If Quvenzhané Wallis can be nominated for Best Actress in the Oscar Awards at the wee age of nine, then you’re certainly not too young to start a business!
More and more young people today are seeing the value of entrepreneurship as a rewarding career path, one that can service the world with positive, life-changing innovations.
Many often mistakenly believe that young people do not possess the qualities to run a successful business – such as experience, skill-set, and patience. But young people have qualities that put them at a distinct advantage in the business world – such as energy, confidence, charisma, intuition, openness to change, capacity to absorb new knowledge, an implicit understanding of young consumer behaviour and the ability to bring fresh ideas into the world.
They also tend to have fewer commitments (such as family and financial commitments) and thus can afford to spend more time in exploring business ideas with little to risk.
So if you’re young and full of crazy ideas, now is the perfect time to experiment with entrepreneurial ventures. Remember, if an idea fails, you can learn from your mistakes and either devote your time into reinventing the business or move on to your next business venture with a whole new level of knowledge that can only benefit you in the future.
But the point is, there is no age limit to business success and here’s the proof!
Nikki Durkin, founder of 99dresses.com is still only 20-years old and has risen to entrepreneurial stardom in a little over 12 months after she launched her website. Her talents have been well recognised around Australia and the US, and she was named one of the top 100 most influential people by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Her fashion website, proclaimed to be the world’s first “Infinite Wardrobe of Free Fashion”, allows users to trade unwanted clothes and accessories for virtual currency. Despite its brief shut down last year due to Durkin’s financial circumstances, the site has been an enormous success with over 40,000 registered users recorded in 2012.
Even younger is Laurence Rook, a 14-year old living in the UK, who developed the Smart Bell in 2011, a unique door bell that notifies your mobile phone as soon as someone presses it and allows you to speak to the visitor.
This invention is intended collect deliveries when you’re not at home and to trick thieves or any other unwanted intruders into thinking that you’re home. Rook has sold units of the Smart Bell to multiple telecommunications companies including Commtel Innovate, and he’s set to rock the world with many more ideas.
For young people ambitious about becoming entrepreneurs, here are 5 tips to help get you started:
1. Find yourself a mentor and start networking with successful business minds
We all need a bit of guidance when we’re starting something new and finding the right people to help nurture our growth is always beneficial. Building a profile on LinkedIn and Google+ would be a great start.
2. Read up on marketing strategies and think about investing in online advertising services.
Once you’ve developed a product or service, you need to make sure people know about it! Use social media to spread the word, and get people interested in your business.
3. Be patient and persistent
Once you’ve launched onto a path to changing the world, you need to be patient and persistent. Success doesn’t happen overnight. If you’ve been patient and persistent and the business is still motionless, it’s time to rethink your strategies.
4. Be aware of the obstacles in your path and prepare to conquer them
Knowing what could go wrong early on will help you deal with the problem if it arises. For young people, funding can be a problem as banks are reluctant to about lending to start-up entrepreneurs, especially young ones who do not have the assets to offer as security over loan.
But there are ways to get around it! Develop a plan, do your research and provide the nervous banker with documentation that strongly suggests your business will work!
5. Find something you’re passionate about and pursue it
We can’t be creative if we’re not engaging in something we love. Your heart needs to be in the right place! Develop ideas in areas that interest you.