by Darren Nicholls, Product Manager (Commercial and Wider Markets) at Informi
Despite what older generations may say, there has rarely been a tougher time to establish yourself as a business professional or entrepreneur than in today’s world.
Most popular industry markets are saturated with thousands of businesses, investors and financiers that it can exceptionally hard for a young professional to make an early mark on the industry.
However, there is a growing ambition from the younger generation to improve themselves and show self-titled “millennial” doubters that there is still plenty of ambition and drive in their age group.
Here are some practical tips that will ensure anyone who’s aspiring to start their own business gets a head start:
1. Go With What You Know.
Make sure that your passion and drive flourishes in any endeavour by getting involved in something that you know and love. Nothing will distract you from the job at hand like a business or industry that you have absolutely no interest in. While financial gain may be the optimal reason entering the industry, you will simply not be giving your all if you have no active interest in the endeavour.
2. Self-Promotion is Key.
As the majority investor in any business, you will be required to pitch and generate discussion amongst potential clients. Your self-promotion skills will be key to ensuring success in this area. You must have confidence, not only in yourself but also the business and must also be able to speak eloquently and knowledgably on the subject. While you are trying to attract potential clients to your business through pitches, try and work on your delivery, so that you don’t come across as a stereotypical “salesman”.
3. Talk to Others.
Some aspiring entrepreneurs will have been lucky enough to have spent professional time with other successful businessmen and women. However, if you haven’t, it would be a very good idea to get some work experience alongside an experienced professional before you head into the unknown by yourself. Note what they do right, what they do wrong and how they resolve any serious issues. Try to model yourself on their best attributes while also injecting your motivation into any venture that you approach.
4. Plan, Plan, Plan.
This should be a staple of every entrepreneur’s professional life. Before approaching any business, you should have a concrete plan, not only about how you want to involve yourself in the business but also why you have chosen that specific business in that specific industry. Research how other successful entrepreneurs create business plans and take inspiration from them.
5. Don’t Jump In.
If you have some excess money that you are actively looking to use for investment, it can be very tempting to jump straight in and throw all of your finances at a “guaranteed” money earner. However, this can often be a fatal mistake – like putting all of your money on red as soon as you step in the casino. Take your time, make smaller investments, so you cover more ground and always have a “contingency plan”. Any mistakes that occur will not swallow you whole.
6. Create the Right Team.
If you are fortunate enough to be in a position where you can employ other professionals, you must ensure that you hire well. It can be harder than you think to find people with right attitude and skills set. Be aware that you will not ever find the perfect candidate. Hire those who understand what you require from them and agree with the direction of your business. They will all represent your business and you need to be confident that they can all do that successfully.
7. Do Not Avoid Weakness.
No-one is perfect. While they may believe they are in a deluded way, even the most successful entrepreneurs have personal and professional weaknesses. However, the difference between success and failure is often those who confront their weaknesses head on, and those who avoid them. If you are a poor public speaker for example, try and present and pitch as often as you possibly can. The only way to improve on your weaknesses is through active practice.
8. Go the Extra Mile.
The drive and desire that is undoubtedly in the ethos of every entrepreneur means that you always want to impress and succeed. However, resting on your laurels can often be a serious danger. You should always strive to do more for any clients or employees. This will be a helping hand on the way to success and show everybody that, while you can a ruthless businessman or women, you are also caring and want to please.
Darren Nicholls has been with Informi from inception through to when the website was launched in September 2016. He continues to oversee the development and growth of the Informi platform. As Product Manager for both AAT and Informi, Darren’s role focuses on establishing new relationships in wider markets outside of AAT’s traditional finance and accounting audience.