This article was contributed by Gigmine.co.
The average entrepreneur launches his or her first business at 42 years of age, according to a paper from MIT Sloan. And while entrepreneurs are most likely to experience growth when launching a business at 45 years of age, this doesn’t mean you won’t find success if you’re in your 20s or 30s and thinking of launching a startup of your own. With the right training, education, and guidance, you can achieve entrepreneurial success at nearly any age.
Here are four great startup tips for young entrepreneurs, so read on to learn how to turn your business idea into a reality!
1. Build Business Skills and Knowledge
According to the abovementioned paper from MIT Sloan, there are a few reasons why most first-time entrepreneurs are in their 40s. Typically, it’s because middle-aged business owners have more financial resources, social connections, and human capital than younger entrepreneurs do. However, there are some steps young entrepreneurs can take to build business skills and knowledge, even if they don’t have professional experience. These include:
- Completing online courses. Free online courses are available to teach you essential skills in project management, marketing, finance, negotiation — and most importantly — entrepreneurship.
- Joining professional networks. Some of the best professional networks for young entrepreneurs include the Young Entrepreneurs Association (YEO), Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), and Young President’s Organization (YPO).
- Learning about business growth. Young entrepreneurs can benefit from the ZenBusiness Resource Center, where you’ll find information on government and non-government financial assistance (including grants and loans for entrepreneurs struggling amid the pandemic), running a business from home, and adapting a startup to COVID-19.
2. Understand Your Target Market
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Having a great business idea is the first step to launching a startup, but you’ll also need to understand your target market in order to achieve success. If you don’t take the time to find your target audience, you risk launching a business that isn’t wanted or needed — and your startup funding may not be allocated in the best way. The Zeroed offers a complete guide to identifying your target audience and engaging with potential customers when starting a business.
3. Get Your Finances Under Control
Government and non-government financing options are available to entrepreneurs, but qualifying for them can be a challenge with when you’re young and have an insufficient credit history. As such, building credit is one of the first things you’ll need to do if you plan on applying for a small business loan. You’ll also need to pay off as many debts as possible, including any student loans.
If you don’t qualify for the business financing you need to get your startup off the ground, other funding options are available. You could crowdfund your business, apply for a personal loan, or use credit cards to pay for business-related expenses — as long as you pay off your balance as quickly as possible.
4. Protect Your Investment
About 69 percent of American entrepreneurs launch their businesses from home, according to Inc.com. And if you’re like the majority of U.S. business owners and plan on launching your startup from home, it’s important to protect yourself and your investment from online security threats, identity thieves, and other types of cybercrime. Verizon’s tips and guides on digital security can help you to protect your tech devices while working online, reduce your risk of falling victim to cybercrime, and keep your business data safe and secure.
Begin Your Entrepreneurial Journey
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Though you may not have the business experience or professional network many middle-aged entrepreneurs do, you likely have plenty of other strengths and skills that can be used to turn your business idea into a successful startup. And with these four tips to guide you, there’s no need to wait another day or year to begin your entrepreneurial journey!
This article was contributed by Gigmine.co.