Millennial Entrepreneur & Marketing Challenges
The Millennial Generation, a group born between 1980 and the mid-2000s, is one of the most prominent and powerful players in today’s market. Millennials are identified as a generation that cares deeply about the impact of their work. This, among other factors, is leading more and more millennials to start their own businesses.
Dun & Bradstreet hosted a podcast geared toward helping millennials navigate entrepreneurship. Two expert speakers joined the podcast to discuss resources, funding, sales and more. Check out the highlights below:
- Nathan Kolb: Entrepreneur & Director of the Small Business Development Center at CVCC
- Lydia Davey: Founder/CEO of Moriah Creatives PR
Challenges for Millennial Entrepreneurs
Millennials are generally characterized as having a distrusting view of society and have faced several challenges because of their demographic. Some of the major challenges millennial entrepreneurs face are:
- An unstable economy
- Accumulating debt
- A greater-than-previous-generations-dependence on technology
Opportunities & Resources
There are incredible resources available to millennial entrepreneurs, ranging from basic business education, to help with loans and funding. For example, MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, include classes that teach aspiring entrepreneurs the specifics of business.
A mentor could be another great resource for entrepreneurs. The panel encouraged having two types of mentors:
- A peer mentor: Someone a year or two ahead of you, who is inspirational but still relatable
- An aspirational mentor: Someone far ahead of you, who is running a successful business and who you aspire to be like
Driving Long-term Success
In order to be successful, a millennial entrepreneur needs strong discipline, determination and a “never give up” attitude. An aspiring entrepreneur should ask his or herself these questions:
- Why are you doing what you’re doing?
- What are the things I need to do in order to accomplish my business goals?
- How am I going to approach accomplishing my goals?
Funding Your Business
In the early stages, entrepreneurs can look to non-bank, alternative lending options. They can pull from their own savings, use crowdfunding platforms, or borrow from friends and family. The best way to fund a businesses though is without going into debt. The panel encouraged millennials to consider saving money or selling belongings (such as a car) to fund their business.
Finding & Getting Contracts
As a business owner, you should have an understanding of your business and the contracts that may work best for you. Initially, the panel recommends starting with small contracts and shorter time frames. This way, there can be less risk to your business if you have a tight cash flow or are unable to deliver on your contract.
Whether you’re dealing with small or large contracts, some potential partners may ask you for a D&B® D-U-N-S number in order to place a bid for a contract with their company. Once you’ve begun doing business with others, you’ll want to start building and monitoring your business credit so that you can help your business showcase its credibility and attract new customers.