The Biggest Challenges Young Entrepreneurs Face Today

19 09 2017

laptop-943558_1920

Being an entrepreneur is undoubtedly difficult at any age, but the reality is that younger individuals may face even more challenges simply because of their age. As an entrepreneur, you must struggle to find a competitive edge for your business and get your company established in a tough marketplace. However, in addition to all of the typical challenges that an entrepreneur may face, you may also face age-related challenges that make it difficult for you to be successful and secure in a competitive business climate. These are some of the most significant disadvantages that you may face as a younger entrepreneur.

  1. Financing Your Venture

Most entrepreneurs struggle to get the funding they need to successfully launch and grow their business. One of the most common steps that entrepreneurs take to get financing is to seek financiers and investors. However, you will need to develop an amazing business plan and deliver an impressive sales pitch in order to obtain the money that you need.

Some entrepreneurs will use their own capital to fund their venture. However, this is even more challenging for younger entrepreneurs in many cases because of their limited means. In addition, some younger entrepreneurs may still have student loans to pay off, and this debt can eat away at the funds that are available to launch a new business.

As a young entrepreneur, you need to have a healthy and realistic expectation about the profitability of your venture. Remember that very few ventures generate an instant profit. Instead, it is much more realistic to begin to turn a profit within two years. You should always have an emergency fund on hand to pay for your expenses in a worst-case scenario.

  1. Age Stereotypes

As a young business professional, you likely have already encountered at least a few age-related stereotypes. For example, you may be stereotyped as being lazy or irresponsible because of your age. You may find it difficult to get older professionals to take you seriously or to think of your venture as being credible.

It can be difficult to overcome this type of stereotype immediately. Perhaps the best thing that you can do is to prove your doubters wrong over time. Through your words and actions, show your colleagues that you are a hard worker and that your idea is a lucrative one. Eventually, you will find that your colleagues start to believe in your abilities and begin to endorse and support you.

  1. Social Rejection

Another challenging obstacle that you may face as an entrepreneur relates to social rejection from family and friends. Your family and friends may not understand what you are trying to accomplish through your business, and they may not immediately support you. Because of this, you can easily feel isolated and as though nobody supports you.

While you may feel isolated from family and friends, you can network with other entrepreneurs to gain the support and friendship that you desire. However, remember that family and friends are still important and deserve your time. Eventually, these individuals will begin to support your efforts as well.

pexels-photo-296886

  1. Criticism

Self-doubt is common for entrepreneurs, so you certainly do not need to hear unsolicited criticism. You may even hear criticism that dissuades you from pursuing your dreams or trying to grow your business. Some older professionals who failed with their attempts at entrepreneurial activities or who feel threatened by your opportunity for success may try to steer you on the wrong path.

It is important for you to sift through the advice that you receive. Avoid taking all advice wholeheartedly, and let some words simply run off of your back. Focus on the words of advice that will serve you well and that you can learn from. If you receive any advice that does nothing more than discourages you or dissuades you from moving forward with your goals, simply disregard that advice and move forward with a clear mind.

  1. Hiring Employees for the First Time

Young entrepreneurs will be faced with the task of hiring employees for the first time, and this can be a stressful and intimidating prospect. There is a learning curve associated with interviewing and selecting the right candidates as well as with training the successful candidates properly. Keep in mind that your talent pool does not need to be limited to your local area. If you open your mind up to the possibility of hiring remote workers, you will have an even larger talent pool to explore. A remote workforce may also save you money in utilities and other forms of overhead.

Remember to think about the type of company culture that you want to create before you hire your first employer. Your interview process, training regimen and other aspects of the onboarding process should reflect this culture.

  1. Acquiring Customers

All new startups can have trouble attracting new customers. Untested brands may not have the market power that tried and true brands have. In some cases, established entrepreneurs may be able to use their recognition to attract customers to a new venture, but younger entrepreneurs do not have this benefit.

Young entrepreneurs should focus heavily on providing customers with quality products and services. Because value may come into question, they may need to find a way to offer products and services to the marketplace at a slightly better price than what the competition is currently offering without impacting quality.

Being a younger entrepreneur may seemingly have a few disadvantages, but remember that you also have a few positive things working in your favor. For example, you may have perseverance, enthusiasm and perhaps even a technological edge that you can use to your benefit. Be patient, and plan to work hard to overcome your challenges as you get your new venture off of the ground.

****For this post, Campus to Career thanks Jen McKenzie!!****

Jen

About the author: Jen McKenzie is a freelance writer from New York, NY. She is fascinated by all things having to do with words, business, education and cutting-edge. When Jennifer is not busy writing, she enjoys taking long walks and spending time with her two pets Brando & Marlon. You can reach Jennifer @jenmcknzie

 

Image sources

  1. https://pixabay.com/en/laptop-woman-coffee-breakfast-943558/#_=_
  2. https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-business-desk-document-296886/

 

Advertisements




Get Involved, Get Experience

1 10 2013

With today’s generation of new graduates and the emerging workforce there is one theme that is becoming more common: the idea of corporate social responsibility, or CSR. Without diving deep into the very concept of CSR, I’d like you to think about how this affects you, as both a job seeker and citizen. Generation Y is known for many things – many of these things of which aren’t positive. But, one thing that is positive is the generation’s desire to give back, make a difference in others’ lives, and empower them to create a better life for themselves.

This week, I have the pleasure of experiencing social responsibility and economic empowerment on a level that gives me great inspiration and hope that the world will be a better place; thanks to the impact this generation has the opportunity to make on their communities. That experience is summed up in one event: Enactus World Cup. Enactus’ mission is to enable progress through entrepreneurial action. The World Cup brings together the top young professionals (college students) and the top business executives from around the world in an event where each country (the countries have university teams that give an audio/visual presentation on the impact of their community projects, evaluated on how they empowered those in need to help increase their standard of living and overall quality of life.) There were 34 countries represented at this year’s event.

Here are few testimonials from Enactus students around the world:

When I think of the impact they have on their fellow man, the incredible experience they’re gaining through this organization, and how they’re changing the world, I’m left inspired, motivated, and to be honest, quite humbled.

As a job seeker, it’s to your advantage to get involved with your community. This is a great way to gain leadership experience, project management skills, and be part of the greater good. So, here are my tips for those of you that are weighing your options with this:

Find your fit. There are plenty of worthy organizations in your local community, state, and nation. Find what fits you the best. Ask yourself: “What am I passionate about?” Then, do a little research on organizations that support your cause. Google it. Call your church. Ask a friend, co-worker or family member. They’ll know where to start.

Actively participate. Once you find your fit, participate. Don’t just show up. Show up with a purpose. Come with some ideas, but most of all, simply ask where you can help the most. Offer your expertise – don’t take it for granted.

Be humble. Regardless of the cause that you decide to support, chances are, you’ll be helping people, animals, or the environment to name a few. I’ve learned that humility goes a long way. No one wants to hear (ALL the time) how much you give back to the community, help people, etc. If you toot your horn too much, your involvement begins to sound self-serving vs. serving the cause.

Document your experience. If you’re a job seeker (or not), document your experience! Did you lead a team or project? Did you have to communicate the impact of your projects to an audience? How many people did you help impact and how? Knowing how to answer these questions will not only help you write your resume, but it will also add a great aspect: active, unpaid community involvement. That goes a long way – sometimes farther than actual “job” experience!

This isn’t meant to be a commercial about Enactus, but I do want to let you know that I work for the organization. I can only say great things about what we’re doing on the local, regional, national and global scale. The students involved are truly the future leaders of business. Businesses from Fortune 100 and 500 companies know this – that’s why they’re involved in the organization, seeing it as the premier business and higher education network, the leading source of effective, responsible business leaders, and a best-in-class non-profit organization. I would be happy to speak with anyone interested in learning more.

So, what are you waiting for? Go out and find someone to help, pay it forward, and build your engagement with the community!

About Enactus:

Enactus is an international non-profit organization that brings together student, academic and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. Guided by academic advisors and business experts, the student leaders of Enactus create and implement community empowerment projects around the globe. The experience not only transforms lives, it helps students develop the kind of talent and perspective that are essential to leadership in an ever-more complicated and challenging world. For more information, please visit www.enactus.org.