Starting a business is an exciting and challenging process, especially when you’re young and new to the game. To help get you started, here are 9 success tips from DJ Wimberly, a self-made millionaire and entrepreneur from Atlanta, for the aspiring entrepreneurs:
1. Start small
Too many young entrepreneurs start with illusions of grandeur. Millionaires and moguls have filled their heads with dreams of fancy cars, mansions, and pretty companions. When you’re first starting out, it’s important to think small. It’s not that you can’t have dreams. Instead, it’s about focusing your attention on your next move rather than wasting your time and concentration daydreaming about something frivolous.
2. Choose a niche
Anyone can dream up a million-dollar business. The real trick is finding a way to make your particular project profitable, scalable, and in demand. It’s always a good idea to narrow your business down as much as possible to a particular niche. This clarification makes it easier to make decisions, decreases the competition, and makes it easier to become a leader in that field. For example, it’s better to start a sports-related sock company than just a sock company.
3. Seek advice
Starting your own business can be a scary and nerve-wracking process for an aspiring entrepreneur. It’s the classic model of building something out of nothing. Seeking advice from reputable and accomplished professionals is a great way to ensure you’re getting off on the right footing. It’s even better if you can find someone who’s achieved exactly what your goals are. Be sure to prepare your questions beforehand to make the most of the experience.
4. Spend wisely
It was Benjamin Franklin who expressed the value of saving money. At the start of your company, it can be tempting to invest aggressively. People closely associate investing and earning, but these two are only linked with the right strategies in place. More importantly, your budget is limited when you’re first starting out. It’s better to spend wisely from the beginning and grow slower than to burn through everything at once.
5. Analyze competitors
After you’ve narrowed down your business plan but before you dive into any implementation, it’s critical to conduct some competitor analysis. If you’ve done your due-diligence in targeting a particular niche, then you shouldn’t have too much competition to worry about. Visit their websites and social media as if you were a consumer and make a list of things they’re doing right and wrong. You can reference this later when building your own business model.
6. Find like-minded individuals
There are a lot of similarities amongst successful people, but one of the most common is their association with like-minded people. Whether you’re looking for partners, employees, or just people to spend time with, it’s important to surround yourself with individuals who support your vision. They don’t have to be working on the same project or in the same niche, but you’ll get much further with people that prop you up than those that tear you down.
7. Set up a website
Around 64% of small businesses have websites, and all young entrepreneurs should fall into that majority. When money is tight and you don’t have enough funds to land a brick-and-mortar store, a website is the next best thing. You can start establishing a presence without emptying your bank account. Here are some steps to follow:
- Register a domain
- Purchase hosting
- Find a good theme
- Update your site regularly
8. Take loans seriously
Business loans are a staple for startups and corporations alike. When you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, these loans may seem like a gold mine. Whether borrowing from a bank or investors, it’s always important to take these credits seriously. You should already have a sound and tested business plan in place before taking a dime. In fact, it’s advisable to start without any upfront borrowing at all. Either way, be sure to take this portion of the process seriously to keep yourself from incurring crippling amounts of debt.
9. Take advantage of social media
Social media is the king of shoestring budget marketing. With millions of daily users, you have access to potential clients for free. All you have to do is post engaging content, develop your brand, and get into contact with your target audience.