Hey you! Yes you, young person who aspires to be “the boss”, or alternatively, parents or relatives of young people who harbour this aspiration – make yourself a tea and sit down as what you are about to read could change your life.
I talk to many young people on the Hibiscus Coast who are incredibly talented and driven with fantastic ideas for products or services but for many reasons put the idea off.
My own personal experience with the education system in New Zealand is that our youth are taught to be outstanding employees but are generally never taught the fundamentals of finance or establishing and running a business, which can be quite a deterrent to entrepreneurship.
If this is you, do not fret – Uncle Sam (wow I am getting old) is here to help.
The first question that you have to ask yourself must be: is this my passion? Could I do this for 11 hours a day, everyday, inclusive of weekends, and finish the week being just as excited for the upcoming week and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead?
The second question that has to be asked is does your product or service have a competitive moat? What I mean by this, is can your product or service be copied and if so, can your competitor provide the same thing at a cheaper price more efficiently than you can?
The third question is, if eventually the business is profitable and expanding can you hire someone to replace you? If you cannot replace yourself, what you are building may not be a business but rather a high paying job. In my experience, if you are to go down the route of creating a high paying job you are much better off finding a fantastic employer.
Having answered all those questions, the next step of the journey is to draft your business plan, including, most importantly, realistic budget forecasts, get out there and provide your product or service to your customers. You are already starting off with a competitive advantage being a young business owner that likely has next to no expenses and can therefore potentially undercut your competitors while still remaining profitable.
On a final note, the old adage that you need money to make money is a lie told to young people to discourage them from competing. A solid business plan presented by a hungry young entrepreneur will attract investment by old people like myself! So no more excuses – get your product or service out there into the market!