Most young people dream of owning their company and becoming their own boss. However, there are some obstacles along the way that makes this viable dream a distant reality. What most young entrepreneurs lack are experience and funds.
How to become an entrepreneur at 18? Check out the below 8 steps to become an entrepreneur at 18:
- Step-1: Picking a Business Idea
- Step-2: Start to Build Your Network
- Step-3: Organize Your Business
- Step-4: Testing Your Idea
- Step-5: Converting Early Adopters into Fans
- Step-6: Raise More Money
- Step-7: Market your Business
- Step-8: Scale it
But if you want to become a young entrepreneur, you can’t let these obvious flaws fault your dream. By 18, you probably have the vision of how you want to run your company.
In these modern days, an internet search on how to become an entrepreneur at 18 will yield many results. Filtering through the ideal advice from the thousands of available information is a challenge to many.
If you find yourself in such a situation, this article will take away some of the burdens and leave you with valuable tips to propel your ambition as a young and successful entrepreneur.
Understanding What It Means to Be A Young Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurship is growing and becoming trendy with every passing day. But trendy doesn’t signify that the road to success is easy and everybody can create a startup company.
Before venturing deep into your entrepreneurial ambition, it is essential that you understand the difference between opening a small or medium business, becoming a boss through freelancing, and launching a startup company that keeps growing in value.
For starters, forget about making millions while doing your hobby. Even though entrepreneurship can be based on what you love, you will learn that you need to become a leader to grow your business even further.
The title demands that you become an evangelist to your ideas, negotiator, professional fundraiser, and deal maker, among other titles.
Whereas learning leadership skills is less challenging, you will need determination, the ability to forge ahead through unclear circumstances, and relentless grit.
How to become an entrepreneur at 18
If you still want to pursue your ambition and learn how to become an entrepreneur at 18, here are some eight valuable tips to guide your path.
Step-1: Picking a Business Idea
Because you are entrepreneurial, you already have some ideas that linger through your mind all the time. The ideal question is, which one do you pursue first?
If you have more than one business idea, consider pinning them to a board and give it time as you weigh your options. Use this time to discern what you can achieve and ways to make it happen.
Most testimonials from successful startup owners follow a definitive trend. You discover a problem that compels you to find a solution within an industry. What follows next is getting a team of like-minded people who share your passion.
Entrepreneurs build success from scratch regardless of the position they have in society. Some might be already in well-paying jobs, while others are yet to graduate and join college.
Before taking this leap of faith, ensure that you research your business idea and see what the competition is good or poor. Find out if your business idea has commercial viability to succeed where few or none have ventured.
The idea is to determine if you can satisfy an urgent need that people are willing to pay to procure your services or product.
Step-2: Start to Build Your Network
The decision to become an entrepreneur at 18 comes with its fair share of challenges. Like all other startup businesses, you will still need resources and connections. You will need to build a network from the onset.
Have a team of advisors, investors, lawyers, and co-founders within your reach and database. Honor their requests to as many events as possible to meet the right people for your business.
To build a personal brand means that you stop spending time on social media promoting yourself. Instead, build a website and give your audience as much information about your business as you can. Make them know how to contact you and where to find your business.
All connections are crucial, whether they are your peers or industry professionals. Always strive to recognize the experience and value each connection offers your startup business.
Use your time to create networking opportunities. It can be from events on industry talks, morning coffee catchups, internships, etc. Networking doesn’t imply that all meetings need to take place in a professional setup.
Knowing your peers and industry professionals from casual settings may generate professional relations.
Finally, when building your network, make it around committed, professional, driven, and hardworking individuals that share your passion and vision.
Also check out, How to Be an Entrepreneur without an Idea?
Step-3: Organize Your Business
After picking your leading business idea, you need to execute the basic foundation that qualifies every business. It starts by selecting a suitable location, incorporating, and getting a tax ID number for your business.
Afterward, your business will need a bank account to get your finances and accounting in order. Remember, while starting, you may lack the funds to achieve all these objectives in one stride. However, a brilliant entrepreneur should be able to handle the finances of the startup business.
A business plan will guide you in managing all your startup’s business financial aspects as you need to keep the business alive in its early days.
Step-4: Testing Your Idea
There will never be a better time to become an entrepreneur except now. Once you feel ready, start selling your business idea to enroll and engage as many customers as possible.
At this stage of your business, it is possible to evoke many reactions towards your business idea. The point is to find the people who are willing and interested in your business.
Postponing a business idea is pointless because you will delay specific actions that must take place regardless of the time.
If you test your idea, you get the advantage of knowing if your ambition is a fruitful venture. The difference between young entrepreneurs who succeed and those who fail is determined by taking action.
The faster you test your idea, the more time you have to correct flaws that may harbor your success.
You may like, How to Overcome Entrepreneurship Failure?
Step-5: Converting Early Adopters into Fans
For your business to grow exponentially, you need to impress the early adopters of your idea. If you manage to make them loyal, they will give more referrals, and many people will know about your business.
Even though early adopters require special attention that may mean extra money, it is way cheaper than paying for Ads to replace them with new customers.
It is almost impossible to come up with a business idea that appeals to everyone. You must select your customers using specific demography like income, age, race, gender, and culture, among other options. All these aspects determine where you will open your shop or even if you need a physical location.
Step-6: Raise More Money
By now, your business should attract more money necessary to maintain the cash flow that takes your business to the next level.
If you have been diligent with the first steps, raising money should be no problem. You already have a working model, a polished final product, and some data to prove your action in the market.
Raising money for your business takes it to the next milestone, which is expansion. From this point on, it is time to bring the investors into your business to get the funding you want.
As you will discover, all kinds of investors can take your business to where you want it to go. If you become successful in pointing the gap in the market, investors will willingly come on board.
Also, check out, 10 Difference Between an Entrepreneur and an Intrapreneur.
Step-7: Market your Business
Marketing your business is an ongoing process that never stops once you start. What point is there to own a restaurant in town that nobody visits because no one knows it exists?
Marketing is not supposed to be easy, but if you focus on your message to the right audience, it can almost appear effortless. For instance, when targeting millennials, it is more likely to capture their attention through social media than raising billboards all over the city.
Consumers always want products. However, knowing what to pick may present a challenge. Your job as an entrepreneur is to convince potential customers that what you are offering is the best option.
Highlight what makes your product unique and value it based on what that adds to the consumer.
Step-8: Scale it
Suppose you can do it once. You can always do it again. Now that your business is successful, you can afford the capital to scale your business.
Expand your market and duplicate the same business model. Other options available is to acquire or merge with other companies, hire more staff as you look for a good exit plan.
Also, check out, Top 10 most successful businesses to start.
Characteristics of Young Entrepreneurs
Self-discipline is a trait that all entrepreneurs must have to succeed regardless of their age, gender, or race. It applies both in business and in life.
What self-discipline implies is the ability to do what you have to do, whether you want to or not. It tags along with other disciplines like self-responsibility, self-mastery, and self-direction.
What will separate you from other young entrepreneurs is getting into the habit of doing what they (your competitors) are unwilling to do.
Doing the undesired is the price of building a startup company from scratch.
From the moment you decide to venture into your business idea, that is the time to earn a reputation of absolute integrity. For every transaction and action you conduct for your business, ensure that you are honest.
If you compromise the integrity of your business, you lose honor, trust, and eventually customers.
As you build your character, the people you trust are the ones to lend you money, business credit, buy your service or products and even work with you. Integrity is a business asset that depicts your character.
Persistence is the sheer will never to give up even when facing impossible odds. As a young entrepreneur, the lack of experience can be demotivating, especially when your business faces unexpected tribulations.
Setbacks are to be expected. Regardless of the magnitude, you still need to persevere and focus on the successful strides of your business.
Before starting your startup business, make a pact with yourself that you will never give up even when it seems like the only viable option. The quest for success requires grit and courage when facing adversity.
Persistence is also a business asset as it measures the belief you have for your idea and in yourself.
4# A Sense of Direction
The business class is marred with so many uncertainties that new startups operate through dark smoke, the same as firefighters. No matter how prepared you feel you are, the marketplace is not a guaranteed success as a young entrepreneur.
To have a clear perspective of your business growth, you can’t be tripping over short-term problems that only generate short-term profits and sales. If you intend to grow your business to propelling heights, consider planning and thinking for the future.
Set targets and pursue every aspect of your business. The primary responsibility you owe your employers is to have a sense of business direction.
5# Decisive and Action-Oriented
Entrepreneurs are successful because they make decisions that no one else is willing to make. By becoming decisive, you act upon situations swiftly and timely.
Feedback is essential for all businesses, and once you act fast, you get immediate feedback and can self-correct within time if need be.
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The global population is ever-increasing. Therefore, there will always be a gap to fill for new startup businesses. Even though there are many fields and industries, no single business model will work for everyone.
Opening a restaurant in a densely populated urban area can see more success than replicating the same business in a less populated or rural area. There are many entrepreneurs every year, which should be a sign that entrepreneurship is a successful venture.
Consequently, entrepreneurship is a blanket term. Even though you can pick any field or industry that you feel you can succeed in, finding a business you are passionate about is crucial. Entrepreneurship is hard work, and it makes sense if it is geared towards the things you care about.
The industry or field you pick determines the money you will make and the security of your businesses’ future. I hope you get an idea of, how to become an entrepreneur at 18?
Bijay is an entrepreneur and start-up founder having more than 14 years of IT industry experience. He is the co-founder of TSInfo Technologies, a SharePoint development company.
A dedicated professional and very passionate about public speaking and also wrote thousands of technical blogs in various technologies. He also wrote a lots of blogs on entrepreneurship, investment, startup, business, manage money tips, etc.