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The Four Cornerstones of Success for Young Entrepreneurs

19/12/2014 02:58 GMT | Updated 17/02/2015 10:59 GMT

Starting a business isn't easy for anyone while young people face their own disadvantages. They usually have less capital to support them, they might have student debts, and getting a business loan is going to be much harder. As unfair as it is, some people have less respect for the young and that's going to have an effect when they're competing against older people for resources when launching a start-up.

Of course there are plenty of successful young business owners out there. If you do things right then it's possible to make something of yourself if you're way under 30. These four cornerstones are a great place to start.

Experience

Obviously being young is already putting you at a disadvantage when it comes to experience. In all likelihood, a 40 year old is going to have had a higher number and wider range of jobs than a 25 year old. But is quantity really the most important factor here?

You don't need to convince someone you're qualified enough if you want to start a business, you simply do it. So when it comes to experience, having gaps or a generally sparse CV isn't entirely important. What matters is the type and quality of experience you have.

You should keep on top of developments in the area of business you're interested in. For example, giving yourself some experience in SEO or digital marketing is a great way to learn some new skills and make some mistakes before you do it for real.

A good example of this would be to use a free service like Wordpress to create a website. Use this as a training course for yourself. Learn about SEO and optimise it and read up about digital marketing and employ what you learn. Measure your results and see how it goes.

Even having some basic experience in these essential business skills will prove invaluable when you've got your proper company up and running for real.

Empowerment

Running your own business can be empowering. It puts you in full control of your life. You're the boss and you make all the decisions and while that involves a lot of pressure it's the kind of freedom that can inspire you to work hard.

That feeling of freedom control can dip when times are a bit tough and that can knock your confidence. If that happens you can lose faith in your decision-making and things can start to go very wrong. This is why you should need to keep yourself in check to get your enthusiasm levels as high has when you started.

Another good way to keep yourself motivated is self-development. Using tactics like SWOT are a great way to assess how you're business is doing and change things up. A new way of working is a perfect way to enthuse your business energy levels.

Encouragement

While attempting to encourage yourself has its merits, surrounding yourself with encouraging people will be much better. Having a support network is a big part of running a successful business. This isn't in the case of contacts, this is about your friends, family and business partners.

These kinds of people have a lot of influence on our lives. It's no surprise that if you surround yourself with people who tell you your plan is going to fail, your enthusiasm is going to get knocked. The same goes for a partner who is just as pessimistic.

While dumping your friends because of their opinions isn't advisable - it's likely they're only looking out for you - it's a great idea to avoid discussing your business with them down the pub. In regards to bringing in someone to run the business with you, really think hard about how their personality will affect things. Just because they are highly skilled doesn't mean they'll be entirely valuable to the business.

Education

Levels of education will vary from 16 year old school leavers to doctors. The problem is you've might not have even considered becoming an entrepreneur until after you've finished your formal education. You can always go back if you like, but that can be very expensive and hugely time consuming - especially if you left school after your GCSEs.

There are solutions outside of that though. The internet is full of free and cheap online resources and courses. Want to learn to code? You can use a site like Code Academy to do that for free. Websites like Coursera are full of courses that are run by experts, while Memrise crowdsources some amazing free courses. Even if you're planning on learning a language you can use Duolingo for free or the very affordable Babbel.

Your local Chamber of Commerce is likely to provide business courses and workshops, which are usually cheaper for members. Look out for free and low cost meet-ups and networking events, where people will often share their area-specific knowledge.

In other words, traditional education isn't the only way to learn new skills. While applying for a job with only online qualifications won't work particularly well, that issue doesn't apply to your own company Simply go online, learn, and put that new information to work.