The idea of starting a business is one that holds great appeal to individuals who are just entering the workforce or who have been heavily impacted by the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. This can be especially true for adults in their 20s and with individuals who have marketable skills looking for ways to turn those skills into profit. That being said, actually starting a business can be a bit more complex than it appears. To guide you along the way, here are some helpful tips on how to start a business in your 20s that’ll thrive.
1. Find a business concept that falls somewhere between your passion and a viable opportunity.
Plenty of people will tell you that you should follow your dreams. The issue? Dreams don’t always come with a guarantee or a payout. While we all have the freedom to create a business built around our dreams, we don’t always have the security that comes with pursuing more realistic options (if your dream is a bit more creative in nature, for example).
However, what people won’t tell you is that you don’t have to settle. Instead, come up with a business idea that allows you to leverage your passions and skills but in a way that people will pay you for. Even if it’s not exactly what you envisioned, there are plenty of viable business opportunities that’ll allow you to do what you love while still making money doing it.
The key to developing a successful business is to not only create one that you’re in love with but one that can pay the bills. Seek to meet yourself somewhere in the middle.
2. Market your business like it’s going out of style.
Whether you’ve developed an innovative new product or are a service-based business in a crowded industry, marketing is of the utmost importance. However, marketing your business is also an immense task. What goes into building a successful marketing strategy?
- If you have a brick-and-mortar store, make sure to place a great emphasis on local marketing strategies. For physical efforts, you should focus on items like business card printing, which will give you promotional materials to hand out to individuals or organizations in your area who may be in need of your services. Local search engine optimization (SEO) is another area of focus for small businesses in a physical location.
- Create a powerful brand that’s known for its quality and will easily spread once you begin gaining traction. The stronger your brand and the better your reputation, the easier it’ll be to market your business.
- Know your audience. You can do this by developing comprehensive buyer personas that help you understand who you’re marketing to and what channels will be most effective in reaching them.
- Do your research to better understand digital marketing and what you’ll have to be able to do or outsource in order to be successful. For example, SEO is one major skill that’s required of digital marketers. If you’re unable to learn it, you can always outsource your digital marketing work to an individual or organization that can provide you with the results you need.
These are just a few of the main points to focus on as you move forward. If you want to improve your chances for success, focus on developing this strategy in the early stages while you’re working on your business plan. Otherwise, you can end up trying to catch up after you’ve launched your business.
3. Take advantage of the free resources that abound.
Unless you have a business plan that can secure funding or have plenty of your own funds to invest in your own business, most businesses are bootstrapped. The good news? Most entrepreneurs know that there are a host of free resources out there that can help you run your business effectively. Whether you’re in need of tools for team communication, website designs for your business, or services for financial support, there’s almost always a way to cut down on expenses so that your business doesn’t stay in the red for long.
Of course, now is the time to figure out what expenses you need to pay and which you can avoid. For example, while you can turn free platforms like Instagram or Pinterest to market your business, you may still need to outsource tasks like product photography to a business that can provide you with the quality shots you need for your website and advertisements. Set aside some time to do further research into anticipated costs so that you’re more prepared financially when it comes time to look for these resources.
4. Focus on customer experience and service.
Too many entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that their business concept and delivery is the core of their potential success. Remember, everything that your business does should be an extension of your desire to provide value to your customers. Whether you’re developing your business’s work culture, creating a new product, or even working on a new website, how your customer views your company or is impacted by these changes should be your main focus. After all, without your customers, you don’t have a business.
5. Make safety and security top priorities.
Another often overlooked aspect of business is safety and security. Of course, this can come in many forms. For example, having cameras stationed at your brick-and-mortar business as well as cybersecurity support for your e-commerce storefront are both great ways to keep your business protected against malicious actors. When it comes to safety, one of the best things you can do is back up all of your important information and files. One such example of this is having a photo manager that can easily collect your photos and back them up to a cloud drive so that you always have access to them. No matter what your definition of safety and security is, create a plan of action to keep your business protected.
There’s no better time than the present to invest in your future. However, taking the time to do your research and ensure that you’re taking all the right steps will save you a ton of trouble down the road. If you’re in your 20s and want to start a business, use the guide above to help you get started.