Future You: So, you want to be an entrepreneur?

Mar 31, 2022

A new business, created by you

Raise your hand if you can name someone who has started a business ✋ These may ring a bell — Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Kylie Jenner (hey, Apple, Tesla and Kylie Cosmetics). These are some of the most famous entrepreneurs at the top of the list, but did you know? There are actually 31 million entrepreneurs in the United States, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. 

Wait. What's an entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is a person who starts a new business. Fun fact: 60% of adults know someone personally who has! Not all are household names, of course. More than 99% of the businesses in America are small businesses, and there are so many types, from your local diner to your dentist’s office. 

If you have an idea that you believe people need or would want to spend money on, you can take a chance and start a new business — whether it’s selling goods or providing services. If the business makes more money than it costs, that amount of money is called profit. 

It’s not a guarantee, and it takes the right mindset and skills to be successful. Like confidence. And a commitment to deliver the best possible product to your customers. About half of small businesses close within 5 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read on to learn what it takes!

Dream up possibilities

Think big! What’s a product that doesn’t exist yet, but you wish it did? Or a service that people really need in your area? How about your passions? Social causes you want to improve? 

A social enterprise is a business that tries to solve a global or social issue, like TOMS shoes, or Warby Parker, which provides glasses to people in need. Check back on some of your career ideas from the last edition <link>, if you need a quick refresh!

Research the reality

Next, do your research. Learn more about similar businesses. Talk with other people who work in this field. Find out if there are customers who would be interested in your product — those people are known as your market. How does your business uniquely stand out? 

Really get detailed. How much would it cost to offer your product and what would be your cost to deliver it? To be profitable, a company’s expenses must be lower than its income.

Make a business plan

A business plan is your guide. It includes all the essential information about your business, like your product, your market, your plans for where and how to sell it, and also the financial details. 

Your plan should include how much money you will need to start your business, known as startup costs. This could come from your savings, money from friends or family who want to invest in your business, or even a loan from a bank. Also, include how much profit you expect to make from each sale.

And just like that, you’re ready. 

With a solid plan and enough money, it’s go time! Follow your business plan and remember to always learn as you go. When you start a company, you’ll find yourself doing brand new things every step of the way. So embrace it! It’s a way to make income while working for yourself!

Stick around for our Future You series. Up next? How investing can be a path to long-term wealth. For now, quiz yourself about Entrepreneurs on Kahoot!

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