat, tears and doubts but Rome wasn’t built in a day – the same applies to your business. Remain on target and push through.
I'd love for you guys to add your own tips underneath or to explain how you can relate to one or many of those tips...
Where were you when you started and where are you going now?
If you would like to chat to me about your journey, feel free to drop me a line or an email.