Use this checklist to get your small business started
Being a young entrepreneur (which we are defining as anyone under 35) is incredibly exciting. You’re feeling charged up and inspired by other famous entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and the entire cast of “Shark Tank”. Every entrepreneur’s path to success is uniquely their own and what worked for one may not work as well for the other. While there’s no definitive formula to success as an entrepreneur, there are a few things you should be mindful of.
- Have a Plan: They say that failing to plan is planning to fail, and this is especially true in the business world. In order to get funding, attract investors, acquire customers, and outcompete your rivals you’re going to need a solid plan of attack. There will always be things that come up unexpectedly, so the more you prepare early, the less thrown off you’ll be later.
- Be Flexible: Having a plan is great, but it’s going to be impossible to plan for every possible scenario, so be ready to think on the go. You may also find as you go along that you need to modify your business. Twitter, 3M, Avon, and Wrigley's were all companies that started out as something else entirely and then changed their business model.
- Talk to Everyone: The best thing you can do, at any stage of your business, is to always talk to everyone else in the industry to stay on top of new trends, get advice, and maybe even a profitable inside scoop. Walmart founder Sam Walton was famous for being extremely inquisitive, asking an endless stream of questions. Never stop learning.
- Respect Where You Came From: Being a young entrepreneur often means having to leave your current job, and in some cases you may even be starting up in the same industry. If so, talk to your employers and let them know your plans. If you’re not competing directly, you may even get valuable advice or client referrals. The people you meet on your way up are the same ones you’ll meet on the way down, so try to be on good terms whenever possible.