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Calling all 'young' business owners

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by SBlundell, Jun 29, 2016.

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  1. SBlundell

    SBlundell UKBF Enthusiast Full Member - Verified Business

    753 185
    Good evening all - long time no see! I hope all is well in the UKBF community and I'm looking forward to catching up on everything (and I promise I won't mention Brexit which I'm sure is a hot topic at the moment!).

    Anyway, the point in the thread is to garner some views from the 'younger' side of the business community - how to connect with you all?

    We all know business is fantastic for the community and if we are to build a stronger tomorrow we must look to the younger generations of today. So, my question to you all, is how do we bring together and support younger business owners / entrepreneurs? It can be pretty daunting as a 20-something year old walking into a bank to discuss finance for example, simply because many bank managers are twice our age! Similarly, I'm sure it's difficult to approach professionals (accountants for example) who have been practising longer than you've been alive.

    So you wonderful people, is this an issue for you? How do we help you?

    Thank you :)
     
    Posted: Jun 29, 2016 By: SBlundell Member since: Aug 10, 2011
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  2. marble_pars

    marble_pars UKBF Regular Free Member

    125 13
    Good topic.

    I'm in my 20s and have been running a business since I was 17. Biggest issue is people not taking you seriously because you are young.

    Also lack of understand and guidance with tax, it really annoys me that after studying business at school and college I left not knowing a single useful thing about tax. I knew the complete history of Cadburys and how to use Excel though! I think college and schools should teach even the basics of tax. It was a real problem when first starting out as I couldn't afford an accountant so had to spend days reading up on tax returns and how to manage my finances. I'm glad I did take the time to learn because I have a good understanding of our taxes now. I imagine a lot of other young people looking to go into business are put off by this.
     
    Posted: Jun 30, 2016 By: marble_pars Member since: Jan 4, 2012
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  3. billmccallum1957

    billmccallum1957 UKBF Ace Full Member

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    Firstly, don't make yourselves a minority, you're not Young Business Owners, you are Business Owners.

    Secondly, know what you're talking about. You have an advantage over some of the older members, we didn't have the WWW to help us when we first started. Use the internet to your advantage, find out what the bank manager needs to know before you visit, and have the answers prepared.

    Thirdly, don't put your picture in your advertising, use pictures of clients/customers.


    Many years ago I was a youth enterprise advisor for a local enterprise agency. When I went for the job interview I wore jeans and a leather jacket and carried a plastic carrier bag instead of a briefcase.

    One of the first questions from the visibly annoyed panel was "why have you come to an interview dressed liked that?" My response was that my research showed that young people were intimidated by "bank manager" types in suits, so I wanted to ensure that I didn't fall into the stereotype. The carrier bag contained grant application forms for EVERY grant that was available to small businesses on Teesside in the early 80's. I got the job.
     
    Posted: Jun 30, 2016 By: billmccallum1957 Member since: Feb 11, 2016
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  4. tony84

    tony84 UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    If I turned up and your paperwork was in a carrier bag im not sure I would take you seriously as an advisor...The jeans and tshirt I can understand but I suppose as long as your good at your job you could turn up in a bin bag.

    I think people just need to understand the market they are trying to mentor in. I had a boss 3 years ago, I had loads of ideas to bring business in as he only relied on referrals, which was fine for him but not so good for me. Every one of my ideas was met with derision and so 6 months later I left as I was not earning anywhere near enough.

    3 years down the line I have only had chance to impliment half of my ideas as I am too busy. I have 1 employee, another joining soon and I will probably want another 2-3 next year depending on brexit and the impact it has.

    My boss at the time never understood or had much interest in what was needed to drive the business forward. His thoughts were very much this has always worked and advertising has never worked so I will not do it.

    A lot of tomorrows business people will be in to the technology industry I suspect and so you need someone that can understand that and the ongoing changes. I have A levels in IT from 2002 and used to build and sell websites and even I barely understand half of what is happening in todays IT world.

    Personally I never really had a problem speaking to accountants/bank staff etc, however I do think their initial reaction was to be polite answer my questions but get me off the phone as they did not think it would amount to anything. I am guilty of the same with some clients I speak to and sometimes I am very wrong, infact my second biggest case is a client I tried to palm off politely. But I have always stood by those that did take the time to help me even if they are a little more expensive.

    It would be good if there was a group - accountant, IT person, solicitor and a pot of money to help fund it. People apply, pitch, get the funding and in return pay back 1% of their profit for the next 10 years or so. Which in turn can then be put in to helping more people.
     
    Posted: Jun 30, 2016 By: tony84 Member since: Apr 14, 2008
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  5. SBlundell

    SBlundell UKBF Enthusiast Full Member - Verified Business

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    Hah! What an issue! Nor does basic schooling, in my experience, really cover some of the most important aspects of life - finances and budgeting, mortgages, housing, politics, diet and nutrition etc etc. A very valid point and I think it's a real shame our education system can be too focused on 'academic' areas with too little appreciation of some of the more fundamental / basic elements of society.

    But I digress! Thanks for the thoughts so far :)
     
    Posted: Jun 30, 2016 By: SBlundell Member since: Aug 10, 2011
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  6. CustomLED

    CustomLED UKBF Contributor Free Member

    44 1
    Im 25, been running my business since i was 18, stating off as pocket money while i way at college and Uni.

    In my experience there are always things we can learn from each other, no matter of age. From the outside looking in, i often see mixed age partnerships working best, this way everyone brigns something to the table.

    To give an example, in my business i do all my advertising online, mainly via Facebook. My Mam has a friend who runs a very successful business that doesn't have so much as a website. So i always think how do they get their business, but its through old school advertising and word of mouth. So i have no doubt his business could grow through an online presence, and mine could grow through a bit of old school adverting.

    I dont think there is any need to worry about what people in banks etc, as i thought the same when i stated. Any professional wont judge you on your age.

    This being said we cant be cocky and think we know everything when talking to people who have been doing it for years. There is a fine line between standing our ground so people don't use your age to take advantage of us, and been cocky.
     
    Posted: Jul 6, 2016 By: CustomLED Member since: Oct 10, 2013
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  7. SBlundell

    SBlundell UKBF Enthusiast Full Member - Verified Business

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    Thanks for all of your thoughts so far.....
     
    Posted: Jul 7, 2016 By: SBlundell Member since: Aug 10, 2011
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  8. ME Accountants

    ME Accountants UKBF Contributor Free Member

    42 8
    I don't think age matters greatly although I find that clients in their 50s and beyond for example like hard copies for discussing their accounts in comparison to others similar age to myself are happy to have everything sent to them online and also happy to use Skype rather meetings.

    The entire approach to business has changed to an online world. I spoke to my former boss recently and he good me he got his first client through a newspaper advert, goes to show how much things have changed.

    I think as long as you know your stuff and are presentable there should be no issues.
     
    Posted: Jul 8, 2016 By: ME Accountants Member since: Jun 29, 2016
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  9. Alan

    Alan UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

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    I'm 57, if you send me paper I'd sack you. My dad is 87, if you sent him paper he would sack you. Just a comment.
     
    Posted: Jul 8, 2016 By: Alan Member since: Aug 16, 2011
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  10. ilya

    ilya UKBF Contributor Free Member

    42 8
    Keep in mind that the internet is ever growing.
    More and more companies are going online, and less offline.
    It would be a very wise investment of your time and effort to learn the "online business game".
    I've been in here since 2011 (when I was 17 yo). Some months are terrible, but the good ones make everything great in my life.

    Another beautiful thing is that age doesn't matter online, you can pretend to be 40 if you want to.
    Matter of fact, you don't even have to pretend because nobody care. If you deliver quality goods / products / service then nobody will even dare to ask.
     
    Posted: Jul 8, 2016 By: ilya Member since: Jul 8, 2016
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  11. ME Accountants

    ME Accountants UKBF Contributor Free Member

    42 8
    Alan I understand that some of my experience of some of my older clients requesting paper accounts is not a reflection of everyone as you have pointed out. Some of mine just do not want to use the internet at all, they generally tell me they like being old fashioned so I make sure I cater for all. I always try soft copies first!
     
    Posted: Jul 9, 2016 By: ME Accountants Member since: Jun 29, 2016
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  12. Sam Hulston

    Sam Hulston UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    5 1
    Not being taken seriously by potential clients is the biggest issue i face. This maybe due the industry i am in but it was easily over come. The other issue was hiring staff when they realized how old i was many were skeptical but i now have a team of 8 whose ages range from 19 to 38.

    Sam
     
    Posted: Jul 11, 2016 By: Sam Hulston Member since: Jul 11, 2016
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  13. SBlundell

    SBlundell UKBF Enthusiast Full Member - Verified Business

    753 185
    Some excellent stuff in here - thank you all.

    Clearly it can both be an issue for some and a complete non-issue for others, depending on individual circumstances. Personally I'm pleased to see a lot of business owners don't perceive it to be a major issue for themselves (self-confidence) although they are aware it is sometimes an issue for other parties (customers / suppliers / staff etc).
     
    Posted: Jul 12, 2016 By: SBlundell Member since: Aug 10, 2011
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  14. Sam Hulston

    Sam Hulston UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    5 1
    I think if you have the confidence to start a business you have the confidence to survive, But the key issue to all young business owners or potential ones is the confidence that their idea is a good one, Also the passion to get a business lifted from nothing to something has to be there.
     
    Posted: Jul 12, 2016 By: Sam Hulston Member since: Jul 11, 2016
    #14
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