They say if you have a business plan you should start working on it as soon as possible, even if everyone tells you you’re too young and inexperienced. Your twenties is the time when you are the most creative, innovative, and enthusiastic. However, experience is what most young entrepreneurs lack, which can put a dent in their business plan. This is the main reason why ambitious projects tend to fail, while building a successful business remains an unfulfilled dream of many aspiring entrepreneurs.
Nick Tart has co-authored a book in which he presented 50 interviews with young entrepreneurs and has singled out the 7 most common business mistakes young entrepreneurs make. Read carefully and don’t say you haven’t been warned.
1. They still don’t know how to be a leader.
While growing up we are surrounded by authoritative figures and later on in life we struggle to turn things around and become a true leader. Unfortunately, many young entrepreneurs change their mind of starting their own business because they don’t have the support of their family. As an example Tart reveals the story of an Indian entrepreneur whose family deemed his idea as stupid. Even though he believed it to be brilliant, he decided not to pursue his dream of implementing his business plan. However, Tart advises that sometimes you should neglect the voice of the more experienced people around you and follow your own instincts – believe in yourself and develop into a leader.
2. They don’t know to handle money.
Tart gives the example of a young businessman who was able to earn $2.5 million by selling mechanical rocket launchers, but spent it all by the time he was 22. Tart advises young entrepreneurs to educate themselves on how to handle money the right way.
3. They don’t understand the value of branding.
If you want an idea to become reality you must build you public image and constantly invest time and money in improving it. If it’s good enough for large corporations such as Google and Apple, it’s good enough for you!
4. They undercharge for their product/service.
This is completely understandable. Young entrepreneurs lack confidence and are very unsecure about their competence to run a business. This is why they believe that their product or service is not top quality and they offer it a very low price. Tart believes that young entrepreneurs are not even aware of how talented they really are.
5. They are quite suspicious of other people’s motives.
Young entrepreneurs are stingy when it comes to sharing their ideas and business plans with other people. Looks like they’re afraid someone will steal their idea and reach the finish line before them. Tart claims that this is one of the reasons why they hesitate to take in employees; however, if you want your business to grow you must hire someone to help you keep up with the (hopefully) growing demand for your product.
6. They don’t stick to business.
While collecting business stories of young entrepreneurs Tart noticed that they have the bad habit of neglecting their businesses when they believe they have succeeded. When young people try their luck in business and eventually reach a certain level of success they take it easy and slow down the tempo, which is the worst thing you can do in business. If you’re not ready to be in it for life don’t even try.
7. They start their businesses late in the game.
Tart claims that young entrepreneurs should start their businesses as soon as possible. Every year of postponing the decision to start your own business is a year you lose money. The sooner you jump into the pit of entrepreneurship, the sooner you will learn from your initial mistakes and thus better your chances of success, according to Tart.