Millennials are a very entrepreneurial crowd. As the first generation to really grow up alongside technological advancement; it makes sense many turns to the world wide web for their future. In fact, the internet is peppered with start-up companies developed by some twenty-something living out of their dorm room.
Many of these startups like Muse, Airbnb, or Founders have garnered much success. Of course, for every success, there are numerous failures. Kathryn Minshew, the founder of Muse, went through a prior start-up that did not work before finding success.
So what is the secret? How can a young entrepreneur find success in the digital age? There is no set formula to follow, but there are tips on the right way to do things. Here are seven smart tips for Millennial entrepreneurs.
Find a Niche
Many of the most successful online companies gained notoriety for filling a need no one was aware existed. In the case of Airbnb, this need was for cheaper travel arrangements. A legitimate niche is always necessary to separate you from the competition.
You can do this by creating an entirely new market, or finding a stand-out feature in an already existent market. What you have to ask is, “why should consumers choose my business over others?” Finding your niche should be the very first thing that you do.
Design a Personal Budget
Once you have found your niche the business side of innovation kicks in. Money is needed to launch a company, create a product, hire staff, promote the product, pay fees, and feed yourself. As most start-ups begin as a web page overall cost may not be too high, especially if your product is a virtual service. You have to plan for success though.
As an important tip for millennial entrepreneurs, they should always plan out a working budget. This budget should be tailored towards your specific situation. Ensure spending does not outrun earning and plan a contingency plan if your product is a hit. Creating an emergency fund is a good tactic. Many forward-thinking entrepreneurs save at least three months of expenses in an emergency account.
Create Start-Up Capital
Start-up capital is a fundamental resource needed to start any business. Capital pays for resources, salaries, licensing, and any other costs associated with creating a company. It also saves entrepreneurs like yourself from using your own money. It is wise to have a good amount of start-up capital built before you launch your respective company.
Start-up capital can be garnered in a variety of ways. Do not be afraid to hustle a little bit to achieve your financial goal. Funding sites are also a good option. Many budding entrepreneurs have relied on funding sites like GoFundMe to built up working capital. It also gives you a good preview of success as a large amount of donations hints at a niche product.
Do Not Be Afraid to Fail
Professional writers know what it is to be rejected. Many shop their book around to a multitude of publishers before someone finally takes a chance. The harsh truth is your first online business is probably not going to work. Most entrepreneurs do not find success with their first foray. This is not the end of the world as innovation is often bred by failure.
Know when to Expand
A successful business will always grow. Understanding the nature of business growth is important. If you have a product that sells, and you are making successful returns, then you might begin thinking of expanding. Often times a business will falter because it outgrows its earnings. So do your best to know when to expand, and when to wait.
It is perfectly fine to fly solo for a little while. Many millennial success stories are born of simplicity. A single website manned by the founder. They work out of their bedroom for a while and the business slowly grows into a giant. Expansion does not always mean hiring more people either. In the case of Susan Koger, founder of ModCloth, expansion meant selling her business to WalMart.
Understand the Competition
You will never be the first in line. Most often other individuals will have gotten there ahead of you. Millennials actually thrive from the competition. They also turn right around and give back when they find success. Competition is not something to be feared, it is something to learn from. In fact, learning about your competition can help you personalize your product.
Have a Plan B
More than one millennial success story revolves around a detour. The entrepreneur in question, started out in one business, only to find success in another avenue. Always have another venture to pursue in case your original does not pan out. Never put all your focus in just one place. In the entertainment world, it is known as a backup career. The job you work if you never break through as a singer, actor, or performer.