IAN FERGUSON: Young entrepreneurs to require these qualities


Ian Ferguson

YOUNG entrepreneurs do not necessarily have a lot of work experience - either because they just graduated from college, or entered the job market for the first time and want to start a new business venture. The encouragement they often receive is to get a job and work towards gaining experience that will later inform their entrepreneurial pursuits. The truth is that an early start on the road to enterprise can also prove beneficial to youth in business.

Youth brings with it a organic vigour and passion that bodes well for starting a business. You can stay motivated as a young entrepreneur by choosing an area that you are passionate on and researching your industry to learn as much about it as possible. In the absence of years of experience, a young entrepreneur can enjoy greater success by creating a realistic business plan with measurable goals and building a network of mentors and investors that will help them navigate the sometimes treacherous waters that start-ups encounter.

This week, our column focuses on helping teenagers and young people get off to a solid start as entrepreneurs by providing the tips they need to start their enterprise.

1 Find your passion

The most successful start-ups are founded by people passionate about what they do. Focus on something you truly love. You will be more focused and motivated.

2 Know your market

Failing to understand your market is one of the top reasons new businesses fail. If you want any chance of success, you must thoroughly research your target market before launching your business.

3 Get your finances in order

Whether you go looking for angel investors, secure loan funding through the traditional lending institutions or self-finance, you should do everything possible to improve your financial situation. Start drafting your financial plan as early as possible and minimise the debt you encounter in your personal life.

4 Prepare to make sacrifices

There is no such thing as an overnight success. Even the multi-million dollar start-ups that seem to pop up out of nowhere were the result of countless hours of hard work before they started making headlines. Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires an intense level of dedication to your dream, and this means sacrificing time and money to make it happen.

5 Find a mentor

Running a business requires a wide range of skills and expertise you likely have not mastered yet. You should not try to make challenging business decisions on your own. Because of this, finding a mentor is one of the most crucial things a young entrepreneur can do.

6 Tune up your business knowledge

You may be passionate about your big idea, but creative energy is not enough.

Successful businesses require more than an innovative product. They need a competent team to manage finances, operations, manufacturing, marketing and all the other things that go into producing and selling a product.

Take time to improve your business IQ.

7 Take action

Planning is necessary, but making those plans a reality is at the heart of entrepreneurship. Being a business owner means taking risks even when there is uncertainty. Even when your business gets going, you will need to continually scan for new growth opportunities and challenges, and take action to come out on top. Do not let a roadblock stop your stride.

• NB: Ian R Ferguson is a talent management and organisational development consultant, having completed graduate studies with regional and international universities. He has served organisations, both locally and globally, providing relevant solutions to their business growth and development issues. He may be contacted at tcconsultants@ coralwave.com.


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