Founded by experienced shipowners and managers, Pelagic Partners is a company that is redefining maritime investments. This article will provide tips and pointers for young founders just embarking on their entrepreneurial journey, helping them to transform their winning business idea into a profitable company.
According to research by Hiscox Insurance, more than half of all 14 to 19-year-olds have ambitions of being their own boss, with more than 25% of London undergraduates already running their own business or in the process of setting up a company. In the UK, the popularity of entrepreneurship is by no means restricted to the capital, with 22% of university students in Cardiff simultaneously setting up their own business alongside their studies, rising to a staggering 36% of undergraduates in Glasgow.
Building a successful business requires an inordinate amount of time and effort. To be successful, first and foremost, entrepreneurs need to have a passion for what they do, knowing their industry and products inside out. Once they have chosen their niche, founders also need to come up with a unique selling point that no one else has. Rather than applying a ‘scatter-gun’ approach to the market, it is important to specialize.
Entrepreneurialism is not for everyone, usually requiring huge sacrifices. Focus, drive, and determination are all crucial for business success, as are creativity and innovation, along with keen time-management skills. Young entrepreneurs in particular are often forced to spread their time thinly, particularly those still at school, college, or university. Maintaining a diary can be a healthy habit, helping entrepreneurs to plan, prepare, and manage their time efficiently.
Founders need to have a passion for their business idea but nonetheless still keep an eye on the bigger picture. Business mentorship – or just advice from an experienced entrepreneur – can be incredibly beneficial in helping a founder to remain objective. Rather than ploughing ahead with ideas or getting swallowed up in the day-to-day running of their business, entrepreneurs need to come up for air periodically, keeping a close eye on profit and loss forecasts and funding as well as the wider market – tracing the business’s productivity, profitability, and success towards both short and long-term goals.
In the 21st century, maintaining an active presence on social media channels is integral to business success. In an increasingly digitized world, printed media such as newspaper and magazines are largely being overlooked by marketers. Nevertheless, for businesses with a unique USP, piquing the interest of a business editor could pay dividends.
Broadcast media such as television and radio still offer opportunities for promotion, albeit at a significant price, with production costs for television advertising campaigns often coming in at £50,000 plus and some companies paying over £1 million for their ad to be broadcast at the optimum time. Nevertheless, the payoff for broadcast advertisements is their impact, with many ads remembered by viewers decades after they aired.
Social media is the undisputed king for advertisers in the 2020s. Nevertheless, despite the phenomenal potential of social media as a promotional channel, businesses need to handle these platforms with the utmost care. Twitter, in particular, is fraught with potential faux pas for inexperienced business promoters. Rather than spamming followers with product promotions, forward-looking companies focus on building audience engagement. It is also important to avoid repeatedly reposting other people’s links as this can alienate audiences, persuading potential customers to hit the ‘unfollow’ button.
Failing to understand the market is a leading reason for business failure. To position their business for success, founders must conduct thorough research regarding their target market prior to launch. Getting to grips with the market will help the entrepreneur to identify critical aspects like price points and marketing plan strategies. It will also help them to gauge the market’s need for their idea, as well as helping them to assess the competition and identify their business’s USP. The more the founder invests in learning about their target market, the easier it will be to appeal to them, avoiding costly and potentially catastrophic mistakes.
A solid financial footing is vital for the success of any business. In order to secure a business loan, the founder will need a good credit rating. It is therefore important for aspiring entrepreneurs to start building their credit rating as early as possible, even while at high school, paying off debts and student loans to make it easier for them to access the funding necessary to launch their start-up. Creating healthy financial habits also sets them in good stead for managing their company’s finances and keeping the business on track.
When it comes to building and scaling a successful business, there is no such thing as overnight success. Even unicorns that seem to appear out of thin air only find their feet thanks to the countless hours of hard work of their founders.