5 NUGGETS OF WISDOM FOR YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS
Entrepreneurship is not easy and a college diploma is no longer a golden ticket. The road to successful entrepreneurship in most cases is hard and takes immense effort, energy and more often than not it needs a lot of money.
So if you are brainstorming on how to make it on your own or are setting out with some well grounded research and mentoring , here are some nuggets of advice for young, start up founders and today’s generation of entrepreneurs
(This programme taught me to see things through the end without giving up: John, winner of the Young Enterprise journey Award 2017)
1. WATCH HOW YOU SPEND EVERY SHILLING
You started out as an entrepreneur because you have the passion, however it is practicality and pragmatism that will take you much further. Don’t even think about fancy offices, fat expense accounts and fast cars.
You will have to tread the rough road and practice the art of frugality. Watch how every shilling is spent and also double check the expenses. Your wallet is literally the lifeblood on which you have to survive.
If you maintain low overheads, you will be able to manage cash flow comfortable and effectively. You won’t end up closing shop.
2. GET FOCUSED- KNOW WHAT YOU DO AND DO WHAT YOU KNOW
Ask yourself why you are going into the business. Is it because you think it sounds like a “cool career” and you have some hypothetical profit margins in mind?
If you feel a need to jump at every opportunity that comes your way- remember that story about the ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing‘. Many so called opportunities are just like that. You may be side tracked and end up juggling many ventures.
So Focus. Focus. Do what you love. A business built around your talents and strengths will have more chance of success. Focus on one thing. Do it well.
3. LEVERAGE YOUR NETWORK
Do everything you can to network. Meet new people and get your face out there and well known in your business circles, but don’t seem desperate. Make it more about exposure and value creation of your personal brand.
You have your business partners in the community, friends and there must be someone among these who has real world experience in the target market you are entering. So ask for some time from them.
People love to help budding entrepreneurs. Ask them what worked and what didn’t and gather lessons from their success.
4. LEARN UNDER FIRE- AT FIRST – NO ONE WILL INVEST LARGE SUMS
No one can predict the future or prepare you fully to become successful entrepreneur. Don’t rush headlong into a new business without thought or planning but don’t spend months and years incubating either.
Look for a starting point instead of an end point and test yourself under fire. Learn from your mistakes and scale down any pricey plans and grandiose expenses.
Simplify your idea to make it manageable and prove your business model on a small budget. Churn out a successful concept or product and your chances of attracting investors will increase manifold.
5. BUILD TRUST FIRST – EVERYTHING ELSE COMES LATER
You must be very clear with your team about the expectations and about the standards which you wish to maintain. It is important to have a vision and set goals for the team and hold them responsible for achieving their targets.
Because yours is a new business, you have to be very particular and firm with time-lines and completion dates, since you are answerable and have to build credibility with the clients.
You will be setting up your employees for success if you help them achieve well defined goals and you acknowledge this with appreciation. The more well knit and committed your team is, the better and more successful the outcomes.
Starting up can be an exciting experience especially when you are young and full of energy. But it is the discipline and attitude that you inculcate that will determine if you survive to build your dreams.