blog | 8min Read
Published on September 26, 2022
We frequently hear that so and so is an entrepreneur who has launched his or her own company. It is also true that when we hear the term entrepreneur, we tend to associate it with someone who has started or is starting their own ventures, or in other words, making it on their own. This is correct, as the formal definition of entrepreneurship is the process of establishing a business or organization for profit or for social purposes. To distinguish and separate commercial entrepreneurship from social and charitable entrepreneurship, we used the phrase for profit or for social needs.
Every now and then, young people come up with innovative and brilliant ideas. Nonetheless, they are frequently ‘uncertain’ about how to pursue their great ideas or turn their concepts into business endeavors. This is common because teenagers are at an age where it is difficult to find something that interests them. They may not understand the direction of their lives or how much control they have over them and they’re still trying to figure out how their ideas fit into the bigger picture of the world.
Advice for Aspiring Teen Entrepreneurs!
The BRG has compiled some advice from teen entrepreneurs that you can keep in mind when you kickstart your own startup journey.
1. Understand your industry:
Although some aspects of entrepreneurship are beyond your control, taking the time to thoroughly study and understand your chosen industry is not. Because there will almost always be rivals and similar businesses out there, doing your homework and having a better understanding of the business than anyone else is the best way to get an edge over competitors. The more you know about your industry, the better you’ll serve your customers, the other options and solutions available, competitor pricing, industry-specific marketing strategies, and how to ensure your business stands out from the crowd.
2. Go Slow – Take one step at a time :
When it comes to building and growing a startup, one piece of advice that far too few entrepreneurs hear is to take things one step at a time. This is critical because, as an entrepreneur, you will be forced to deal with many different issues and obstacles at the same time.0
Those who do not prioritize and learn to take things one step at a time may find themselves drowning in exhaustion, rather than realizing that they can only deal with each task or obstacle as it arises and then move on to the next.
3. Be open to change:
When it comes to building a startup, or any product or service, the only constant changes, and the only way to succeed in the face of future changes is to respond to and adapt to them. Competitors will release new products, the problem itself may change, the target market may shift, and so on.
You must keep an eye on your industry, customers, and competitors, and always plan ahead of time to adapt to impending changes that may affect your business.
4. Don’t get discouraged from failure:
One advantage of starting a business as a teen is that the stakes are low, and there is plenty of time for a course correction or a complete redo. As a high school student, you probably do not bear the financial burden of running a household and providing for your family. If your parents have covered the fundamentals, you can feel much more at ease knowing that the outcome of your startup will not have significant financial consequences for you or your family.
5. Ask for help:
While it is possible to be a solo founder, startups are a collaborative effort, and you should take advantage of the assistance, contacts, and partnerships available through your network and the people who support your idea. No founder should jeopardize their company’s success by limiting it to the skills, talents, and resources that they personally possess. In fact, the entire accelerator, incubator, crowdfunding, and venture capital communities were founded on founders and startups seeking advice, resources, or funding.
However, seeking investment isn’t the only time to seek assistance. If you have friends, relatives, or peers who could help you with one aspect of your business, you’ll be much better off if you entrust those tasks to people who are exceptionally skilled at them. Along these lines, collaborating with others can help you create more opportunities.
6. Building a Strong Network:
It’s critical to recognize the value and experience your peers and teachers can offer you and your startup. Take advantage of networking opportunities throughout your degree, including networking events, industry talks, internships, and even coffee morning catch-ups. It doesn’t always have to be in a professional setting; simply getting to know your colleagues on a casual level can lead to a professional working relationship.
It’s a winning combination to surround yourself with a team that is as professional, hardworking, committed, and driven as you are. If you want to learn more about Networking as a Teenager, do check our recent blog on it!
6. A Success Story – Two Teen Entrepreneurs from India!
Being a successful entrepreneur is not a career choice but a path one must take, and starting early is very important! We can learn from the two teens that caused disruption in the Indian Startup Scene with their creation – Zepto! Aadit Palicha and Kaivalya Vohra, both 19 years old, dropped out of the prestigious Stanford University in California to build the instant delivery service based out of Mumbai – valued at almost a billion dollars!
The startup was built upon the instant delivery model where customers can get groceries – from fresh fruits and vegetables to your favorite munchies – delivered to you in under 10 minutes! Industry giants like BlinkIt (earlier Grofers) and Swiggy Instamart dominated the space until Zepto emerged.
The teenage duo had founded Zepto in the September of 2020 and started operations in April of next year. Aadit and Kaivalya had started another company – KiranaKart – a service that delivers groceries in 45 minutes or less by connecting traders to their customers. However, the Y-Combinator-backed startup shut down operations a month before Zepto started in April 2021 due to scalability issues.
The idea for Zepto was born in the early covid days when groceries were being delivered after days of being ordered due to the immense demand. They found a gap in the market that could be filled by introducing speedy delivery of groceries. Zepto grabbed the limelight as soon as it came into the market and rocked industry giants – Swiggy Instamart and BlinkIt. They improved inventory control and made the shopping process entirely contactless. Zepto also made the headlines when it raised $10-$20 million in its first round of funding!
The instant delivery/ quick commerce space has set the benchmark for grocery delivery by minimizing delivery times! Their primary goal is to get the goods to the consumer in under 15 minutes by setting up ‘dark stores’ across the country. Dark stores are the backbone of quick commerce and they make the three major tasks of grocery shopping much faster – pick, pack and transport. However, dark stores cannot sustain high volumes but they make up for it through their rapid delivery times.
The earlier giant in the space of instant deliveries – BlinkIt realized that they could not keep up with the 10-minute delivery promise that Zepto lives by as the former’s median delivery times rose significantly – forcing them to shut down operations at many locations.
The 16-year-old CEO of Scope and BRG Alum!
Appalla is a student from Hyderabad, India. He completed his high school education at Birla School Pilani before enrolling in Manipal University, Jaipur, to pursue an undergraduate degree in Data Science. He took part in the Ivy Early Entrepreneur Program in the winter of 2021, where he had the rare opportunity to work on his fledgling startup alongside real-life successful entrepreneurs such as Forbes 30 Under 30 awardees Arun Saigal and Kristin Kagetsu, and BusinessWorld 40 Under 40 awardee Aman Gupta. Over the course of seven days, Appalla learned the ins and outs of essential entrepreneurial concepts such as market research, competition analysis, design thinking, and fundraising, ultimately resulting in a start-up plan which included a smartphone app prototype!
At the age of 16, Ivy Early Entrepreneur Appalla Saikaran was well aware of the challenges of networking with mentors, investors, and other entrepreneurs. He was aware of how nerve-racking
it could be to ask questions and find like-minded individuals willing to collaborate and invest in fledgling businesses. To meet this challenge, Appalla decided to create his own application, SCOPE.
SCOPE is a personalized network that connects entrepreneurs with other entrepreneurs, content, and opportunities. It seeks to create a collaborative community in which users can share their experiences, learn from one another, and ultimately succeed. Appalla was inspired to create this platform after realizing that there are people who are willing to mentor young entrepreneurs like himself. “However,” Appalla believes, “youngsters like myself should be willing to seek assistance.” It is never wrong to ask for help; however, it is wrong to know you need help but refuse to seek it. That was the primary motivation behind my decision to establish SCOPE.”
Benefits of Starting your Entrepreneurial Journey Early!
- It is a marathon, not a sprint! Being a successful entrepreneur requires years of learning and struggle and starting early can only widen your knowledge spectrum. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to experiment and make mistakes in their early years to prepare them for more significant challenges that they might encounter in the future!
- Walk on uncharted paths! When you start out as a young entrepreneur, you have more freedom to explore and learn about new things as time is not a constraint for you. Young adults and teens have lesser responsibilities and have nothing to look back at when exploring different sectors!
- Long-Term Growth Factor. Businesses started by young entrepreneurs have an abundance of time to grow and scale. Achieving success at a young age drives you to pour more of your energy into the same which contributes to increasing the chances of your business becoming big.
- Mentorship! Seasoned entrepreneurs are keener to help out curious young entrepreneurs who want to make an impact. The energy and optimism of young minds really shine through and inspire experienced entrepreneurs to give them good advice and direct them to the right opportunities!
Youth entrepreneurship programs understand the values provided by such a program like – the ability to understand opportunities, take initiative, be a confident individual, and the value of bringing change to your community. Every child can learn how to find their own path to success and prosperity with the help of good mentors and programs.
People must recognize the valuable link that exists between education, the community, and the workplace. Mentors are essential in showing young people how it all works together to achieve a single shared goal. Youth entrepreneurship programs can show young people this connection and the positive impact it can have not only today but also in the future.
Although it’s never too late or too early to start your entrepreneurial journey, experts believe that people that start early have much better chances of being successful in the long run. If you want to master the skills of entrepreneurship and get the opportunity to connect with mentors who are the leading entrepreneurs in their field, then apply for The Big Red Group’s Ivy Early Entrepreneur Program today!