Entrepreneurs Under 30: Advice From Your Peers

This post is part of our ReadWriteStart channel, which is a resource and guide for first-time entrepreneurs and startups. The channel is sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark. To sign up for BizSpark, click here.

Although the median age of CEOs is 54, one of the fasted growing demographics of entrepreneurs is young people. According to a survey by JA Worldwide almost three-quarters of high school students indicate an interest in becoming entrepreneurs. Although there are a few college programs dedicated to entrepreneurship, even with the preparation from a college degree program many young entrepreneurs can flounder.

To help remedy this, Under30CEO.com has collected advice from its users and offers “Young Entrepreneur Advice: 100 Things You Must Know!”

Many of the tips echo the idea that it’s a cold, hard world out there, and that young entrepreneurs would do well to hire great people, to delegate administrative tasks to others, and to develop strong professional and personal networks, not just of potential customers but of others more established in their field.

Some of the notable themes:

Know Your Market: “I wish I’d know how much easier it is to build a business around an established market that’s already looking for a solution to its problems rather than trying to build the market around the business I wanted to start.” – John Crickett

Money Matters: “Finding the right Accounting / Financial Manager right up front was our biggest learning and biggest mistake. Completely changed our financial performance and caused us to hit a wall we should have avoided.” – Mike Cleary

Don’t Worry too Much about Education: “It is OK to trust your instincts – even when they are not necessarily backed up by years of finance/accounting or business school credentials” – Jenn Benz

Learn to Manage People: “I wish I would have known that the hardest part of owning and operating my own business would NOT have been how to create revenue on a monthly basis. I wish I would have hired a full time IT guy and a shrink to manage with my sales force!” – Bradley W. Smith

Have a Business Plan that Includes an Exit Strategy: “Have a serious exit strategy & plan prior to opening doors. As an entrepreneur I was ready and willing to take the plunge to open my own company, but didn’t realize I had to structure my company around the exit strategy (i.e. make it sellable and transferable, and self sustaining without my everyday presence).” – Christopher N. Okada

Cultivate Strong Support Networks: “I wish that early on I had sought out more business leaders in my field. It wasn’t until I was a bit older that I realized the value of the knowledge to be learned from veteran industry players and how it could help me grow my business.” – Jim Janosik

Take Care of Yourself: “You can’t put your life on hold while waiting for your venture to hit. I have tremendous regret around all of the family events, vacations, and time with friends that I missed because I was working on getting my film/company off the ground.” – Pamela Peacock

You can read the full post here. What advice would you add to this list?

Microsoft BizSpark is a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators.

Content Credit goes to Readwriteweb.com

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