Teen Entrepreneur looking for mentor

Discussion in 'Yorkshire & Humberside' started by TheOfficial, Jul 25, 2012.

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  1. TheOfficial

    TheOfficial UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    9 2
    Hello Yorkshire and Humberside.

    My name is Ben, I am 16 years old and I am a budding entrepreneur.

    I live in Leeds and I am looking for a business mentor to help me learn everything I need to know about setting up a business.

    I am still unsure in what market I wish to set up a business in. (but maybe I will find that out on the way)

    I understand that with a good business must come a good online representation (Websites and Social network) and I can do that easily as I can build websites.

    On my journey with setting up a business I am looking to make contacts a long the way and maybe even do business in the future.

    I hope one of you would like to accept the challenge of taking me on as a student.

    Kind Regards

    Ben (TheOfficial)​
     
    Posted: Jul 25, 2012 By: TheOfficial Member since: Jul 24, 2012
    #1
  2. OldWelshGuy

    OldWelshGuy UKBF Legend Staff Member

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    Hi Ben, fair play to you for deciding to go down this road. A couple of things strike me though. You describe yourself as a budding Entrepeneur, but go on to say you don't know what market you wish to set your bsuiness in. You also say you can build websites, which indicates you have already done so.

    You surely must have some ideas about what you feel you want to achieve, otherwise, you are not a budding entrepeneur, but a budding dreamer. Please don't take offence at that statement, it isn't meant as a slur on you in any way at all.

    What have you achieved to date, that allow you to describe yourself as a budding entrepeneur? Give us an idea of the person behind the spin ;)

    OWG (The unofficial )
     
    Posted: Jul 25, 2012 By: OldWelshGuy Member since: Jun 12, 2008
    #2
  3. cakeboy

    cakeboy UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    149 12
    Ben

    Drop me a pm.
     
    Posted: Dec 9, 2012 By: cakeboy Member since: Jul 21, 2009
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  4. OldWelshGuy

    OldWelshGuy UKBF Legend Staff Member

    20,433 7,050
    Ben made 2 posts and hasn't been back since July!
     
    Posted: Dec 9, 2012 By: OldWelshGuy Member since: Jun 12, 2008
    #4
  5. AlexanderR

    AlexanderR UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    144 29
    Hi Ben,
    If your ever back around, it would be interesting to see what you have planned out, and what you want to achieve. If you still haven't decided, I'd be more than willing to brainstorm ideas with you over a coffee.

    I also wanted to start up in business at 16, I got to the point where the business plan was in place and started looking for funding, which is where things fell apart as banks and investors wouldn't help. That may have been a good thing, as since then hundreds of business have popped up doing what I wanted to do, but I still would have liked the chance.

    Also a member of my team has a day job in business law, so he may also be able to help you get the legal side sorted.
     
    Posted: Jan 10, 2013 By: AlexanderR Member since: Jan 5, 2013
    #5
  6. TheOfficial

    TheOfficial UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    9 2
    I'm back now *yay*

    after months of thinking and experimenting I've got... nowhere. :p

    I think I am going to stick around for a bit, contribute and try and get some decent contacts behind me before I find my market.

    Tough world out there.
     
    Posted: Feb 4, 2013 By: TheOfficial Member since: Jul 24, 2012
    #6
  7. TheOfficial

    TheOfficial UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    9 2
    Hi Alexander,
    Over the past many months I've had idea after idea. I've planned and planned then never been able to carry through with it because either.
    * I realised I was jumping into a saturated market.
    * Had enough money to set it up, but then too scared I was going to end up with nothing.
    * someone else ended up taking my idea.

    I still have ideas popping up that I'd love to try but just never have the courage or knowledge to actually go through with it.

    I suppose this forum is my first step into making wise choices and doing what my gut thinks.
    Like I said in my other post to oldwelsh, I think i'm going to use the forum to make contacts (hopefully you're the first) and maybe make some progress.

    I don't see myself as a retail monkey doing other peoples work whilst they get all the money. I want to be at the top of the chain, not to make money (well maybe a little) but to make myself and my family proud of me. I want to prove I can make something of my life and prove the people who doubted me wrong.

    Gosh I've just realised how much I've written...
    Hope to talk soon and post a lot more.
    Plus I regret making my username "theofficial" it's stupid :p

    Ben
     
    Posted: Feb 4, 2013 By: TheOfficial Member since: Jul 24, 2012
    #7
  8. OldWelshGuy

    OldWelshGuy UKBF Legend Staff Member

    20,433 7,050
    You can change your username by request, let me know what you want it to be by sending a private message :)
     
    Posted: Feb 4, 2013 By: OldWelshGuy Member since: Jun 12, 2008
    #8
  9. AlexanderR

    AlexanderR UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    144 29
    Hi Ben,

    If your not 100% sure you can make a business work, then you've made the right choices in folding before investing. If your really not sure what you want to do, it may be a good idea to get some life experiences, and work experiences in fields that you have a vested interest in.

    Doing this will hone your compass to where you want to go, then it's just a case of finding a business model thats needed.

    Wishing you luck!
     
    Posted: Feb 4, 2013 By: AlexanderR Member since: Jan 5, 2013
    #9
  10. TheOfficial

    TheOfficial UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    9 2
    Hi Alexander,
    I have a idea, and I am going to take everyone's advice on board and going to go with my brain and jump ship.

    *Fingers crossed* Might actually get somewhere!...
    Time for some serious planning!

    Plus thank you for your help via messages!
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2013 By: TheOfficial Member since: Jul 24, 2012
    #10
  11. Fred_the_frog

    Fred_the_frog UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,800 235
    You must be my twin...

    I'm 17, and i've had a load of ideas over the past year... but i'm still not anywhere.

    Idea #1: Gadget website like Firebox.com- Wouldn't be able to stock products and there was no reputable dropshippers around.

    Idea #2: Solar Lights ecommerce: I found a good dropshipper but I found out everyone would just go to B&Q for them if they wanted some.

    Idea #3: RC Helicopter ecommerce- Realised I didn't know much about RC Helicopters.

    Idea #4: Dog Accessories ecommerce- Dog owners are very picky and told me they just go to [email protected] as they like to feel toys before buying them.

    Idea #5: Party Bag ecommerce- People liked to make their own party bags and it didn't take long, so no need for a website to do it.

    Idea #6: Skip the middle man, import from China (strong dog accessories)- I didn't have a clue how to deal with imports from China

    Idea #7: Pasta trailer (Like burger vans, but with pasta)- My little corsa can't pull a trailer, and trailers were like £10k which I don't have.

    Idea #8: Social Media Management website: I don't have experience so i'd probably be bad at it.

    Idea #9: This one is my current idea. Lets hope I have the courage and bite the bullet and go for it.


    Those are the main ideas from the past year. For each I built a website on xampp and contacted people asking about buying from them or getting licenses to trade on the street and stuff. I never actually started them.

    My current idea is off line, and it's very scalable. Hopefully this is the one! (I'm at the make or break stage).

    I've always thought it would be a million times easier to go into a partnership with one of my friends, but none of them seem to be keen on starting a business :( (They have very little ambition or drive:rolleyes:)

    (Sorry for the long post!!)
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2013 By: Fred_the_frog Member since: Jan 30, 2011
    #11
  12. AlexanderR

    AlexanderR UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    144 29
    Hi Fred, as for the past ideas, I see a lot of different sectors, and not much of a clear direction. My advice for you would be to pick something your extremely interested in, and then research it to find areas where you could make money in or alongside it.

    For example, football coaches become football coaches, because they like football. Social media managers, happen to love the way social media is evolving, RC and model shop owners are mostly hobbyists, and clothes shop owners tend to love fashion. It's not always this way with good business owners and entrepreneurs, but if you don't particularly love what you do, how will you find the motivation to trade in many sleepless nights in return for success?

    Follow your heart, and look for the opportunity.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2013 By: AlexanderR Member since: Jan 5, 2013
    #12
  13. kevin.doran

    kevin.doran UKBF Ace Full Member - Verified Business

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    Be careful about working with friends, MANY end in tears!

    Also, I think it's very important to learn the ropes from the ground up. Go in somewhere and master the trade, be a dogs body for a while and progress as & when. Then, when the time's right, make the decision to go solo.

    I may be wrong but I struggle to understand how ppl just wake up one day with the idea of starting a business they know absolutely zilch about and expect it to be successful. Of course there are exceptions but not many I'm sure.

    Slowly slowly...
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2013 By: kevin.doran Member since: Nov 28, 2011
    #13
  14. Fred_the_frog

    Fred_the_frog UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,800 235
    I started with ECommerce because I thought it would be easy to run part time. I don't have any hobbies or anything :(.

    What I don't understand is a lot of people say you need to have (1) experience and (2) a passion to start a business.

    1. Ok, so you need experience for more technical/ complicated businesses, but surely not for the smaller simple businesses? A lot are self explanatory. I'd rather stick to building a profitable simple business than a complicated unprofitable one:D

    2. And passion. This confuses me. Lots of people have said to me to start a business around your passion. I know someone who runs a football club and their passion is football. If their passion is football, why do they have football coaches to do the training? Surely they would be doing the training instead of running the business?

    Other ones like window cleaners- is it even possible to have a passion for window cleaning? How about Managing Directors of big companies. Surely they don't buy a big retail chain because they have a passion for 'home and garden' products or 'DIY equipment'? Surely if you started a business based on your passion you'd struggle to grow it because you wouldn't want to get someone in to do the bit you enjoy, leaving you to manage a team and make contacts?

    Surely if you want to go into business, you should have a passion for business, networking or making deals because if you're going to grow the business, it's not likely that you're going to have time to hunt around finding the products for your retail stores, or cook the food for your restaurants as you will be spending too much time keeping the business together???

    (I'm not trying to alienate you all, i'm just putting my questions down. That passion one really gets me confused!!:eek:)
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2013 By: Fred_the_frog Member since: Jan 30, 2011
    #14
  15. AlexanderR

    AlexanderR UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    144 29
    Nothing is easy, if you wanted you could start selling T-shirts through an established e-commerce site, all you would need is to make unique designs, you then earn commission from them. The hard part is building the market, since there are obviously other people doing this, you would need to get your product in front of prospects, and then convince them to buy.

    Unless you have a unique, highly engaging interactive product like facebook, then it's not going to be easy at any point in the future. Success comes from hard work, make no mistake about that.

    Experience in your chosen business model will gain you trust, reputation and a history. You can go the hard road and learn while building your business, but if you choose something complicated (i.e. bicycle repair) you will need tuition from someone who has mastered the skill, simpler things such as website design can be self taught, but the process is long, hard and extremely tedious.

    There will be something you are passionate about, maybe you like a certain sport, or maybe you like computer games, or networking. There are businesses in all of these fields, and probably many areas where you can find a niche of your own. The MD's in large chains tend to be passionate about business as a subject, if not the products they are getting out to market. You'll be surprised how happy a good profitable month will make some people.

    As for "not being able to do something your passionate about because your running the show", thats nonsense. If your passionate about something, you will make time to do it, or build the team in a different way that allows you to continue.

    Years ago, Damon Hill (Formula 1 world champion 1996) took on the role of Chairman of the BRDC, while running a business of his own, looking after a family, and even still racing, even though retired from his professional career. Damon still had the passion for racing, and amidst the directions his professional career has taken him, he still goes out and does what he loves.

    Being successful is hard work, and following your passion is easier than learning a sector you have no interest in. If you do follow your passion, it will be part of your life, and you will be motivated by it.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2013 By: AlexanderR Member since: Jan 5, 2013
    #15
  16. terryuk

    terryuk UKBF Ace Free Member

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    I think passion is the wrong word, but wits end seems a bit more appropriate and to see something through. You clearly have passion for setting up a business, so using the wits end word - don't give up.

    Delegation.

    Mr X is off on a beach somewhere while the rest work hard :p

    Course thats' once you have a restaurant and some staff and some sales :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
    Posted: Feb 16, 2013 By: terryuk Member since: Jan 26, 2007
    #16
  17. Fred_the_frog

    Fred_the_frog UKBF Ace Free Member

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    Thanks. When I said 'easy' on the first bit, I meant easy as in I can run it part time without it taking over my whole life. For example, I wouldn't be able to run a retail store because three days a week I would be closed because I have college. I could however run an ecommerce store because I don't need to be at the computer all day, as orders do not need to be dispatches immediately after ordering.

    I haven't found my passion yet. I think it could be in business because I love doing cash flow forecasts and organising events and stuff in my business diploma course, but I can't be sure until I actually give it a go. I get excited about new ideas I have, I often create a website within a few days (I'm not great at web design, but I can modify templates to fit my needs)- even if I walk away from my computer I can't wait to get back to carry on. For the pasta ideal I had, I didn't make a website but I did write almost a full business plan with graphics of how the trailer would look and everything. It's just I always get to a point when i'm ready to start the business for real (Like putting the website live or getting customers) but that's where I stall.

    I appreciate what you're saying about the bicycle repair, I agree with you there, it makes sense.

    I think maybe I am mistaking people with no passion for people with a passion for business. For example, I thought managing directors didn't have a passion for selling home and garden products therefore they weren't running a business from their passion. But it makes sense now if their passion is business, not home and garden products...
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2013 By: Fred_the_frog Member since: Jan 30, 2011
    #17
  18. Fred_the_frog

    Fred_the_frog UKBF Ace Free Member

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    I told one of my college tutors that maybe my passion is for business, and he practically said don't be stupid, that's not a passion (But not in so little words!)
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2013 By: Fred_the_frog Member since: Jan 30, 2011
    #18
  19. terryuk

    terryuk UKBF Ace Free Member

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    Ah I wouldn't worry! My tutors didn't know too much. They are not qualified to give life lessons, especially for one person.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2013 By: terryuk Member since: Jan 26, 2007
    #19
  20. AlexanderR

    AlexanderR UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    144 29
    Thats the thing with education, it's there to teach a syllabus, in order to get you through an exam. There is no person on this planet who didn't require training to carry out a task after education, at what ever level.

    If your tutor hasn't met someone with a passion for business, then he hasn't met enough people. If you want to meet people with a passion for business, networking is the key. Get yourself to a networking event for business people, it'll probably cost a tenner, but give you invaluable insight into the type of people who run businesses because they love to.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2013 By: AlexanderR Member since: Jan 5, 2013
    #20
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