Creating A Future For Ourselves Through Entrepreneurship (9 Tips for the Young Caribbean Entrepreneur)

In today’s stripped down economy, a job is often hard to come by. With more companies laying off workers than hiring, it may often be impossible for the young graduate to find employment. As a result, more and more young people are turning to entrepreneurship to make a living. If entrepreneurship is a decision you have made or are contemplating here are nine tips you should follow.

  1. Make a business plan – A solid business plan is important in charting the future of any company. Make sure that you know what goals you’d like to achieve as well as the means to get there, and also chart your anticipated progress with your actual progress.
  2. Scale down – In the current financial lending climate, it is often very difficult to obtain large sums of money to start a business. Instead of starting a large business – start small. Scale down your big idea and offer it on a limited basis until you have enough money to build the business of your dreams.
  3. Don’t quit your day job – If you are lucky enough to have a job, engage in your business on a part time or limited basis until you have proof that it will be both profitable and sustainable in the long run. That way, you will be able to ensure a steady income while gaining valuable knowledge before going full time.
  4. Get a mentor – Having an experienced mentor to advise you is a great asset when starting your own business.  Approach people who have expertise in your area and ask them to give you tips or pointers on your business. The feedback that you get can be extremely valuable in avoiding roadblocks and exploiting advantages that they themselves may have faced in the past.
  5. Network – Networking is critical if you really want to start a business. Go to conferences, attend related events, and get yourself in front of anyone who could potentially contribute to do with your business in any way, either now or in the future. The relationships built through networking can have powerful short term and long term advantages for your business.
  6. Market – Many young entrepreneurs simply do not do enough to get their business known to the public. Call up the relevant government agency and ensure that you’re listed with them. Use the internet and popular social platforms like Facebook to advertise to friends and family. Guarantee that you always have a business card on hand. These little things will go a long way in getting new clients who may be interested in your business.
  7. Utitlise your strengths, knowledge and experience – Don’t try something new, unless you’re really REALLY good at it. Some entrepreneurs jump headfirst into a venture because they’ve heard that it’s a “hot” or extremely profitable area. The truth is what may be profitable for one person may be unprofitable for the next. Knowing your business is the best way to build a successful business.
  8. Get professional help – Almost every country provides assistance to new companies. Although this assistance may not necessarily be in the form of cash, they may offer valuable advice and guidance as to many overlooked areas of conducting a business, such as taxes and incorporating your business. Make sure that you get all the help that you can get when opening your own business
  9. Give yourself some time off – Running your own business can become massively time consuming and hectic. Give yourself time off on a regular basis, so that you can avoid burnout and distress. That way, when you do get back to work, you’ll be fully energized and rearing to go.

Even with a tough economic climate, there are still ways to pursue the goal of being financially stable. By following these simple tips, you can be well on your way to financial and career success.

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Daryl George is a youth activist and freelance writer living in Antigua and Barbuda. Currently employed as a youth officer, he also serves on the board of directors of the Environmental Awareness Group, a leading Caribbean conservation group. In his spare time, he is actively involved in cricket and EAG activities.

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