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5 Tips for Young People Starting a Business or Side-Hustle

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starting a business at a young age
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The decision to start a business or any sort of “side-hustle” takes a lot of nerve, especially when you’re only in your 20s. Yet, the ability to power on and keep going – through all the ups and downs of business is a feat to be truly admired.

Although us Gen Y and Gen Z’s have grown up in the easiest time in history to start a business, we arguably need to work 10 times harder just to prove that we’re serious about making a success out of our ventures – and not just vying for the “digital nomad” lifestyle or the trendy title of “Entrepreneur” out of a sense of millennial entitlement.

So here are 5 tips to help young people when starting a business or side-hustle and finding their feet in the world of business:

1. Don’t let your age deter you

Young people can get a lot of flack for the cliché perceptions like entitlement and narcissism that surround our younger generations. And sure, we don’t yet have the life experience and work experience that comes with being older, but don’t let anyone (of any age) tell you that what you want to achieve in business cannot be done.

Remember that age is just a number – and that being younger (and therefore less experienced in life) does not automatically equal the inability to succeed in a business venture. It’s actually quite fortunate that we have time on our side, as time is our greatest asset as human beings. We have years to learn, try new things, pivot, fail, and succeed in whatever we try our hand at.

“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they are going to tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.” – Will Smith

2. Use social media to your advantage

We’re native users who have grown up with much of today’s technology (the main area being the internet and computers), but we have also learned to adapt to changes. Most millennials grew up during the transition from VHS to DVDs to Blu-Ray then to Netflix. This technological and social media savviness gives us the business edge – particularly when it comes to online business.

Even if you’re not a social media expert, or you’re not as proficient as you’d like to be, use your savviness with technology to learn more digital skills through avenues like online courses or YouTube. Social media is the holy grail of marketing in today’s business world. Sometimes, as native personal users, we take it for granted. You can take advantage of social media, and use it as your greatest asset when it comes to starting a business or side-hustle.

3. Network and collaborate

They say “your network is your net worth”. The people you meet on your business journey (including your existing family friends) are going to be crucial to your business success. So make sure you get out and network.

You could attend business networking meetings, conferences, participate in relevant business Facebook groups, collaborate with other businesspeople (you could even find a mentor), and build the all-important online community around your brand on your chosen social media channels.

Networking can lead to referrals which are one of the “golden nuggets” of business – they’re a powerful way to get new customer or clientele. So a strong network is what is going to help bring you those referrals.

4. Fail fast and learn fast

Remember that we have time on our side, but that doesn’t mean we should take it slow. When things aren’t working, when things have gone stagnant, or when things have gone wrong, we need to learn to pivot.

A good way to help pivot is to take on a learning mindset. Always be looking for new opportunities to not only upgrade yourself (personally, mentally and emotionally) but to upgrade your business, skills and systems as well.

See what other successful business people in your industry are doing or speaking about. Make sure you’re always keeping a tab on the latest developments and trends in the world of digital marketing and business. Being a ahead of the curve is crucial in today’s online business environment.

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.” – Richard Branson

5. Sacrifice

Building a business or side-hustle is going to take some sacrifice. Rather than buying the the most expensive and trendiest sneakers or the latest iPhone, invest that money into Facebook advertising, or an online course to help you up-skill.

Even though we live in the age of immediacy where everything is available to us at the tap of a finger on our smartphone, starting a business or side-hustle (let alone building it and sustaining it) is not easy. It takes hours and hours of work, late nights, sacrifice and self-doubts. You can’t expect it to be a quick process.

So while we’re young (and want to enjoy our youth while it lasts), when it comes to starting a business, there will be times when we need to make the choice between doing what everybody else our age is doing, or working in or on our business.

Of course, there needs to be a healthy ratio of work-life balance, but learning to sacrifice a few pleasures now (like going out on the town every Friday and Saturday night) will pay off in the long term when it comes to your business. With great sacrifice comes great reward.

Starting your own business or side-hustle when you’re in your 20s can be daunting yet incredibly thrilling at the same time. Whether you’re thinking about starting one or you’re already in the midst of the journey, put in the work and be proud of the path you’ve chosen – and remember that age is just a number!

Have you thought about starting a business or side-hustle? If so, how did you motivate yourself to start? Share your thoughts with us below!

With the desire to go "digital nomad" and help businesses with their social media, Chelsea Tobin founded her boutique social media agency, Queen of Swords Media, in 2018. She attended Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Business (Marketing major) and a Bachelor of Communication Studies (PR major). She enjoys speaking and writing about her journey so far in the world of business, self-development and mindfulness as a young millennial woman navigating her way through life, and of course social media. You can follow her on Instagram here.

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Entrepreneurs

How Entrepreneurs Are Harnessing LLCs to Launch Successful Startups

LLCs have unique advantages for starting up and growing a successful business

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why you should set up an LLC

In my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve learned that LLCs have unique advantages for starting up and growing a successful business. But, before delving into the advantages, it’s essential to grasp the fundamentals of what an LLC is and how it operates. 

What is an LLC?

An LLC is a hybrid business entity that combines the liability protection of a corporation with the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship. This unique blend provides entrepreneurs with the best of both worlds: personal asset protection and simplified taxation.

One of the most significant advantages of an LLC is its limited liability feature. This means that as the owner, my personal assets are shielded from any liabilities or debts incurred by the business.

In the event of lawsuits or financial obligations, only the assets of the LLC are at risk, offering me peace of mind and protecting my personal wealth.

Advantages of Forming an LLC

Flexibility in Management and Structure

Another aspect of the LLC that appealed to me was its flexibility in management and structure. Unlike corporations, which have rigid hierarchies and formalities, LLCs allow for a more relaxed approach to governance. As the founder, I have the freedom to structure the company in a way that suits the needs and goals of my startup.

For instance, LLCs can choose to be managed by their members (owners) or appoint a manager to oversee operations. This flexibility enables me to maintain full control of the business or delegate management responsibilities to trusted individuals while retaining ownership.

Additionally, LLCs are not bound by strict meeting requirements or extensive record-keeping obligations, reducing administrative burdens and allowing me to focus on building and growing the business.

Pass-Through Taxation and Financial Efficiency

One of the most attractive features of an LLC, particularly for startups, is its pass-through taxation. Unlike corporations, which are subject to double taxation (taxation at both the corporate and individual levels), LLCs pass profits and losses directly to their members’ personal tax returns.

This tax efficiency not only simplifies the filing process but also allows for greater flexibility in managing cash flow and reinvesting profits back into the business. As an entrepreneur, minimizing tax liabilities and maximizing financial efficiency are critical components of long-term success, and the pass-through taxation feature of an LLC aligns perfectly with these objectives.

Enhanced Credibility and Professionalism

Establishing an LLC can also enhance the credibility and professionalism of a startup. Unlike sole proprietorships or general partnerships, which may be perceived as informal or less legitimate, an LLC provides a formal business structure that instills confidence in customers, investors, and partners.

By operating under the umbrella of an LLC, I can present my startup as a reputable and established entity, which can open doors to opportunities such as securing financing, attracting top talent, and forging strategic partnerships.

This enhanced credibility can be a significant advantage, particularly in competitive industries or when seeking to differentiate my startup in the market.

Protection of Intellectual Property and Brand Assets

For startups built around innovative ideas or unique intellectual property, protecting these assets is paramount. An LLC offers an additional layer of protection for intellectual property and brand assets, safeguarding them from infringement or unauthorized use.

By registering trademarks, copyrights, or patents under the name of the LLC, I can establish legal ownership and enforce my rights more effectively in the event of disputes or infringement claims. This protection not only preserves the value of my intellectual property but also enhances the overall stability and longevity of the startup.

Steps to Form an LLC

Let us now look at the general steps to form an LLC for your business:

Step 1: Choose a Name for Your LLC

Selecting a unique and distinguishable name is the first step in forming an LLC. Ensure that the name you choose complies with the rules set by your state’s LLC division. Typically, the name must end with “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or an abbreviation of these terms.

Additionally, the name should not infringe on the trademarks of existing businesses.

Step 2: Designate a Registered Agent

A registered agent is an individual or entity appointed to receive legal documents, such as lawsuits or subpoenas, on behalf of the LLC. The registered agent must have a physical address within the state where the LLC is formed.

For instance, if you are forming an LLC in Texas, ensure that your registered agent has a physical address in Texas.

This role is crucial for ensuring that the LLC remains compliant with legal requirements and maintains good standing.

Step 3: File Articles of Organization

The Articles of Organization, also known as a Certificate of Formation or Certificate of Organization in some states, is a document that formally establishes the LLC. You’ll need to submit this document to the appropriate state agency, usually the Secretary of State or Division of Corporations.

The articles typically include basic information such as the LLC’s name, address, registered agent details, and the purpose of the business.

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

While not always a legal requirement, drafting an operating agreement is highly recommended for LLCs. This document outlines the ownership structure, management roles, voting rights, profit-sharing arrangements, and other important aspects of the LLC’s operations.

Even if you’re the sole owner of the LLC, having an operating agreement in place can help clarify expectations and prevent disputes in the future.

Step 5: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify your LLC for tax purposes.

Even if your LLC doesn’t have employees, obtaining an EIN is necessary for opening a business bank account, filing taxes, and conducting other financial transactions.

Step 6: Obtain Necessary Permits and Licenses

Depending on the nature of your business and its location, you may need to obtain various permits, licenses, or certifications to operate legally. These requirements can vary widely from one industry and jurisdiction to another. Common examples include business licenses, zoning permits, health permits, and professional licenses.

In my entrepreneurial journey, the decision to establish my startups as LLCs has been instrumental in mitigating risks, optimizing financial performance, and positioning my ventures for long-term success.

By harnessing the advantages of the LLC structure, I’ve been able to navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship with confidence and resilience, laying the groundwork for a bright and prosperous future.

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Entrepreneurs

Build a Strong IT Team with These Smart Hiring Tips

Without dedicated IT staff, your company may not be able to function as efficiently or effectively

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Hiring tips for tech industry

The role of IT staff in your company is not only essential but also ever-evolving. As your business grows, so does the need for qualified IT staff and more robust recruiting solutions.

After all, from maintaining and troubleshooting the computer systems that keep your business running smoothly, IT staff also help employees stay connected and productive by providing technical support at all times. (more…)

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Entrepreneurs

5 Important Legal Tips Every Entrepreneur Should Know

With a firm commitment to legal knowledge, you pave the way to grow your business sustainably

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legal tips for entrepreneurs

Embarking on the entrepreneurial path is a courageous venture that calls for a diverse skill set to achieve enduring success.

While creativity, drive, and strategic vision are paramount, integrating legal insight into your entrepreneurial toolkit can be a game-changer.

This comprehensive guide delves deeper into the five critical steps that can empower you to navigate the intricate legal landscape and propel your venture toward prosperity. (more…)

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Entrepreneurs

6 Hacks to Boost Your Productivity as a Business Owner

To improve how much you get done each day, it’s smart to establish routines and use careful planning

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productivity for business owners

Entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to get more done with the time and resources they have. Business owners can use clever productivity tricks to break these limits and make the most of their projects. (more…)

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