Fantastic Article on MSN Money…

17 Apr, 2009 Phil Starting Up

One of the BEST articles I have ever found, on: (thanks Sam for forwarding this):

Tips to get rich young

By Emma-Lou Montgomery

You almost never get rich working for someone else, and to give you a helping hand in starting your own business and making it successful here are five tips from people who made it big before they were 30.

An increasing number of young people are defying the traditional view that you need to spend years learning the ropes before starting your own business. Not only that, but they’re also proving themselves to be inspirational entrepreneurs in the process.

A survey carried out by City & Guilds, the vocational training group, found that 49% of 16 to 24-year-olds have a “strong desire” to set up their own business. The main reason being they want to be their own boss.

One in 10 wants to get started in the next year and 35% plan to launch their businesses in the next five years.

“Owning your own business is no longer the preserve of older employees with decades of work experience,” pointed out Chris Humphries, director general of City & Guilds.

“Starting a business is highly appealing to today’s youth who long to be their own boss and set their own agenda.”

Young people who have already made their mark are providing the biggest inspiration for the next generation. Nearly half of the young wannabe entrepreneurs said they know someone under the age of 30 who has already gone it alone.

Whether you already have a role model or not, here are some valuable tips and insights about starting up in business from five young, and highly successful, entrepreneurs.

1. Know your target audience
When Richard Reed, co-founder of smoothie and fruit drinks company Innocent, started out he took his former boss’ advice to heart and made certain he knew his target audience.

“The only target audience we absolutely knew was our friends and family,” Richard said.

“And what we identified was a need for something healthy that we and our friends and family could consume despite the long hours we worked and relatively unhealthy lifestyles we had as a result.”

To fill this gap in the market he, along with Adam Balon and Jon Wright, bought £500 worth of fruit and turned it into smoothies. They sold them from a stall at a music festival in London in the summer of 1998 and this was the start of a business which now has a £10 million annual turnover.

But before leaping in, they made sure they were making the right move.

“We put up a big sign saying ‘Do you think we should give up our jobs to make these smoothies?’. And put out a bin saying ‘YES’ and a bin saying ‘NO’. We asked people to put the empty bottle in the right bin. At the end of the weekend the ‘YES’ bin was full so we went in the next day and resigned,” Richard said.

2. Remember there’s no such thing as failure
As a schoolboy, Peter Jones dreamed of running a multi-million pound company. Today he is one of the stars of the TV series Dragons Den and in charge of a £200 million empire as owner, chairman and chief executive of various businesses ranging from telecoms and leisure to publishing and media.

He’s had plenty of ups and downs on his way to the top, but Peter says the key to success is to refuse to acknowledge the existence of the word “failure”.

“I believe that there are no failures in this world – only events that give you feedback,” Peter said.

And his long line of achievements, starting when he set up a tennis academy at a local club aged just 16, are testimony to that.

By the age of 28, as the youngest-ever head of PC business at computer firm Siemens Nixdorf, he was off again. This time with Phones International Group, his telecoms business that now counts every leading brand in the mobile industry among its business partners, whether as a supplier, customer or collaborator.

You could say he wouldn’t know the meaning of the word failure, having been recognised as the 13th fastest growing business within the Sunday Times/Virgin Atlantic UK Fast Track League Table. Peter was named as Emerging Entrepreneur of The Year by The Times/Ernst & Young and came 14th in the Daily Telegraph’s young entrepreneurs list in 2005.

3. Have a ‘can-do’ attitude
When Michelle Mone was just 10 years old, she was already thinking big. Having decided she wanted to become an entrepreneur, she recruited 12 friends and started a company delivering hot rolls with peoples’ morning newspaper. The woman who left school at 15 with no qualifications has since been named not only “Businesswoman of the Year”, but also “World Young Business Achiever”, following the phenomenal worldwide success of her company Ultimo Bras.

Michelle said: “The most important thing, in my opinion, is that can-do attitude. The can-do attitude and have-a-go mentality I believe is what breeds success.”

4. You can reinvent the wheel
Fraser Doherty was 14 when he started making jam and selling it locally. Now he runs Doherty’s Preserves, a luxury jam company that sells its produce all over the world. He’s proof that sometimes the best business ideas are simply improving what we’ve got.

“I started mine in an afternoon with a dozen oranges and a bag of sugar,” he said.

“Since I was about eight I had lots of little projects on the go, trying different ways of making pocket money. The catalyst came when my gran taught me her top secret jam recipe and I had something of a ‘eureka’ moment. I realised I could make jam myself and sell it door to door in the local area.”

5. Give it a go
Simon Woodroffe, founder of conveyor-belt sushi bar Yo Sushi, says the key to success is just to do it.

He said: “Ban your brain from thinking about whether the idea will work and whether you should do it. Most budding entrepreneurs stall at the starting line, thinking ‘Shall I? Shan’t I?’

“Instead, put in the work of developing and researching the project, knowing that you will not make the decision to proceed until you have more information and awareness.”

With those tips for success up your sleeve, the desire and ambition to succeed, and the dedication and drive to meet your goals, there should be no stopping you. Whatever you want to be. Whatever you want to do. Just do it.

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About Phil

Phil is creative director at PSM Digital but also freelances with web design and SEO in Manchester, UK. He researches and studies online business, along with the latest technological advances and development in design, SEO and social media.

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About The One Man Mission...

Hi I’m Phil. Welcome to my blog, where you’ll find useful information on web design, development and online business advice.  I’m a creative director for a digital agency in Manchester, UK and I also freelance web design also.  Currently setting up and developing a new online business, I am here...

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