There is no denying the allure of running your own business, especially if you're a young person just starting your career. However, it's important to temper the enthusiasm of having an idea for a new business with the reality of being an entrepreneur. This is especially true when you're concerned that people won't take you seriously because of your age.
1. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
The harsh reality of entrepreneurship is that the majority of new businesses fail within the first two years, and lack of planning tops the list of reasons why. New business owners make the mistake of thinking that their passion for their product or service is the most important element. While believing in what you are selling is certainly important, it can't take the place of writing and following a business plan.
The Small Business Association (SBA) recommends writing a detailed business plan to cover the first three to five years of operation. This document not only lists important projections, it forces you to consider the exact steps you need to take to grow your revenue. It should include the following sections at a minimum:
-Executive Summary: This should describe your company's mission statement, when you started the business, your products or services, growth plans, financial information and any company highlights. As a startup business, your focus will be more on past education and experience that led you to start this company rather than business accomplishments.
-Company Description: This section should describe the purpose of your business and how your products or services meet a specific need within your niche.
-Market Analysis: This detailed section should cover the demographics of your target market, the size of the target market and how much of a market share you expect to gain. You should also demonstrate that you have thoroughly researched your competition.
-Organizational Structure: This is where you include an organizational chart along with a brief description of each person's role and qualifications to assume that role.