The younger generation is quickly becoming known for its entrepreneurial spirit. A recent survey showed that 66 percent of millennials plan to start their own business. There have been many arguments that American entrepreneurship is vanishing amongst the younger generation, with the average age of a successful entrepreneur standing at 45 years, according to the Age and High Growth Entrepreneurship Report.
The problem is, many of them still don't know how to go from business-savvy ideas to launching a successful business startup. Even when you're armed with entrepreneurial aspirations and a brilliant business idea, it takes some planning and a few key steps to achieve business success. In fact, the better prepared you are, the more you are likely to succeed as an entrepreneur.
Do Your Homework: Find Your Market
This is an often crucial and overlooked step in achieving business success for most entrepreneurs. While your business idea may hold great merit, it can be a complete failure if it is not aimed at the right target market, or even if they're not aware that your product/service exists. According to CBS Insight's Research, 42 percent of businesses fail due to there being no market need. Therefore, it is worthwhile taking the time and investing in market research before your launch and at regular intervals after that.
Begin by envisioning where your product/service would fit most naturally. Aim to define criteria such as age groups, location, spending, income brackets and purchasing method. Using customer surveys on social media platforms, you can also gauge the potential reaction to your product. You can also access consumer purchasing reports on most federal business websites that detail the most recent customer purchasing trends. This answers a fundamental question: who will you be selling your product to?
Assess Your Skills To Make This Work - Retrain, Enhance Or Hire
As a budding entrepreneur, there will be several key skills you will need to launch and run your business successfully. Some of these skills include financial management and budgeting, marketing, and in some cases, product design. However, since not all entrepreneurs come with a business background it may be necessary to enroll yourself in business classes online or at a local college. Alternatively, you can opt to hire/outsource key functions in your business to professionally trained individuals, making them either full-time employees or contractors.
Create Built-In Safety Mechanisms For Your Venture
As a start-up owner, it is important to take steps to protect yourself. It is undeniable that being an entrepreneur can be a risky path. Statistics from the Office of Advocacy show that over 20 percent of small businesses fail in the first year, while 50 percent of them do not survive by their fifth year. One of those measures you can take is securing the recommended insurance coverage for your new business and its assets, including any employees.
Depending on where you plan to set up your business, there will be certain non-negotiable insurance coverage, including disability and unemployment insurance. Additional coverage like workers' compensation will be determined by state laws. Almost all public and private businesses are required to have workers comp insurance in Maine or Arizona. However, in Georgia, employers with three or more employees are required to have workers comp insurance.
Don't forget to include yourself when securing health, disability or income loss insurance. As a business owner, your business and income stream can be heavily affected should you fall ill. Another thing you can do is separate your business from your personal life. Create separate credit and bank accounts for business and personal finance, even before you officially launch. Record any business expenses (to reclaim in your tax return at a later date), and try not to use your personal credit card or savings account when paying for them.
Achieving entrepreneurial success takes much more than having an entrepreneurial mindset - although it certainly helps. To turn your idea into a successful business venture, you must be prepared to take fundamental steps. Equip yourself and your workers with the right tools of the trade, get familiar with the market, and protect yourself along the way. While they may not guarantee your success, they do start you off on a great foot.