A recent report from The Princes Trust, Down But Not Out, shows that young entrepreneurs feel like they need more information with regards to finding opportunities, support and guidance, particularly when just starting their own businesses.
When you look at youth entrepreneurship at the moment, particularly in the UK, it can be argued that there is a lot of support available. However, when you look deeper into this, it seems that the majority of the support is financial, taking the form of low interest loans. Yet, without sufficient support in the form of mentoring and information on how to manage the resources that they already have, the money given out via loans is only part of the solution. It is therefore important that when starting a business you know what resources you already have, and can utilise them in the best possible way.
Here are the top 3 resources young people have at their fingertips when starting their own business.
- Personal skill set: It sounds strange, but often when you’re so focused on one thing (i.e the business) you tend to forget about all of the other things that you have done over the years and the skills that you have built up. Every short course, summer program or hobby has pushed you into this direction. Making lists or creating mind maps of things you enjoy and are good at is a really great way to identify these skills. They don’t even have to be relevant at this stage, but you do need to realise that they are there for future reference.
- Contacts: It’s true, the older that you get the more contacts that you have. However, even from a young age, you are making contacts in different industries and meeting people with different skill sets. By writing down a list of everyone that you know and there key competencies (as you understand them), you could move ever closer to finding someone to talk to that specialises in a specific aspect of your business. Discussing things and exploring new ideas can leave you energised and inspired. Both traits that you need when starting up!
- Internet Access: Most of the world has internet access and by utilising it in the right way you can build up all sorts, from communities to businesses. By doing your research and finding the right tools to help you get where you want to go, you can increase your reach and your sales. Be prepared to try lots of different avenues to build up your success though, and don’t give up. Sometimes a little patience goes a long way. Also, remember, it’s a great place to learn and fill in the gaps in your knowledge. Nobody expects you to know everything, but taking the time to understand key issues for your business will put you in a much better position and help you to make informed decisions.