Being a new entrepreneur is always an exciting time in one’s life. Exciting, yes, but also a little bit scary. There are many paths you could take, a lot of ventures you could explore—but how do you know which one is most suitable for you?
Well, the truth is, you can never truly be sure until you start your very own business. However, to minimize the mistakes along the way, here are some pieces of advice that inexperienced yet eager entrepreneurs like you should know:
1. Find mentors
Every successful business owner out there has had someone to guide them along the way. As someone new to entrepreneurship, finding mentors can guide you to get a head start in your career. Whether it’s a colleague, a senior, a parent, or a business coach, find people that can help you build your knowledge, character, and mindset as an entrepreneur.
2. Consider franchising
When you buy a franchise, you also buy the company’s systems, guidelines, and techniques that have already been proven and tested over the years. So, if you have limited experience running a business, franchising may be a better option for you than building a business from scratch. This way, you already have a set of guidelines to follow; there is limited guesswork on what you need to do with the business, and you have better chances of surviving your first year than with an entirely new business.
For example, if you purchase a sign business opportunity from a franchisor, you not only get their brand name and reputation—you also get the effective system that they have in place. This can help you learn the ropes of running a business without risking too much because of your inexperience, making franchising a great training ground for beginner entrepreneurs.
3. Work on your finances
One of the biggest challenges for many new entrepreneurs is securing funding for their planned ventures. Most lenders are hesitant to lend to small businesses, much less to aspiring business owners who do not have industry experience. Hence, you may have a hard time trying to get the money you need to start your business.
However, you can increase your chances of getting approved by having a strong financial background. This includes a good credit score, a clean credit history, a low debt-to-income ratio, and a sizeable amount of easily accessible assets under your name. That said, one of the best pieces of advice for new entrepreneurs is to build a good financial standing before you start a business. Aside from making it easier to apply for a loan, it can also help you secure lower interest rates.
4. Never stop learning
It doesn’t matter if you graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business or even an MBA—learning never really stops unless you want it to.
Good entrepreneurs spend a big chunk of their time learning new things and building the skills that they already have. Continuous learning is even more important for entrepreneurs who lack experience in the real world. If you are a beginner business owner, being a proactive learner can help you achieve your goals faster—because even if you lack experience, knowing can get you far.
So, attend those seminars, speak to those mentors, and bury your nose in a business book once in a while. Even if you do it subconsciously, the knowledge you retain can contribute to your overall success in the long run.
5. Wait for the right time
It is perfectly understandable to be very excited about starting your own business—but you must do so at the right time. Too many new entrepreneurs rush into the process without knowing what’s ahead of them, much less being prepared for it—they shoot for the sky only to end up crashing and burning shortly afterward.
Don’t make the same mistake. If you have a business plan that you think is the next big thing, wait until the right time to start. Prepare for each possible outcome. Tie up loose ends. And more importantly, ensure that you are physically, mentally, and emotionally ready to take on the stress and pressures of starting a business from scratch.
No matter how hard you try, mistakes will happen at some point in your entrepreneurial career. But if you can avoid most of them through ample preparation, you will be better able to survive the most challenging parts of being a new entrepreneur—most notably, starting your own business.