It is official – a new generation of entrepreneurs has arrived – and according to new findings, they are already outperforming their baby boomer predecessors.
Findings from last year’s BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report indicate that millennials are starting more businesses, managing more people and targeting higher profits than their parents. Almost 75% of them expect their profits to increase in 2017, compared to 42% of baby boomers.
However, it seems like a large majority of these “millennipreneurs” is following in their parents’ footsteps. You see, the study also revealed that only around 22% of them are first-generation entrepreneurs.
And while they work differently than their parents, you cannot deny that they’ve at least been influenced or advised by their parents in one way or another.
What about the First-Generation Entrepreneurs?
As you can see, today, it’s easier to create a business than ever before, but that just means that failure is also easier as well. And while it’s true that millennials create more companies than the previous generation, the report doesn’t show if their companies are successful at all.
In reality, if you’re embarking on a startup, you should be prepared for a bumpy ride. In fact, your trip will mostly consist of extreme ups and down and you’ll be forced to make tough decisions that you don’t want to make. But before all of that – you have to start somehow.
But don’t worry – no matter how small you start, you’ll have a chance to turn your company into a large corporate entity. After all, corporate giants like Wal-Mart and Starbucks were once only small mom-and-pop store, struggling to get by.
How to Start Your Startup from Scratch
1. Find a Cofounder as Soon as Possible
Unfortunately, starting a new business takes more than hard work and passion, so you’ll definitely need some help during the initial phases. A cofounder will provide all the skills you lack and help you take your business further than you probably expected it would go.
But that’s not all – according to Backblaze CEO Gleb Budman, VCs are more likely to invest in a startup if it has more than one founder. People like to invest in founding teams – not a founding individual. And if you establish a good decision-making hierarchy, having more than two cofounders can also be beneficial.
2. Work With people that will Push You to the Extreme
We all know that the late-great Steve Jobs was extremely aggressive and often unkind to his coworkers. But the thing is – he was usually able to get the best out of his people better than anybody else. As he puts it – his job wasn’t to be easy on his coworkers – his job was to make them better.
That means you need to find the same qualities in a partner, employee, cofounder, etc. What’s more, you need to provide the same level of expectations for your workers. Simply put, you need to expect great things from your coworkers in order to get them to do great things.
3. Be Willing to Hire Remote and Contract Workers
You need to face the truth – a small startup probably won’t be able to attract the “cream-of-the-crop” talent, at least not in the beginning any way. So if you want to find the best (and more importantly the most affordable talent), you must be willing to outsource some of your work to remote workers to get the work done.
Furthermore, only a handful of people will be willing to take the chance of becoming a full-time employee at an inexperienced startup. So instead of hiring new workers (and looking for replacements if they quit), you should hire only on a contract basis.
4. Don’t Overlook Your Finances
In the past couple of years, with fewer organizations getting funded, more and more startups are opting to borrow money to fund their endeavors. However, before you go to the bank and apply for a loan, keep in mind that some companies have already been forced to close after missing payments.
So if you’re looking for additional funding, you need to look beyond bank loans and credit cards for financing. One option would be to seek financing from friends and relatives (around 50% of businesses are financed that way) or hire a company that provides financial services that can help you get in touch with potential financiers.
Overconfidence in your abilities is often frowned upon. Some even claim that overconfidence can distort your decisions and make you both overestimate and underestimate your business opportunities in risky markets.
However, a recent study funded by the Oxford Entrepreneurship Centre revealed that 60% of failures can be attributed to random judgment errors, which have nothing to do with your confidence.
This means that you should pay a lot less attention to your aspirations and abilities and more to the external realities of your competition in the market.
So whether you’re experienced or not (or you receive some advice from an experienced parent or not), your chances of success are basically the same. It’s all up to you – with enough hard work, timing, vision, and a pinch of luck, you’ll get your startup of its feet sooner or later.