Being an Entrepreneur at 16 Years
By Harneet Kaur
There used to be an era when 16 was all about teenage stuff. It was about friends, food and fun. The new generation is quite practical and serious about their life and career. This is worth appreciation.
Being an entrepreneur at 16 is fascinating. You are your boss. This position brings a lot of challenges along. The most basic is a lack of funds and experience. Do not let these obstacles hold you back. Today, we have enough technology for our help. There are business loans, online coaching programmes and information on the internet to help us get started. Just do not stop the learning process once you have started. Keep it a continuous process for consistent growth in your startup and life.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Identify the gap in the established market. If you start searching for tips on the internet, this one tops the list. It is the fundamental principle to understand this point when you are thinking of starting a business. Until and unless you do not understand this point, likely, your business won't flourish. Every market has a gap. This gap is an area where you can dominate and excel. Working on your niche is great, but becoming an excelled player in the established market can bring success. Take an aptitude test to understand your business strengths. Think about how you can use these strengths to make a difference in the market gap. Analyze your past experiences to understand what changes you seek. You can also go through old critiques and reviews of customer feedback for a better understanding of what is required.
Have a Solid Business plan. A well-written business plan is a must-have for not just the entrepreneur and the business but the ones associated with it as well. A business plan helps the employees to understand their tasks and the performance required. Also, it gives the investors an idea about your financial requirements and if your business is worth investing in.
Get your Legal Act sorted. As a minor, you won't be able to enter into any contracts directly. For this, you need to have the consent of an adult. Also, you cannot apply for a business loan yourself. You must have an adult co-sign the loan contract. This is an important decision. Think about who you can trust as a business partner till you reach the legal age to run and make legal decisions yourself.
Get a Strong team. You will need a strong team to get your business to work. A team that is creative, ready to take risks, up for facing challenges and can speak up their minds. Your team and you should share a relationship based on mutual trust and respect. Listen to your team. Understand their issues. They might not always agree with you. Give them an opportunity and space to explain the reasons. It's your business and your decision, so be prepared for making the best possible decision in every situation. You might need to let go of your ego to make the right decision.
Learn from Your Mistakes. It's fine to make a mistake. Keep patience. Be strong to own up to the responsibility of making a wrong decision. Be open to learning. Learn from the mistakes you make. Rethink the process. Analyze if you skipped a step or took a wrong step. You won't be able to improvise until you open up to your mistakes. Talk to your team. Ask for suggestions. Let them help you. It's ok to ask for help.
Networking is a Must. To bring yours and the presence of your products strong in the market, start networking. If you network the right way you can save some money on marketing your products. Your audience can do that for you if they truly believe in them. Networking also opens up a gate of information and ideas for you. The more you converse with other people the more information you receive. Once you start interacting with people and letting them know about your capabilities, a lot more business opportunities open up. Also, it provides you with a space to retrospect on where you lack. It lets you think if you need to upgrade a specific skill.
Never Ignore Feedback. Never ignore feedback from either your team or your customers. It helps you evaluate your growth. If you are ignoring the feedback, it means you are hiding from a problem. Until you face the problem, you can never find a solution. Your business works because of your customers. You will only add more trouble if you ignore your customers. A simple note of gratitude or apology can turn your negative into a positive. Take feedback from your team also. Show interest in what they are trying to convey to you. Understand their body language. Ask them if the work environment is comfortable enough. Do not make excuses.
Set a Financial Budget. Setting up a practical financial budget is very important. It helps you to avoid any financial missteps in the early stages of your startup. When you have a financial budget set, it allows you to decide when and how many employees you need to hire. It allows you to understand when and where you need to make investments. A proper budget prevents you from taking too many business loans. It also helps you take a back step when it comes to engaging and buying marketing tools. These tools are expensive and not every tool is fit for your business. Opt for the one that suits your requirements best and fits your budget.
Now that you are all set to enter the world of entrepreneurs, be ready to face all sorts of challenges, sacrifices in personal life and criticism. Be strong and have a positive approach. You are young and full of new ideas. Invest your energy and creativity but do not forget to take care of your mental and emotional health. Happy entrepreneuring!
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