Do you have a business idea in mind but you’re too young to start?
Most of us would normally think of starting a business as something that should be thoroughly planned – that you can’t start without doing a feasibility study about it. Well that’s partially right, but somehow my experiences has proven that mindset wrong.
Last year, I got so pumped up after reading so many business books and articles that I possibly believed I can do anything I want. So with all my hands and feet’s fingers crossed, I left my job as an auditor and started my career as an entrepreneur.
During my first year in the field of business, I was finally able to crack some mysteries that most of us thought would be the reason why starting your own business is impossible:
1. You need experience
It’s true! The more experience you have, the better you’ll be. But in order for you to gain experience, you will need to start. All the time we believed that unless you know the twists and turns in running a business, entrepreneurship is impossible to work out. Before I started, I was only 21 years old, employed for 6 months and with no business management experience. I possibly had no idea how to start! But right when I started, I knew exactly what I had to learn and what I had to become in order to succeed in this field. Déjà vu. That’s exactly what we’ve gone through on our first day of work, right? Same thing.
Just as business magnate Richard Branson said, “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.”
2. You need a lot of money to start
In order to make money, you will need money. That’s why our moms always remind us to find a great job with great benefits so that in the future you can earn for your capital and start you own business.
That’s one way to solve it. But that is not the only option we have to acquire money. I bet it will take us years before we can earn such money. There’s a good old Filipino saying that goes, “Kung gusto, maraming paraan. Kung ayaw, maraming dahilan (If there’s a will, there’s a way. Otherwise, it’s all but reasons).”
Back when I was working as an auditor, I wasn’t earning that much. If you have any idea how much an entry-level employee in the province earns for a living, then you know what I’m talking about. I’m not even on a good financial position for a credit company to provide me a business loan. Plus, I had a girlfriend (if you know what I mean.) There was really no hope for me to start grabbing any business opportunities.
But I didn’t think too much. I saw a great opportunity and a great set of products to sell in the market. I needed at least less than Php 20,000.00 to start this business. I knew it would work out so what I did was borrow small amounts of money from all of my close friends and family, accumulated those borrowings and bought products, and when I sold it all I was able to repay all those petty debts and gain retail profits of around Php 3,000.00 – which I reinvested into the business. It was like starting a business for free!
So last year alone, I was able to generate a net income of around Php 210,000 on sales commissions alone. Adding retail profits, it would be more or less Php 300,000.00. Not bad for small borrowings.
A lot of us would think that borrowing money is something to shameful and degrading. Actually IT IS REALLY shameful and degrading if you applied for credit and didn’t do anything to make it grow. But if you did make it grow, your credibility can go beyond measure.
3. You need to hire people
This is considered inherent to any business. Of course, you will need people to help you in different aspects, especially in fields where you don’t excel too much.
However, hiring employees is not a joke. It’s a big expenditure for your business and it may also cost a lot of time to manage.
Thankfully, when you’re in a start-up online business, you can actually endure to do it all. One of the many reasons why I resigned from work is because I’m lazy as hell and thought entrepreneurship would lead to me to an easier lifestyle. That is where I came to realize that everything that will give you great benefits is reciprocally difficult. I had to learn to manage my time more wisely, account for my own expenditures, market my own products and do technical responsibilities like product packaging and deliveries by myself.
Great thing about being in the world of business is that there so fellow investors and entrepreneurs out there willing to mentor you and give out they’re techniques in managing their own portfolios and businesses. By asking the proper questions, I was able to leverage their experiences and learn from their mistakes. This is why building a good business network is essential.
Besides, as soon as your business grows, you will be generating more profits to reinvest. And in no time, you’ll have the right amount of assets to employ the right people for your business.
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted, not because it is super-hard but because you will need a great amount of commitment if you want to succeed in your business. However, that doesn’t mean that business isn’t for everyone. Everyone, the old and the young, can start their own business and succeed.
It doesn’t matter how much money you have or if you do not know what you’re going to do. No matter how small just start. As John Maxwell says, “If you don’t start small, you’ll probably never start at all.”
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About the Author
- AJ is an online entrepreneur and a business and life coach. He's passionate in educating young people who also have early-life interests in entrepreneurship. AJ also provides social media management services to small-time online businesses. He is a BS in Accountancy graduate from the Northwestern University, Laoag City.