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The Challenges Of Starting A Business In Your 20s

21 May 2008 3 Comments

In my previous article entitled, “My Four-Pronged Strategy Towards Financial Prosperity,” I talked about both building my career and building a second stream of passive income. Starting a business could be crucial in both goals. Currently, my goal is to start a business that can morph into a second stream of income. Down the road, I would like to start a business that will by my main wealth driver and my full-time career.

Starting a business is an exciting and challenging thing for anyone. For a 20-something, it’s even harder. What’s interesting, in my opinion, is that the main challenge in starting a business is usually not related to finding a product to sell. Finding a product or service to sell is one of the easiest steps in the process. Let’s look at the real obstacles that can be tough to overcome for a 20-something entrepreneur.

A Lack Of Funding

Simply put, most 20-somethings don’t have a great deal of money saved up. Since most businesses are funded in the beginning by personal savings, this makes the task of getting a business off the ground rather difficult for someone with not much money.

How can you get around this? Focus on businesses that don’t require a bunch of startup capital. We will provide a future article with numerous examples of such businesses.

A Lack Of Experience

Most 20-somethings have not attempted to start a business. Furthermore, most also have not be exposed to many of the skills necessary to run a business. Getting a business off the ground requires much more than finding a cool product to sell. Accounting, legal work, marketing, and more are all necessary pieces of a profitable company.

A Thin Network

The easiest way to start a business is to have a group of competent people with different skill sets that share the same vision. Unfortunately, if you’re in your 20s, you have only had a few years to build your network of contacts. It can take a long time to build relationships with others in the business world that might eventually become your partners.

Think about what your strengths are. You will most likely need partners with different strengths than yours to establish a core team that can get a business going. Are you more geared towards innovation or marketing? You may need to team up with a numbers guy who can handle the accounting and other financial aspects of running a business.

What You Can Do Now

If entrepreneurship interests you and your ultimate goal is to own a business, start preparing now to overcome the challenges listed above.

First, start researching types of businesses that do not require a great deal of start up capital. Don’t limit yourself to an e-business, there are others out there.

Second, find ways to broaden your experience in other areas of business. Talk to your boss about different roles and responsibilities that you would like some exposure to. This may require additional work, but it will be worth it. Any skills that you can pick up are an investment in your future.

Lastly, be proactive about meeting new people in the business world. Do you have an executive or boss in your company that has an interesting story? See if he would be willing to schedule a lunch with you and take the opportunity to get some advice from a seasoned veteran. Find other people your age that have similar passions for business. You may find peers just as talented and passionate as you that would make excellent partners one day.

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