When you’re young, no matter how good your start-up idea is, there are bound to be investors who will be dismissive simply because of your age. While you might not have the life experience of older entrepreneurs who’ve been through university and worked for big companies for a few years, your youthful energy and forward-thinking attitude can be just as valuable. Here are some ways to get people to take you seriously when you’re a teen entrepreneur.
Have a clear vision
If you want people to listen to your big idea, it’s important that you know your start-up inside out. You should be able to make an elevator pitch, which is basically a summary of who you are and the outline of your idea short enough to recite in a lift. Make it as engaging and interesting as possible so people will want to know more.
You could also set out your ideas in a business plan, which could include:
- The overview of your business and your vision
- What you are selling or the services you offer
- Your target market
- What you need to launch your start-up
- How you plan to expand your business over time
Most investors will want to see a business plan so they know exactly what they’re getting into, and if you write one that’s professional and engaging, they’re more likely to overlook your age and take you seriously.
Build a website
A professional-looking website is a great way to show that you’re serious about your business and have put the time and effort into building it. You should ensure that your website is well-designed, easy to use, and reliable, so you might want to use a host such as Onyx.io to ensure your site works when you need it to. Having a website gives you the space to sum up your ideas, share photos of things you’ve worked on and build a portfolio that’ll impress investors.
Present yourself confidently
You may be nervous when first meeting with investors and older entrepreneurs, but if you appear confident, they’re more likely to see you as an equal. Look at how people in the industry dress, and ensure you’re dressed for business, whether you need to look conservative and traditional or a little more creative.
While confidence is great, it’s important not to be so confident that you appear arrogant or rude. Simply be polite, make eye contact and shake hands firmly. Speak clearly, and believe in what you’re saying. No matter how amazing your idea, remember that these people have taken time out of their busy day to see you, so be respectful and polite to people at all levels.
Get help from a mentor
If you come across people who are already successful entrepreneurs, and you get along well with them, you may want to see if they’ll mentor you. Having a mentor gives you a role model who can help you avoid the common mistakes people make when starting a business without experience. You can sometimes find mentorship programmes when you complete internships or start at the lower end of the career ladder, and these are an excellent way to get the skills you need to launch your start-up.