Starting your own company today is different from the way businesses began just a couple of decades ago. Especially in the tech industry, the most popular success stories belong to people not even old enough to graduate from college before they scored their first major break, which invariably means getting an investor to believe in their project enough to put money on it.
This should be encouraging news for most young and ambitious entrepreneurs, and indeed its share of the limelight has become a beacon for many millennials to start early. It is not, however, without its share of challenges too. Young and largely inexperienced entrepreneurs sometimes have to tackle issues that their older counterparts may not have to deal with. Here are a few examples.
People see a young person before anything else.
Your youth will work against you in many instances. Seasoned business veterans are not too eager to trust a younger, less-experienced person. Investors will give you a limited time to impress them before they decide you are just, well, a kid with an idea that’s beyond your capabilities.
This challenge is not insurmountable, though, as some of the most successful young entrepreneurs have proven. The real challenge is how you can prove yourself to people who can have a hand in the success of your business. This means learning the trade, and being open to criticism and other people’s ideas that might make you a better business leader. This also means creating a solid business plan and knowing how to follow through with it.
Attracting talent and deciding on the right talent are different.
Talented people your age will express interest in what you do, and many will probably submit an application. As you probably don’t have a lot of experience in hiring, this could either be an opportunity or a pitfall. Most young entrepreneurs will choose young people who share their beliefs and values, people who mirror them.
This is not the right way to go. Whilst it is good to have a smooth culture within your company, it is not right to base your hiring on how closely the applicant resembles you. You need people to support you and challenge you as well, not just nod their heads or hold your hand. You need good people to fill different positions, from HR to accounting. Finance recruitment agencies in London, such as Kennedy Pearce Consulting Ltd, have better chance of giving you that talent than doing it all by yourself. As a young entrepreneur you might have doubts about this, but sometimes you just have to recognise expertise when you see it; that is how you get over this hurdle.
Being a young entrepreneur comes with many challenges, but if you are wise and open to suggestions from more experienced peers, you should have fewer problems setting up your company. The longer you are in business, the more you will learn about how to handle these issues.