Young Entrepreneurs on the Rise

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There is no time like the present to follow your entrepreneurial spirit in your younger years. Starting at a young age gives you time to focus and figure out your exact path in starting your own business. It can be a very scary process either diving right in out of college or leaving a stable job to pursue your passions of running your own business. Thankfully, there have been many people that went before you and followed their ideas. They were either met with failure or success, and either way, want to share what they’ve learned with the aspiring young entrepreneurs of today.

Research and Problem Solving
It is essential to do your research before you decide on your particular company and product. The research aspect assists in making sure your idea is original. If there is another type of product similar to the one you are creating, research who your competitors will be and how you can set yourself apart. Discovering who the target audience is by defining your market is an essential part of the original business plan, and a task young entrepreneurs forget to complete.  

Problem solving is an essential step in the beginning process of creating a business plan. The product or idea you have should solve some sort of a problem in order to be successful. This helps to increase the need for these particular goods and services.

Be Optimistic and Passionate
When you’re a young entrepreneur, just starting can be nerve racking but also very exciting because your future can go in so many directions. One thing to remember is that not every idea will be a successful one. Failure is inevitable, but that failure creates a drive to succeed if you have the passion behind it. Entrepreneurs who are genuinely passionate about what they do and the goods and services they produce will have a much higher chance of succeeding because they will not want to give up on their dreams.

Optimism is another crucial factor in staying on the path of success. Challenges in the entrepreneurial world are inevitable. You will hear the word ‘no’ at points in your career but staying focused, positive, and optimistic is going to keep moving you forward towards reaching your goals.

Young entrepreneurs can learn a lot from entrepreneurs who have been in the business for quite some time. It’s important to read about your mentors and the leaders you look up to and hear their success stories. Every one of them will have a list of failures and what helped them prevail and become the successful business leader they are today.

How Entrepreneurs Can Approach Branding

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Entrepreneurs are always working. With little free time to experiment on finding ways to brand their business, entrepreneurs sometimes find themselves at a loss when it comes time to work on their methods for PR. However, by taking a strategic approach to branding, entrepreneurs will find that they get their desired results quickly.

Branding Musts for Entrepreneurs
While effective methods for public relations are ever-evolving, there a few key things every small business owner should be taking advantage of. Entrepreneurs should follow these tips to effectively brand their companies:

Create Articles for Niche-Centric Outlets
Niche-centric outlets will allow entrepreneurs to easily reach their preferred audience. Rather than shooting for larger publications like Huffington Post, small business owners should turn to niche-centric outlets like LinkedIn, Quora, and Medium. The entrepreneurs will be able to target readers that already have an interest in their particular products or services.

When pitching these articles for niche-centric outlets, entrepreneurs should try their best to stand out. By making their content as unique as possible and creating a catchy subject line, entrepreneurs have a better chance of getting their content published. Once the article is published, other users will start to respond by commenting and sharing the content, leading to increased brand exposure.

Create a Blog
Blogging isn’t dead. Entrepreneurs looking for quick ways to promote their company and content should start blogging. On their blog, these small companies can post press releases, breaking news, and any information that provides professional and unique insights into their industry The blogs will attract new readers and, with the help of keywords targeted for SEO, convert them into customers.

Additionally, blogs offer entrepreneurs an opportunity to connect with their readers. Companies that interact with their readers in the comments section will be working to drive and maintain authentic and organic traffic on their website.

Get Into Guest- and Self- Publishing
Entrepreneurs looking to get their content recognized should look into guest- and self-publishing. Avenues like blogging, podcasting, and posting on YouTube serve as a way for entrepreneurs to publish their own content and connect directly with interested individuals.

Branding one’s self as a small business owner is essential to stand out from the competition. Keep these three strategies in mind when putting together new PR campaigns.

 

Benefits from Pursuing Entrepreneurship

 

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Whether you are college student figuring out your path or a professional looking for a career change, entrepreneurship could be the choice for you. There are many different benefits that come along with being an entrepreneur along with being able to make your goals and passions come to life. It can, at times, be a strenuous and challenging job, but the rewards are unlike any other profession. Here we will discuss some of the benefits from seeking out life in entrepreneurship and why it might be the right choice for you.

You choose your schedule
With being your boss, comes the benefit of being able to decide how you spend your time. You get to work as long as you want and when you want to stop, then you stop. It is an excellent opportunity to be able to be so flexible with the time you spend on work without having to miss out on life and other opportunities.  

Choices depend on you
You are your boss. Decisions will come right from you when it comes to your company and your product. This is true for the other departments within your business. You are going to figure out the type of brand and marketing and how you want your product to look to your audience and consumers.

You live your passions
Being an entrepreneur means you can live out your passions. Your visions will be brought to life because of what is most important to you and what you feel the world needs. Not many other professions have this type of freedom in doing precisely what they want to do and exactly how they want to do it.

Continue to learn and grow
With being your boss in the entrepreneurial world, comes the opportunity to continue to learn, grow, and try on different hats. If you’ve never started your own business before, you will start to learn many various aspects of the business including marketing, sales, and planning. Until you have the capital to hire these jobs in your company, you may have to do some of it yourself. This just gives you the extra edge to hone your business skills to be a better leader and entrepreneur.

The opportunities in the entrepreneurial world are endless and up to you because you are your boss and help to control your future. It is a great process to be a part of in your life if you want to turn your passions into a reality.

StartUp or Buy: Which is Best for your Entrepreneurial Endeavours

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Managing your own business hosts a number of unique opportunities and the potential for success. While starting your own original business is a common procedure, you may also want to think about instead purchasing an existing business and taking over operations. Both options have benefits and downsides, so it’s important to consider all your options and determine what is best for you and your ideas.

Starting A Business
Perhaps the most compelling aspect of starting up your own business is the prospect of complete autonomy and ownership. Building a business from scratch means that the ideas, organization, structure, and process are all your own. This sense of leadership and power can certainly be tempting. As long as you understand the responsibilities of a business owner, the management of your new business should be relatively clear-cut.

If you start your own business, you will be building from the ground up, which means you will not have any pre-existing mistakes or hurdles to fix, and the issues that do arise should be manageable, seeing as you should be able to identify the factors that lead to any errors.

Of course, if managing a startup were easy, everyone would do it. There are a number of barriers and obstacles you will face if you decide to start your own business. The work you have to put into a new business is immense, and unless you’re fully prepared to tackle it with a lot of effort, you might want to hold off on the endeavor.

For some, the financial burden is also a large deterrent. Unless you’re already wealthy or you’re fully determined to devote a significant amount of time fundraising, the process of procuring funds can be challenging. Relying on investors is a typical course of action, but this tends to mean that those investors wield some control over your business. If you’re willing to sacrifice some authority, then this won’t be too much of an issue, but finding investors who want to support your budding business may be tricky, too.

Buying A Business
Known as the process of entrepreneurship through acquisition, buying an established business can also prove favorable. Taking this course of action means surrendering some control, as your business will be an inherited one rather than an original; that being said, if you’re willing to take over a business, utilize their success, and work to improve sales or organization, you should consider buying a business and using their success as leverage for your own reputation.

It’s important to identify a good, profitable business before you buy; researching its history, its clientele, and its organization can help you determine if buying the business will be profitable. Repeat customers and a steady income are often signs that a business is successful and will continue along a similar path in the future.

As long as you devote a significant amount of time an energy to research, you will be able to use an established brand to your advantage. Most of the time, buying into an existing business means they have worked to create their brand and have overcome some of the obstacles that face new businesses. This means that you will not have to navigate difficult hurdles that would accompanying the creation of your own startup.

However, if the previous owner(s) made mistakes, you are responsible for identifying and amending them. Because you are coming into the business operations later in the game, you may not know exactly what led to the mistakes, and though your insight will be fresh and new, you may struggle to identify what the best course of action will be. Failing to fix major problems can lead to disaster.

Even if you do your research on the business’ financial history, there is no truly accurate way to gauge the worth of a business. Depending on the demand for the business’ product or service, you may find that your purchase is a flop; this is a risk you will have to take if you want to buy an existing business. You should also consider the potential reasons a business might be on the market; the current owners might anticipate a significant dip in profits or a decline in public interest, so you should be aware of the possible causes one might have for selling their business.

There is no right way to be an entrepreneur, and each experience is individual and unique. Identifying your goals, resources, and motivation will help you determine whether starting a business or buying one is the right move for you.

Are People Born as Entrepreneurs?

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The latest question creating separation in the business industry surrounds whether or not entrepreneurs are a unique class, born with a drive and demand to succeed that the rest of humanity lacks. While many subscribe to this theory, others believe that entrepreneurship can be created through mentoring, experience, and education.

Multiple studies over the last decade have hinted at the existence of an entrepreneur gene, or at a minimum that people with distinct personality traits and genetic tendencies are more inclined to be successful entrepreneurs than others. Some studies suggest that genes influence whether a person will start a business and can even determine an individual’s earning potential. It’s a divisive thought, particularly for Americans raised with the notion that education and drive can enable success in any area they choose.

Exploring a Genetic Predisposition to Entrepreneurship

The dilemma surrounds whether entrepreneurs pursue a path because of a genetic predisposition or educational experiences. Most of us have met many successful entrepreneurs in our careers and would agree that they include diverse personality types and individuals, including a mix of extroverts and introverts, inherent risk-takers, and those with a higher, more circumspect outlook. There isn’t a unique representation of an entrepreneur, just as there isn’t one particular sort of business opportunity. However, the talents of many entrepreneurs converge in the following abilities:

  • Exhibit personal strengths in entrepreneurial endeavors
  • Align their skills and passions with potential opportunities
  • Develop the skills and attributes they need to maximize those opportunities

In short, a career based on entrepreneurial attributes and skills can be learned and is something that should be a component of the educational experience of all young people. That means that entrepreneurs can be created and also may be born with traits that predispose them to exceed. As mentors, we can all perform a role in supporting the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.

Life of an Entrepreneur: the Five Dark Truths

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Since the early 90s, many people have taken the plunge to become an entrepreneur expecting the journey to be like what they read in the papers or on television. However, like many of the veterans will say, starting a business is like diving head first into the deep end without known how to swim. Many people are often mistaken because of the fantasies of being your own boss and creating your own hours is exciting. While at times it can be exhilarating, overnight success is incredibly rare within the field. For those business leaders thinking about getting things started, start off by understanding the overall risk you will be taking the minute you become your own boss. Once you do that, you can begin preparing your next steps of the business.

While all of the dark truths portray a negative perspective of the life of an entrepreneur, this should not deter you from trying. This article is meant to educate and prepare you for the unknown and uncertainties to come.

So what are the dark truths? Below, you will see five of the biggest misconceptions people will face when entering the field of entrepreneurship. Use this knowledge to educate and prepare you rather than scare you from the field. Think about it, for those successful business leaders like Elon Musk or Mark Cuban, success didn’t come immediately. Rather it was a growing process where everyday was a battle.

1. Money that Comes in will Immediately Come out

When starting a business, you need to be aware that you will not make money right away. Starting off, raising capital for your business can be a difficult obstacle. However, the process serves as a financial eye-opener of what needs to be financially achieved in order for your business to grown and thrive each and every day. In addition, for most businesses, the first few years will be spent on foundational and operational cost. While the revenue may be growing, the personal financial gain cannot be the same.

2. You Can’t Do Everything by Yourself

While in the beginning stages of your business you may find yourself holding various titles, an entrepreneur and business leader needs to shed the weight of responsibilities and trust their employees to be accountable for their own obligations. Yes, you know the marketing, sales, employees, and management tactics needed to run a business. But in order for you to grow as a boss, you need to trust your employees with the work. Doing so is a strong sign that your business is thriving. Just because you are holding less responsibilities does not mean you are doing less. Rather you can use that time to optimize and improve yourself as an administrator and CEO.

3. The Organized Chaos

While you may have started off with a clean and efficient business plan, the reality after the first few years of your company may shift dramatically. At the end of the day, it is often hard to predict the overall outcome of where your business it heading. There will be various speed bumps and this will seem to go off course. When this happens, accept it. See how these changes can align with your vision so that you can reflect and transform your company to the best possible position. Remember, adapt or die. Those who live in the old world stay in the old world. For your business, accept change and welcome it as a good thing.

4. Your Decisions will Keep You Up at Night

As a business leader and face for your company, you will oftentimes be the primary decision-maker for those hard-to-make stress-inducing decisions. Yes, some will decisions will haunt you, but at the end of the day, you want to be confident. To make the most logical and sound decision, look at what will benefit your company in the long run Compare and contrast how these decisions will change the work culture and your relationships with those around you. By asking yourself these big heavy hitting questions, you will be preparing yourself for greater things. Just know that whatever decision you make, believe that you are right.

5. Failure will always be an Option

Whether they are massive or minor, failure is undoubtedly inevitable. It is the essential part of being an entrepreneurship. While it is uneasy to accept, you need to understand that you will not have control of everything. Rather than look at these failures as a negative, see them as a window of opportunity. Reflect why this came to be and how you can prevent it down the line.

Why We Love Shark Tank

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Entering into its seventh season on ABC, Shark Tank has captured the mind, the heart, and the essence of the every-day entrepreneurs. With its gimmicky and visually tedious conference room setting, it is no wonder why this show has captured the hearts of the American public.

But what is so special about this show? Why is it so popular?

For those of you who have never seen the show, Shark Tank is a reality television series that gives budding entrepreneurs the chance to bring their dreams to fruition. In the tank, individuals are asked to present a quick five-minute pitch about their idea and their company in order to convince a panel of five successful business titans. After a series of questions on the background, finances, and future planning of the company, the sharks give their decision of whether or not they will invest their money into the entrepreneur’s idea. When more than one shark wants to invest in their idea, a bidding war can erupt, driving the price of the overall investment. On the show, the most notable and recurring sharks have been Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, Mark Cuban, and Lori Greiner.

When people first watch they show, they are expecting to see something similar to a “talent searching” scene such as those found in the Apprentice or American Idol because of its stylistic judge-like setting. However, once they continue watching, they see that the overall show is much more than that. It is both informative as it is educational. The dynamics of corporate business found in each and every pitch is something that is interesting and new to television. Beyond, the pitches and products themselves, the knowledge and attitude each judge or shark brings to every episode makes the show that more worthwhile.  With over six million, this once pronounced bland financial cable show is and will continue to be a reality hit.

So why do we love this show?

There are three simple reasons why we cannot stop watching Shark Tank: the sharks, the pitches, and the negotiations.

The Sharks

While the concept of the show is intriguing overall, the variety of judges that are picked for each episode gives the show an overall edge for the viewers and the public. For these individuals, they are not picked solely on their looks or style. Rather they were assembled based on their resumes and successes. Having individuals like Mark Cuban or Kevin O’Leary giving both the presenter and the audience advice is something you will never see on any other television show. In addition, beyond the drama and banter, the Sharks themselves look to educate and advise the person rather than tear them down.

The Pitches

Beyond the outrageous ideas people have made on the show, the overall pitches shows ingenious well-thought out solutions that everyday people may need throughout their lives. For these pitches, the presenter aims not simply to sell the sharks, but also to sell the mass viewers. Because of this, the overall pitches become an entertaining concept for the viewers. It allows the viewers to agree or disagree with the sharks and channel whether or not the product is viable in its market.

The Negotiations

Probably the most exciting part of the show, the negotiations are the most memorable acts we can see between presenter and shark. Keep in mind, it is not the act of the individual getting the investment, rather how they are able to negotiate and whom they are able to negotiate with. In addition, this is where the business jargon comes to play where quick mental math of ‘valuations’ and ‘equity’ are clearly seen by each and every shark.

6 Lessons Learned After Your First Year as an Entrepreneur

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When we look at the life of an entrepreneur, we always use individuals like Mark Cuban or Mark Zuckerberg as examples for the overall field. In reality, the truth of an entrepreneur is not mentioned nearly enough. The reason for this is that our society craves on instant gratification. Simply put, we want things now and we want them fast. As much as we would like to see this type of change, especially for an up-and-coming business or company, the reality of it is that success (for an entrepreneur) will be a long and arduous journey.

As an entrepreneur, there really are no shortcuts or magic formulas you can do to make this type of turnover overnight. You have to work immensely hard each and every day until things start to develop. Below, you will find the six hard truths that every individual learns during their first year as an entrepreneur. While the lessons themselves are a roller coaster, they are ones you need to learn from so that your company can grow in the future.

1. Failure is Inevitable

Without risk, there is no reward. As an entrepreneur, you will be asked to make a variety of sacrifices. Whether that is your time, your money, or your life, everything will be put on the line if you are expecting to succeed. Now as much as you expect success, there is a high probability that you will experience failure at least once within your business’s life. Why does this happen? This happens simply because entrepreneurs are curious. Entrepreneurs pursue their interest and passion at a means to create an opportunity. As much as curiosity is a means to fuel entrepreneurs, it can lead them to failure. Take for example you are look into promoting a new an innovative product for your company. As great as your intentions were, the path itself leads to failure. When this happens, do not look at this as a chance for you to quit. See the failure as a way to set your new expectations for success. Learn from it and accept it as a way to evolve over the course of your career.

2. Expect Long Hours and Hard Work

While shows and movies such as Shark Tank and Social Network have displayed an imaginative world of ‘golden tickets’ and easy opportunities, the reality of it is that you will be expected to put in a lot of work if you are looking to succeed in your field. Remember, no matter what the name is or what the product, you company and your service is new to the market. In order to establish your ideas and your company, your work will never stop. To accept this, you have to understand that it is not simply the 9 to 5 where your only responsibilities are the task given from the powers above. Rather, you yourself are responsible for every decision and choice set for your company’s future. Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates have attested countless times to working around the clock in order for their businesses to succeed. While you may not be running Facebook, the same idea can be applied here.

3. You Have to Constantly Learn

A successful entrepreneur will tell you that they are never done learning. Being an entrepreneur is not an easy task that can be learned overnight. In fact, in reality, we cannot learn success. Rather much of it can be attributed from trial-and-error decisions. When you are working to build your company, you will find that you will have no free time to spare. Much of your time, if any, will be spent learning how to improve your network, market, or finance your company at the most optimum and effective way. This ability to ask questions, understand the answers, and absorb the necessary skills will be the ace up your sleeve.

4. The Trials and Tribulations of Marketing

When we think of marketing, we think immediately of getting our name out of there. Well for those who have tried, you will find out that the idea of selling yourself is not always that easy. The best way to market is to focus solely on the product and service itself. Allow the customers to make the connection of how it can benefit them. This type of customer interaction will allow you to branch your product to the right demographic. Keep in mind that there is a cost to your marketing endeavors. Be financially savvy with your money. Find the most cost effective strategy that can set your company for success.

5. Strategy Does Not Equate to Success

The process of thinking strategically can be a challenge especially when you are starting your company. There are various avenues and options you can take lead you to your objective of establishing your company within its perspective field. As much you want to believe that your strategies will take you to your end goal, you need to realize that you will have to inevitably revise, edit, and change your strategy time-and-time again. This happens because, throughout the course of your business, things will change. Because of these unknown changes, you have to be malleable and adaptive to this type of change. Make sure you are able to keep up the pace by changing your strategy when needed. It is that type of change that can lead to a groundbreaking success for your business as a whole.

6. Focus on What You Can Affect

There will be a time where you feel that everything will come at you at once. As much as you want to slow things down, the life and expectation of an entrepreneur will always demand more from you each and every day. That being said, remember that you are human. The best way to handle these tasks is by attacking them one at a time. Focus your energy on projects or objectives in which you can have the most impact. It is that type of strategy that will allow you to get the most ‘bang for your buck.’