During my sophomore year of college, I tried to start a company I thought would be cool. It was a social site for young entrepreneurs that would let them post their business, create a customer database, keep track of their finances, print out advertising, and interact with other young entrepreneurs. It turned out to be too big of a project to undertake; I didn’t have a clue what I was doing or the funding to make it happen.
If you have a big idea, simplify it. If the simple version goes well, start working toward the big vision.
Get a customer before you start your business. For the company that I tried to start in college, I spent weeks researching it, months writing a business plan for it, and years trying to start it. But I never asked my target market if they would use it and buy from it.
Before you start a business you need to validate your idea by getting a customer. For a service, you should have a paying customer. For a product, that customer is someone or a group of people who have told you, “Yes, if you created that product and it provides these benefits, I will buy it.”
Find smart, talented people to help you. I’ve been a one-man show for pretty much my entire entrepreneurial career. But now I have a web marketing company and I subcontract a few of the services to other smart companies and talented individuals. Once you’ve decided to move forward with your business, you need people to help. At its heart, a business is simply a series of systems, you need people to run those systems.
Nick Tart is a 22-year-old alum of Colorado State University (2010). He has been an entrepreneur his whole life but didn’t realise it until he took an entrepreneurship class at CSU. From then on, he has dedicated his career to teaching and helping young entrepreneurs through 14 Clicks and JuniorBiz.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (Y.E.C.) is an invite-only nonprofit organisation comprised of the country’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The Y.E.C promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to youth unemployment and underemployment and provides its members with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of a business’s development and growth.
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