10 Start-Up Building Blocks For Young Entrepreneurs

By: Mike Fiorini –Owner of Real College Student LLC

Starting your own business is tough, especially in the current economy.  I’ve recently started up a business called Real College Student LLC. Only a couple months ago, I launched my website www.RealCollegeStudent.com into the business world.  I’ve created these helpful building blocks throughout my venture to guide other young entrepreneurs how to complete your goal of starting your own business.

  1. Just Do It!
    The number one difference between an average person and an entrepreneur is whether or not you act on your ideas.  Being creative is a huge characteristic of being an entrepreneur! Having amazing ideas is just as important.  However, unless you act on your ideas…they only stay ideas.  Entrepreneurs take ideas and make them into reality through hard work and the acceptance of risks.  For example, if you have an idea for a website, and you have a general business plan for your website made up, what’s stopping you from making it reality? Money? Maybe a few unanswered questions? Instead of waiting around and letting your idea dissolve, go out and buy the domain name for your idea for only $10.00!  That’s an extremely small investment, but it will get your mind motivated and in gear to obtain the goal of creating your website.
  2. Create Goals
    In order to achieve in any aspect of life, you need to set goals.  Goals are what drive people to obtain higher levels of achievement.  In business, goals give you forward direction.  Make daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals.  Literally, make goal lists.  Crossing off goals that you or your business achieved is a great confidence booster, and will push you to obtain more distant targets.  Create small celebrations for when you achieve a goal.  For example, the owner of Amazon.com used to ring a small bell every time they received an order as they were starting up—for numerous reasons they don’t ring the bell anymore.
  3. Pinching Pennies
    There are millions of tiny ways to save money when starting up your business.  They may seem small at first, but they add up quick.  For instance, let’s say you begin selling products through a website you create—you’ll need to find a shipping carrier.  Depending on your product, US Postal Service “Flat Rate” boxes are the way to go!  UPS charges for pick up and by the weight of your box.  You’ll save at least a dollar on every package–but like I said it depends on the product.  Another way to save money is your telephone bill.  You need a business line for your company.  There is no reason to pay $60.00 a month for a business line from big name brand companies.  You can use call forwarding companies such as Grasshopper.com which give you a toll free line, 100 minutes a month, no contracts, and calls sent to your cell phone for only $9.95 a month.  Little savings such as those two aspects of startup monthly costs will help you become profitable.
  4. Count On Yourself
    If you want things done in your company, be prepared to do it yourself!  Friends and family will help out, but you have to understand…It’s your company.  People tend to only perform tasks for other people for incentives.  If you are a sole proprietor, find ways to give people incentives to help you with small tasks to improve your company.  Free t-shirts, memorabilia, discounts, shout-outs, and quid pro quo (this for that) are all non monetary ways to get help while starting up.
  5. Entrepreneurs Drive Home In The Dark!
    The 40 hour work week does not apply to you.  You go to work before the average person, and leave after they left.  Entrepreneurs never get stuck in “rush hour” traffic, because leaving work at 4 or 5 o’clock everyday doesn’t apply. You are an entrepreneur.  You work until the job is finish or you are satisfied!  This means you might work 10 hours, get dinner, then come back to work for the night.  Much like in college, you’d need to pull an all nighter to study for a test or write a paper.  When you’re a business owner, you stay up and put in as many hours as possible or else you don’t get paid!
  6. Write All Your Ideas Down
    According to Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, only 1 out of every 100 of his ideas actually became successful.  That didn’t stop him from writing them down.  Learn to write everything down!  No matter how relevant it is to your idea, it may prove to be helpful in your endeavor.  Once you begin to get wrapped up in a business venture, writing things down is the only sure way you’ll remember something.  Many times you’ll become distracted or lost in deep thought and forget about these magnificent little ideas.  UNDERSTAND that most ideas don’t pop into your head when you are in front of a computer or a pad and pen.  They come when you’re out for a walk, lying in bed, or even in the shower!  Don’t let the ideas slip away no matter where you are…Write them down!
  7. No Money? Not An Excuse!
    Money is everywhere.  If you have an idea, make a business plan.   Talk to you family, friends, teachers, or neighbors and see if they would invest in your company.  Show them what their return on investment in your company will be in order to get them interested.  If not people you know, try banks, investors, venture capitalists, or check your college or SBA.gov for business grants you can apply for! Money should be the last item on the list when you are pursuing your goal.  If all that fails, look for a partner or propose giving away equity of the company for capital.
  8. Ask Questions!
    Knowledge is vital for the success of any business.  You need to know every angle, even if they don’t exist!  Part of starting up is learning from other companies or personal trial and error.  The business world is continually evolving due to Economic Darwinism—survival of the fittest company.  When starting your own business, you are basically hitting the ground running!  You’re going to have to figure out your unknown questions quick! Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Ask everyone:  business owners, web designers, employees of other companies—even if their company has nothing to do with your business.  Taking advice from other business owners is important to evolving your business.   By communicating with a wide variety of people you’ll stay diverse business minded—which you need to be to cover all the angles and problems in the future.
  9. Stay Confident
    Getting down on yourself is part of being an entrepreneur.  You WILL run into road blocks though out your millionaire voyage.  Stay confident.  Road blocks only block one path, there are millions of ways to get around or over them as long as you remain positive.  When you hit a road block, before you become too frustrated or angry, take a break.  By break I mean completely walking away from what you were working on for a few hours and go to the gym, get coffee, or some food before going back to work on it. The break will relieve you of your stress and allow your mind to not focus on the problem, but the solution.
  10. Patience…You don’t become a millionaire over night!
    Rarely, do people become a millionaire over night.  Every company takes time to grow and become recognized.  Just because your business is up and running doesn’t mean you will automatically receive sales.  This is why everyone isn’t a business owner.  There are risks, a lot of them!  By starting your own business takes guts, but putting in numerous hours and sticking by your company through hard time’s shows true entrepreneurial character.  With hard work, patience, and perseverance you can make things work. If you love what you do, then see it through!

Through my blunders and accomplishments, I hope these 10 building blocks help and inspire all young entrepreneurs.  Take these 10 building blocks and use them to construct your ideas into reality. I wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors! NOW QUIT READING, AND GO START YOUR BUSINESS!

About Real College Student: We specialize in items that REAL college students need.  We have over 400 different products, a classified section (post your used text books directly to your school for free!), and a funny college blog. Please contact me though the website if you have any questions or ideas to improve my website!

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6 Responses to 10 Start-Up Building Blocks For Young Entrepreneurs

  1. Chris Brooks January 7, 2010 at 8:54 pm #

    Great advice! One tip that has helped me is measuring my business in three week spans. Sunday plan out what you want to accomplish for the next three weeks and then get to it being sure to reward yourself for a job well done.

    If you don’t accomplish everything just move your unfinished goals on to the next three week block and begin attacking those.

    Keeping yourself focused on three week spans helps focus your efforts because we all know that we have a million ideas bouncing around in our heads so we need to focus on the ideas we can truly attain.

  2. Lou Renarde January 7, 2010 at 9:00 pm #

    Kids and teens can get a leg up on this entrepreneurship thing by going to http://www.bizinaboxx.com.

    I bought a Biz in a Boxx for my 14 year old and within a few weeks she and her friends were making a profit in their business.

    I’ve also seen an improvement in my daughter’s schoolwork–she’s more responsible and has developed good follow through skills. She has lots more confidence and is more mature. She is quite the young entrepreneur.

  3. Jonathan Kay January 15, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for the vote of confidence in Grasshopper. We have a bunch of college entrepreneurs who use us currently. If you ever think of something we can be doing better to serve your market please reach out to me.


  4. Primary Work at Home January 26, 2010 at 5:39 am #

    This is a perfect guide to all entrepreneurs. Thanks for sharing this very informative article.

  5. Twin XL February 3, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    I agree that the most important thing is just doing it. It takes a lot of guts to make a decision like that, but it is definitely necessary.


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