According to the Center for Generational Kinetics (a think tank and consultancy dedicated to researching socioeconomic trends), members of the Millennial Generation are just starting to get into entrepreneurial pursuits and small business ownership. Compared to Generation X, millennials have greater financial obstacles to overcome, but they seem to be taking things in stride. More than 30 percent of American millennials have worked at startup companies, which means they have gained insight into the process of launching a small business. Nearly 50 percent of millennials who currently work in the gig economy plan to become entrepreneurs in the next three years, and a big part of that motivation is that they already know what it feels like to be self-employed. The following tips apply to millennials who are ready to embark on a business adventure.
1. Don’t Follow the Herd
Just because everyone is becoming a paid Instagram influencer or a YouTube star doesn’t mean you have to follow the same steps or jump on the latest bandwagon. In today’s world of entrepreneurial hustle, herd instinct quickly turns into market saturation. A better idea might be to sell equipment and software to those social media entrepreneurs so they can deal with the competition.
2. Seek a Business Mentor
Take advantage of your LinkedIn membership by looking for business mentors. You might be surprised at how many seasoned entrepreneurs are willing to be mentors. They like mentoring others because it gives them a way to keep a finger on the pulse of the market. Mentors can be an invaluable source of practical information, such as tax strategies and the benefits of purchasing business insurance. San Diego business owners can speak with one of the professionals at Altra Insurance about suitable insurance options.
3. Be Prepared to Welcome Opportunities
While prospective partners and investors are always looking for great business ideas, they are also known to gravitate toward well-organized enterprises. Great ideas for killer apps are easier to find than companies that have already gone through the process of registering their business under the proper structure, purchasing adequate insurance policies, applying for patents and permits, obtaining taxpayer identification numbers, and clearing compliance requirements.
4. Do Something Enjoyable
Quite a few small business endeavors fail, not because of inadequate funding or lack of experience but because the companies’ principals eventually burned out. It’s always easier to do something you enjoy than something you don’t. Let’s say you’re into scuba diving. Your business idea doesn’t have to be limited to opening a dive shop or running charters in the Caribbean. You can always put together tour packages, create a white-label line of equipment, or develop a training and travel program that serves communities far from major diving sites.
5. Focus on Delivering Results Quickly
Speed is of the essence for millennials. In the past, entrepreneurs used to spend weeks and months doing research and evaluating ideas before taking action. Such a pace is no longer conducive to business success. If your business idea involves baked goods, try to get them into bakeries as soon as possible. Review your recipe, complete it, create some marketing materials, and distribute samples quickly for the purpose of getting actionable feedback. It’s better to test the market through actual experience than to review countless case studies.
Millennials came of age in a culture that celebrates the startup mentality, and many people of that generation are ready to start their own businesses. While fresh thinking is always welcome in the marketplace, it’s also a good idea to learn from people who have done it before. Look to the professionals at Altra Insurance Services for sound advice based on years of experience in the insurance industry. In addition to business insurance, we offer reliable homeowners, renters, and auto insurance. San Diego residents can call one of our expert agents today at (800) 719-9972 to discuss their insurance needs.