For aspiring, young entrepreneurs, turning an idea into a business enterprise opens in new window is exciting, but there’s a lot to know – if you’re just starting out as a younger business founder, read our helpful guide to help get your business off the ground.
Young entrepreneurs are rising in the UK, with 24,000 people under the age of 25 starting businesses in 2021 opens in new window.
The pandemic is one reason for the rise in young entrepreneurs, with many re-evaluating career paths and taking the opportunity that arose during Covid-19 lockdowns to strike out with their own ventures.
Tips for young entrepreneurs
Choose a business you’re genuinely passionate about
Whether you want to start a mobile dog grooming business, open your own tearoom, or develop innovative software, loving what you do opens in new window and becoming an expert in your field is crucial.
Think about an area you’re passionate about and do your homework to understand all areas of the business.
Taking the time to immerse yourself in the industry can help you identify gaps in the market your new venture could fill.
Read our guide on how to spot a gap in the market opens in new window.
Gain valuable experience
Take the time to gain some experience in the industry, even if it’s short-term voluntary work.
The experience will identify any areas of the business you may not previously have been familiar with.
Learn from others
Ask for advice opens in new window from those experienced in the field and read up on other people’s experiences of starting up a business in the same industry.
Contacting others can also help you gain a deeper knowledge of your industry and can even help you avoid mistakes others have made.
Many business owners opens in new window are keen to help others get a foothold in their industry and can be a useful source of help and advice.
Understand the market
Thoroughly researching your potential market opens in new window is crucial to executing a successful business.
It’s worth taking the time to investigate your customer demographic opens in new window and put yourself in their shoes; you’ll gain an insight into how they respond to your product or service and why it meets their needs.
Read our guide on how to price your products and services opens in new window.
Know your competition
Familiarise yourself with your competition by finding answers to the following questions:
- what other products and services like yours are in the market already?
- what price opens in new window are they currently going for?
- what is the consumer opens in new window response?
- how is your product or service similar or different?
- what can you offer consumers that is better?
If you are a new business set to compete with established businesses, you need to be confident you’ve done your homework to understand how your venture can bring something new to the table.
Read our guide on how to do your competitor research opens in new window.
Expand your business knowledge
However well you know your chosen industry, you need to spend the time understanding how to run a business.
Learn as much as you can before setting up your business in key areas such as:
- finance opens in new window
Read our guide on starting a business on a small budget opens in new window.
Prepare to make sacrifices
Don’t believe every business overnight success story you hear about, as chances are they involved a lot of hard work and disappointments along the way.
Prepare yourself for a lot of hard work, sacrifices, and determination to make your idea a reality.
Stay focused on your goals and be willing to sacrifice time and money to make them happen.
Welcome constructive feedback
Welcome honest feedback from supportive friends, family, mentors, and customers; this will help you understand your business and implement improvements in the future.
Write a detailed business plan
It’s a good idea to spend time researching and writing a comprehensive business plan opens in new window.
Moreover, a business plan can help you set a realistic timeframe to meet your targets gradually and effectively, thereby helping you plan a realistic timeframe to achieve your goal.
Download our business plan template opens in new window.
Apply for a young entrepreneur start-up loan
Once you have a concrete plan in place and are steadfast in your commitment to your business, the next stage is to acquire the relevant funding opens in new window.
A Start Up Loan opens in new window is a government-backed personal loan that can help start-up businesses get their idea get off the ground.
You can borrow anywhere between £500 to £25,000 as an unsecured loan with a fixed interest rate of 6% per annum which can be repaid over 1-5 years.
Find out now if you’re eligible for a Start Up Loan opens in new window.
Choose a mentor
It’s worth making contact with people you know who’ve started their own business and learning about their journey and the things that did and didn’t work.
It might also be a good idea to watch inspiring TED talks, and attend relevant exhibitions, lectures, and conferences to acquire as much knowledge as possible.
As a bonus, Start Up Loans offer successful loan applicants 12 months of free mentoring and special offers to equip them with the tools to succeed.
Find out more about mentoring from Start Up Loans opens in new window.
Be adaptable to change
Embarking on the road to entrepreneurship is challenging, so it’s a good idea to adopt a flexible mindset to stay on course.
Successful entrepreneurs know how to navigate the journey no matter what.
Take Netflix, for example; the billion-dollar giant originally started as a mail-order DVD rental company but had to grow with technological advancements, so it adjusted its strategy and became a global streaming media enterprise instead.
Sometimes plans don’t come together as expected, so be prepared to make diversions along the way.
Rest to recharge
Don’t think that relaxing and taking some time for yourself is detrimental to achieving your goals.
Being too busy and making little room for rest or recreational activities can lead to burnout opens in new window – both mentally and physically – which could cause a dent in your progress and result in harm to your wellbeing.
You’re the key investor in your business, so you must always prioritise your physical and mental health opens in new window.
Disconnecting from work and spending time with loved ones, exercising, practising mindfulness, taking a trip away, or simply enjoying a film are all beneficial to your professional growth.
You’ll feel mentally restored, energised, and motivated when you return to business.
Read our guide on the best wellness businesses to start opens in new window.
Thinking of starting a business? Check out our free online courses in partnership with the Open University on being an entrepreneur.
Our free Learn with Start Up Loans courses opens in new window include:
- Entrepreneurship – from ideas to reality
- First steps in innovation and entrepreneurship opens in new window
- Entrepreneurial behaviour opens in new window
Plus free courses on finance and accounting, project management, and leadership.
Reference to any organisation, business and event on this page does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation from the British Business Bank or the UK Government. Whilst we make reasonable efforts to keep the information on this page up to date, we do not guarantee or warrant (implied or otherwise) that it is current, accurate or complete. The information is intended for general information purposes only and does not take into account your personal situation, nor does it constitute legal, financial, tax or other professional advice. You should always consider whether the information is applicable to your particular circumstances and, where appropriate, seek professional or specialist advice or support.