Millennials are naturally drawn to entrepreneurial ventures due to their high ideals and confidence in getting the job done. Previous generations believed in having “safe jobs” often staying within the same organizations for long periods of time. Generation Y however, is more focused on making their own path and following their own rules. This was clear at the From The Crown Up event I attended on July 30, 2013. Below is a recap of the advice that I shared with aspiring business owners and collegiate entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship looks like a great and rewarding experience on the surface, but it is not for the everyone. The decision to own a business is one that should not be taken lightly, and I see many young people jump into it with no proper planning and strategy. They put up a website and get some business cards and think they are ready to go. Unfortunately, they quickly realize that something is missing, because they aren’t making money and have reached a plateau. So where do you go from here?
Many times, the advice that new entrepreneurs receive is the generic: “Work hard; don’t give up.” motivational crap that really isn’t giving you details on running your business. What you need and often overlook is a TEAM:
Traffic: A static website is not going to bring you new customers or clients. You should focus on creating content that brings new, fresh eyes to your website. Traffic means more people will learn about what you do and ultimately more people are in your marketing funnel to become clients or customers. Learn and understand the importance of content marketing.
Email List: An email list of loyal followers and excited fans is important when marketing and building community. You want to build your list so that you are able to keep your current customers and potential customers in the loop. You can build a list various ways including a free offer on your website, a sign-up option on your site and collecting emails at an event. You want to think of your email list and email marketing as a way to maintain and nurture relationships.
Access: In order to be successful you need to have access to resources, mentors, volunteers and opportunities. If you really thought that you were going to do this alone, you thought wrong. As an entrepreneur you have to ask for help and count on others with the knowledge you need to get ahead. A good mentor gets you from point A to point B in 10 steps, when it originally took them 20. Always stay informed on new ways to improve your business and make connections that will benefit your business.
Money: Money is a huge factor when starting a business, I started my business with $1000 dollars because I was able to save a lot of money on things that I already knew how to do myself. However, remember that in order to make money you have to spend money. Entrepreneurship is not for the CHEAP. Invest in your success.
Before you begin a business it is important to differentiate what you are good at from what you are good at and enjoy doing. Passion is necessary to fuel the entrepreneurial fire. Entrepreneurs must learn to work on the business, not only in the business. This means that entrepreneurs must focus on the development of their venture, just as much as they focus on the actual product or service. It is important to understand that an infrastructure and processes must be put in place to help your business run smoothly and grow over time.
Thank you to everyone that came out!