In the entrepreneurial world, experience is valued above everything else. This is why many are ready to cast off the generation that is currently coming of age in the world of business (or maybe they’ve already come of age, but people refuse to accept that). Whether the big shots like it or not, the millennial generation has already started strong and they have brought a new energy to the business world, with a lot of people creating their first start-up while in high school.
With an “inborn” proficiency in modern technologies, an eye for all the necessities in the world, and a creative and innovative spirit of youth, the soon-to-take-over generation is bidding their place in the world. With such characteristics, and a general dislike for being told what to do by the older generations, many young people choose become their own bosses and give the world what it needs.
While we have given some general advice for novice entrepreneurs before (regardless of their age), here I will address specifically the millennial entrepreneurs and try to show them what their strengths are and what they should exploit.
Create a strong brand from the very beginning
Ok, so you’ve got the vision, you know what you want to do; you just need to start doing it. However, many young people tend to rush things and go with anything, as long as it is quick. This is almost never a good solution. You have to think ahead and think from the very beginning. This especially goes for branding and creating cool business names. Start strong. When thinking of your brand’s name and image, think about how easy it would be to market and how catchy it will be to people. This will make your future marketing much easier.
The best way to do this would be to choose a name which will let people know that you’ve got what they’re looking for. Find a witty domain name to go with it, and add a descriptive (but not overly descriptive logo) and you are good to go. If you are unsure how to all this, contact some professionals and ask for some advice. Or, if you are unsure of all of that…
Buy an existing one
With the change of the generations, the baby-boomers are slowly starting to exit the market and go into their well-earned retirements. This is a perfect opportunity for young people to swoop in and ask to buy an existing and well-established business and its brand with it. After all, is there anything better than having “Since 19-something” written beneath the logo? Some of the businesses are available at knock-down prices, as well, and with a little remodeling, some adjustments and a lot of youth vigor, you can create something grand on an existing base.
When it comes to finances, I know a lot of millennials who already have enough money saved up from their high-school days, but if that’s not the case with you, you can always tap into various financing options that exist. In that case, make sure to triple-check what you are buying, since a failure might leave you completely financially ruined.
Learn about your potential competitors
Competition is a thing that a lot of young people pay no attention to. It is probably a part of their nature where they think that what they are bringing to the world is completely unique, just as they are. While what you are selling might be really unique, there is always some other business that has the potential to overshadow yours and take all the profits.
So, before starting, make sure to know the market, know who all the big players are, see how they run things and, most importantly, learn from them, both from their mistakes and things well done. This will also give you a chance to see how to effectively market your brand and capitalize on their weaknesses.
Personify to show off your positive sides
While analyzing your competitors, you will be able to see what sets YOU apart. Is your brand more energetic? Is it more liberal? Are others more traditional in the way they conduct business? All of these are personal traits. If you get people to see your brand as a person, who has traits just like any other, it will feel closer to them and have a greater appeal.
You can always try to transfer your youth to your brand, give it a sleek personality that strikes people with its young vibe. Both the young and the old love this and it will surely set you apart from the rest of the established players.
Also, above all else…
Make your brand trustworthy
Earning trust with customers is the most important thing for any brand, new or old. If you make your brand appear trustworthy, it will draw in many new customers and have the old ones returning for more in no time. If they know they can rely on you to consistently provide them with what they need, they will have no desire to switch to your competitors and will also spread word-of-mouth, which is still one of the best marketing practices.
Why pay for advertisements and other complicated marketing techniques when you can have the customers themselves bring more customers to your flock? Don’t get me wrong here, marketing still is a crucial thing to invest in, but, make sure you build that trust to drive you forward, because inconsistent brands are not the ones to make it in the big world; unless you are ready to invest millions into marketing.
Going at it alone can be a scary thing to do, especially for young people who set out into a (for them) uncharted territory. However, learning from the elders (especially from their mistakes) can improve your chances significantly. Just be sure not to lose that energy which distinguishes young people and don’t let your spirits dwindle. Have confidence in yourself and, above all else, be professional and show those who may doubt you that you know the rules of engagement, perhaps even better than they do.