According to a recent Nielsen study, over 54% of Gen Zers said they wanted to start their own business. In a similar study cited by Entrepreneur, it was found that around 41% of the same generation would like to become entrepreneurs, while 45% think they will invent something that will be of great benefit to the world.
If you are part of this percentage or if you are planning to do so, you must remember that starting a business is never an easy task. Failure is inevitable in the growth of any successful business, and it’s never good to jump into a new business blindly. Even if you think you’ve done enough research, in the business world there’s always something new you can learn. That said, here are some things you should learn early on as an aspiring entrepreneur:
1. You don’t need a business degree, but it will definitely help
There are millions of things you can learn by earning a business degree. As highlighted in our previous article “What You Can Do With a Business Degree”, taking the time to get formal training can equip you with skills in very important aspects of starting a business, such as marketing, accounting, finance and globalization. However, while a business degree may give you an edge, it is not something that will make or break your future business. Watch Lani Boo Bath’s Jelani Jones. She started as a small entrepreneur who focused on her passion for bath and beauty products and started a successful business around it.
2. The business structure you choose matters more than you think
While starting your business as a sole proprietorship or partnership is generally a good idea for small businesses, as you evolve and continue to grow it is important to consider other business structures and what they can offer you. LLCs here in Massachusetts enjoy several benefits, ranging from a personalized management structure and protection from double taxation to fewer reporting requirements than corporations, as well as improved legitimacy as what brand. However, filing for your LLC registration will cost you money and in some states high annual fees as well. For example, setting up an LLC in California will incur a filing fee of $70, then $800 in taxes each year and $20 every two years. These can be huge to pay if you are just starting out. As your business continues to grow, you need to assess whether it’s time for you to move to a new structure.
3. You can use your social media savvy to get ahead
The world is increasingly dependent on the internet and as a digital native, you can definitely use your social media savvy to get ahead. For example, you can take advantage of Instagram’s various features to reach a wider audience, engage your customer base, and encourage potential customers to visit your business page. According to the Small Biz Genius social media statistics list, more than 200 million Instagram users visit business profiles daily. Of these 200 million, 75% of them take action after seeing an advertisement. Either they go to the brand’s official website or they make a purchase. Just by these two numbers you can already tell how relevant social media knowledge is when building a successful business.
4. There are plenty of resources for teen entrepreneurs – you just need to know where to find them
Starting a business has never been easier. Not only are the tools for effective marketing now readily available in the form of social media platforms, but the resources (both financial and non-financial) are now easily accessible as well. For example, teenage entrepreneurs who want to learn more about marketing, business plan development, financing, and accounting can enroll in a variety of online courses available at different prices. For financial resources, teens can tap into funding grants and small business grants. For example, budding startups in California can get up to $26.9 million, thanks to the $77.3 billion in venture capital funding provided by the state. You just need to know where to look. As a teenage entrepreneur in this highly globalized, digital and interconnected world, the possibilities for building a successful business are limitless. Ultimately, given the fierce competition around you, your success will most likely come down to your drive, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn and keep up with the ever-changing world of business.