I have recently had the opportunity to meet with a number of aspiring young entrepreneurs who have been brave enough to make the leap and start their own business. It has been quite an eye opening experience. On the positive side I have seen that amongst the young people in the Midlands region of the UK we have some outstanding talent. I have however also seen that without proper advice and mentoring that talent on its own will not be enough to secure success.
My main concern is that I have seen some businesses who have not quite grasped the first and most important fact about being in business – you have to make sales. They have spent all of their start-up capital, often acquired by loans, on overly expensive websites, unnecessary software programs, piles of stationary, office premises etc. etc. without securing any revenue streams.
It is imperative that if we are going to help these young people in the pursuit of their entrepreneurial dreams we must start with the first and most important priority being advice around how they sell.
Whatever the product, whatever the route to market for these businesses to survive they must FIRST establish a revenue stream and worry about their accounting software and highly stylised logo’s somewhere further down the line.
And as they move forward and become more established businesses sales must be the primary concern in any business advice program. It is no accident that sales turnover is the first line on your profit and loss account. New clients and customers are the blood that delivers oxygen to the rest of the business, cut this supply and the business will quickly begin to fail.
People go into business for all sorts of reasons, mostly because they have a passion for the product or service they offer, rarely because they want to be salespeople. The best advice we can give to any young entrepreneur is first and most important priority in business is and always will be sales.