However, whilst jobs may be scarce, it seems young people are beginning to take their futures into their own hands. Previous research has shown that many young people aspire to be self-employed and start their own businesses.
Yet the support and funding isn’t always there for young people. That’s why charities, such as Bright Ideas Trust, have been formed to offer business advice, mentoring and funding to aspiring entrepreneurs who otherwise wouldn’t be able to start their own business.
Being a young entrepreneur can bring many advantages such as; new and innovative ideas and less financial commitments that allow you to take more risks. Nevertheless, being a young entrepreneur can come with a number of complications and obstacles that you need to overcome. Having that one great idea is only the beginning…
Knowledge is power
Research is often overlooked by budding entrepreneurs as they are so keen to get going with their idea that they forget to pay attention to the details. Thinking your idea through thoroughly and planning it properly is essential and, while it may not seem like the fun part of owning your own business, it can save you a lot of trouble later down the line.
Before you begin to print your business cards printed or website launched, make sure you know as much as possible about your business idea. Look into your market and how your company might fit into it. Research your closest competitors and see what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong and think of how you could be better than them.
Lean on me
Bright Ideas Trust was founded as a way to provide budding entrepreneurs with the help, guidance and resources they needed. Bright Ideas Trust puts a lot of emphasis on supporting our beneficiaries, whether that’s through mentoring, guidance or even just giving them the motivation and belief to succeed. This kind of support is essential in nurturing young entrepreneurial talent.
Remember that there’s no shame in needing and asking for help. Chances are that when you start your first business you’ll make a lot of mistakes and won’t be expected to know everything. A lot of the best lessons come from mistakes.
Show me the money
A lot of emphasis is placed on funding for start-ups and SMEs. Whilst financial backing is important, it’s not the only thing needed to make a successful business. There are a lot of avenues to take with finance and there are a lot of organisations you can turn to for funding. It’s worth researching as many of these as you can to see which might work best for you.
Once you do get finances in place to back your business, the most important thing isn’t how much money you have, but how you spend it. Regardless of the sum of the money available make sure you plan how to spend every penny and try to take into account any unseen expenses and non-fixed overheads.
It’s not always 9-5
The key to being a successful entrepreneur, and getting your idea off the ground, is to be dedicated, driven and willing to work long hours. Many people assume that working for yourself will be “easier” than working for someone else. This isn’t the case. You need to put everything you can into your business to make it a success and this often means working more than12 hours a day, sometimes 7 days a week. The secret, that’s not so secret, to having a successful business isn’t just about having the idea; it’s about persistence, conviction in your idea and being prepared to work hard. However, if it is something you are truly passionate about it sometimes won’t even feel like work.
Tim Campbell MBE, Chairman and co-founder of Bright Ideas Trust will be speaking at BTEG’s Opening Doors Network: The Enterprise Programme on 11th June 2014.