THE YOUNG GENERATION
By Nomsa Rhudo Mwale.
Granted, every one of us, the Generation Xers would want to venture into a business enterprise of some sort. However, not all of us can successfully maintain our business enterprises to reach the heights that we dream of.
Being somebody who is passionate about entrepreneurship, Aunt Nomsa has been observing how some energetic young minds have metamorphosed from paupers to overnight millionaires. Equally, I have also observed some day-dreaming young would-be entrepreneurs who have successfully failed to maintain their businesses.
So, after much observations, I have noted the following to be the chief ingredients to the young Generation’s downfall, business-wise.
- Poor business planning
Every business enterprise starts with a dream. You visualize how it is going to be operated, what challenges you are likely going to meet, and all the modalities of the game. Unfortunately, most inexperienced entrepreneurs lack this.
Most do an ‘on-the-job’ trial and error. Last time I checked, a business enterprise did not work that way. A successful business does not start by living and then dreaming; the contrary is the modality. Equally disheartening is that most of us immature entrepreneurs are useless dreamers who can never change our dreams into reality. We like to control our lives with ideas that do not exist in reality. I believe in success being a choice, not an accident, and it is not even that better but it is just the way we constantly engage our principles in the game.
So, fellow Generation Xer’s, let us learn to not only dream in colour, but should also live in it. Have a business plan first, see if it can work, and then press the accelerating gear, not the other way round.
- Attitude problem
Our mindset towards the business and how we handle ourselves, plus our clients is the make-or-break point in our enterprise.
A negative attitude towards customers and even your potential clients drains every effort you had invested into your business.
Do not get fooled into thinking that attitude goes hand in hand with education; not really. It is all about emotional control. What we are and who we want lie in our hands.
We can choose to be responsible over our behavior and choose to be positive-minded at all times.
So, to all up and coming entrepreneurs, analyze every situation and develop some principles that build a positive attitude. Most young people feel that just because they are young and are doing something great in life then the people trying to help them are less important, forgetting that every bus we take will not get to our destination without reaching other depots. To get there is not only you in the bus but also others to direct you. Some passengers will get there with you, and some will drop off before you but still you need others to keep you company and educate you on the places you never knew.
Steven Mullier once said that “Most universities are turning out highly skilled barbarians because we do not provide a framework of values to young people who more and more are searching for it.” The young people need to change their attitude towards the people who are trying to help them. We need to learn how to learn things in life and value everything with gratitude. Intelligence will only help us get facts but wisdom will help us simplify and acknowledge them.
- Less input expecting huge profit margins
Most young people start their businesses and expect to make more profits than the profits they are supposed to make. This might be as a result of having loan capital or even because they want to grow fast in the business yet in reality that kills a business. The consumers or the targeted market needs best products at a fair price. Let the quality of your products determine the price and it is not so wrong to give a product at a higher price if the demand is high. But when you are new in the market, make sure the offers are preferably fair to the targeted market. This increases your demand and you can even make more profits than when you are rushing in making more money and giving your competitors a chance to win the market share.
- Patience is a virtue in entrepreneurship
Every business needs patience and proper management. When they say make a difference in life; make money and earn a living, it does not necessarily mean that you have to improve In one way out. Not at all! What it means is improving the different areas of all the avenues where there is potential.
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporally problem and as entrepreneurs, young people need to accept that the first time in the business industry is always that rosy. Setting up a business in never an easy road and it demands perseverance so that it grows. So, first time entrepreneurs, learn to persevere in the early stages of your business. Establish your solid foundation and then let the quality of your products and services dictate matters. All these do not come that easily.
- Over spending when little profits starts appearing
Most young people start businesses when they are not that matured and instead of seeking for direction most of them think they can make it on their own. They tend to make little profits. Instead of reinvesting, they lack proper management skills and end up spending the profits when the business has not grown to a recommended stature.
Entrepreneurship 101 says once you decide to use the money you have now by not topping it up then that’s a loss. Once you make profits, think of investing them again until you make more of which some you can spend anyhow you want.
Some habits always have to die once you decide to do something important; alcohol addiction and poor business management always collide and they do not go together. So businesses hate too much fun with less profits. You cannot think of getting something that cost you much more than your business profits and think that debts will help you recover.
What happens is when you have too much expenses in the business, your output decreases and you end up having bad debts. This can be suicidal. Actually the very first profits you make in the business are supposed to be reinvested in the business and not spend them. You can only spend that much when the business grows.
So, Fellow Young Generation, Aunt Nomsa says “Entrepreneurs are persevering, patient and optimistic. They always have to add value to what they are giving and should be less expectant of what will be given back.”
Next time you are thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, follow these pieces of advice. They may be handy.