According to a recent Nielsen study, over 54% of Gen Z reported that they wanted to start their own company. In a similar study cited by Entrepreneur, it was found that around 41% of the same generation would like to become entrepreneurs, while 45% believe that they will invent something that will be of great use for the world.
If you are among those in this percentage or are considering it, you must remember that establishing a business is never an easy feat. Failure is inevitable in growing any successful business, and it’s never good to go into any new enterprise blind. Even when you think that you’ve done enough research, in the world of business, 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 degree in business, but it will certainly help
There are millions of things you can learn from getting a business degree. As highlighted in our previous post ‘What You Can Do with a Business Degree’, taking the time to get formally educated can give you competency in highly significant aspects of establishing a business, such as marketing, accounting, finance and globalization. However, while a business degree can provide you with some edge, it isn’t something that will make or break your future business. Just look at Jelani Jones of Lani Boo Bath. She started out as a small-time 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 may think
Although launching your business as a sole proprietorship or a partnership is generally a good idea for small businesses, as you scale and continue to grow, it’s important to look into other business structures and what they can offer you. LLCs here in Massachusetts enjoy several benefits, from a customized management structure and protection from double taxation to fewer reporting requirements than corporations, as well as improved legitimacy as a brand. However, filing your LLC registration will cost you money, and in some states a hefty annual fee as well. For example, forming an LLC in California will entail paying a $70 filing fee, and then $800 in taxes every year, and $20 every two years. These can be huge amounts to pay if you’re just starting out. As your business continues to grow, you should evaluate whether it’s time for you to shift to a new structure.
3. You can use your social media savviness to get ahead
The world is growing more and more reliant on the internet and as a digital native, you can definitely use your social media savviness to get ahead. For instance, you can leverage the different features of Instagram to reach a wider audience, engage your client base and encourage potential clients to visit your business page. Based on Small Biz Genius’ roster of social media statistics, over 200 million Instagram users visit business profiles on a daily basis. Of that 200 million, 75% of them take action after seeing an ad. They either go to the brand’s official website or make a purchase. Just by these two numbers, you can already tell how relevant social media savviness is when putting up a successful business.
4. There are many resources for teen entrepreneurs – you just need to know where to find them
Putting up a business has never been easier. Not only are the tools of effective marketing now readily available in the form of social media platforms, resources (both financial and non-financial ones) are now also easily accessible. For example, teen entrepreneurs who want to broaden their knowledge on marketing, making a business plan, financing and accounting can enroll in a variety of online courses available at different price points. For financial resources, teens can tap into funding subsidies and small business grants. For example, budding startups in California can get up to a whopping $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 teen entrepreneur in this highly globalized, digital and interconnected world, the opportunities to put up a successful business are limitless. At the end of the day, given the grave competition around you, your success will most likely boil down to your drive, enthusiasm and willingness to learn and keep up with the ever-evolving world of business.