Over the past few years, we have seen a rise in millennial entrepreneurs from all around the world who take advantage of the digital market space.
At the click of a finger, teens as young as 16 can create revenue streams before finishing college, university, or even reaching employment. According to a 2014 survey from Bentley University, 67% of millennials reported aspiring to start their own business, while only 13% reported their career goal as climbing the corporate ladder to become a CEO or President.
Through social media, millennial entrepreneurs can take advantage of social influence, global connectivity, and the vasts amounts of accessible information within seconds. However, as entrepreneurs start their businesses at younger and younger ages, I often ask myself: are the business principles taught in schools reaching millennial entrepreneurs in time, or are they slowly fading out?
As the CEO of MYCOMEUP WORLD, I get to interact with entrepreneurs from all around the world. I am always intrigued by the enthusiasm of the startup entrepreneurs on our platform, many of whom are developing their ideas or are already running startups of their own. However, one common thing I noticed amongst today’s entrepreneurs is that they all tend to have a similar motive.
To “Make Money.”
The iconography of success and its rewards have been blasted through social media platforms, bringing us closer to our idols, their lifestyles, and all the perks that come along with success. The window to this world has essentially become an advertising campaign for the aspiring millennial entrepreneurs as they wait on the bench for their next million-dollar startup idea.
On the other hand, the effect of this is leaving millennial entrepreneurs hypnotized, and at times blind, to the less glamorized mundane tasks, discipline, and structure required in order to grow and expand a business.
One question I often ask entrepreneurs on our platform is, “What is your business endgame?” and to my surprise, many people haven’t thought that far. Instead, most merely focus on raising money, or are simply satisfied that their business is able to generate money.
Though making money is undeniably a good thing for any startup, this is a short-term outlook. Many millennial entrepreneurs are slowly cocooning themselves in this theory, looking only at their gains or the profits of their business, but not expandability or exit.
The end game for any successful business has always been to either sell, IPO, or sell large stakes of the business. However, this theory is slowly being forgotten amongst the millennial community, and instead the focus is only on the current, momentum, cash flow, and flexibility.
— Leonard Sekyonda (@leonardsekyonda) October 27, 2016
A question we all have to ask ourselves is, “If I was an investor, would I invest in this business?” By looking at our business with this view, we really get to understand how much of our business is dependant on us being involved in it.
Though the internet has created both time and working flexibility for startup entrepreneurs, we need to remember to evaluate a business’s scalability–to look at our businesses from an outside view. We can do this by asking simple questions like:
- What is your business model?
- What is your monthly turnover?
- What are your monthly costs?
- How do you allocate your profits?
- Who are your competitors?
- Who are your team members?
These questions all allow us to look outside of our day to day activities and examine both our market position and business overview.
The greatest thing about investors is their ability to invest without emotions, working off numbers, comparables, and facts. Though this mindset limits investors from taking the risk of creating or starting businesses themselves, their perspective provides more factual insight into the performance and scalability of your business.
It’s important that at least once a month you review your business like a potential investors. This exercise will not only help you momentarily step off the emotional roller coaster of running a startup, it also opens the opportunity for scalability–and hey, even investment!