Starting a business: 10 tips to get started

1. Ask yourself what are your strengths and weaknesses
“When you start a business, you have to take it in stages. The very first thing is to do a personal assessment. What are my real motivations? What are my strengths and weaknesses? Do I have the necessary diplomas and know-how? Am I a good salesperson? Will I be able to convince? Am I a good manager? A good technician?

Once this analysis has been carried out, if you have detected any shortcomings, you must ask yourself how to remedy them ”, explains Laurence Piganeau, head of expertise and legal service at BPI France (public investment bank).

2. Take a good look at your financial situation
Before embarking on business creation, study your financial situation well. You probably will not be able to pay yourself the first year of creation. If you still live with your parents, it is best to stay there a little longer!

If you are in the job, you have the option of requesting a part-time job for setting up a business. This can be a solution to keep part of your remuneration.

If you have no income and no one can host you, do you have any savings that will allow you to meet the initial fixed costs of the business?

3. Find associates
“Young entrepreneurs often create a project with others. And they’re right, it’s a formula that works! explains Laurence Piganeau. The complementarity of skills is a valuable asset when setting up a business.

However, before you start, ask yourself the right questions: do you all have the same vision for the company? Are you in phase with its future development? What place does everyone want there to be? Who makes what decision? What is the level of commitment in time and money of each? etc. ”

Create a business with one or more partners: consult the classifieds of the French tech of Les Echos

4. Talk about your business creation project around you
“Do not go it alone without having confronted your project with people with experience,” warns Laurence Piganeau. Know how to listen to them and question yourself. A business leader must have a great capacity for adaptation. ”

5. Create a business: get support
It is very important not to be left alone and to get help from the start of your project. Get in touch with support organizations such as chambers of commerce and industry (CCI), chambers of trades and crafts, management shops or even specific youth networks, such as the MoovJee (see box), which offers a tutoring system between young designers and experienced entrepreneurs. Most are free or paid for by public support mechanisms.

You can also try to get into an incubator or an activity and employment cooperative (CAE). These structures allow you to test your life-size project without taking any risks. They exist all over France.

Finally, if you are in contact with entrepreneurs, ask them for advice. There is great solidarity in the community of entrepreneurs.

6. Take part in competitions for young designers
“Many competitions are organized for young entrepreneurs. Do not hesitate to participate, it is a good way to introduce yourself! You will be spotted by the media, invited to trade fairs, shows… But be reactive because journalists are people in a hurry! You have to be able to respond quickly to their request, ”explains Laurence Piganeau.

7. Be very professional!
Your young age and, no doubt, your lack of professional experience must be compensated for by the seriousness and professionalism with which you are going to prepare your business project.

8. Go for it (a little …)
Take the lead! Find the media that interest you and that can help you depending on your activity. Find the right reporter and knock on their door. Do not hesitate to contact entrepreneurs who could open their network to you. Join business creation clubs.

9. Don’t be discouraged
It’s not easy to be a business owner … Starting a business takes a lot of time and energy. There will be ups and downs, some bad news and a bit of fatigue can demotivate you. But believe in your project and don’t give up!

Know how to surround yourself with people (spouse, friends, family, associates, advisers…) who believe in you and know how to boost you in difficult times.

10. Know when to stop on time
“50% of companies still exist after 5 years, but that does not mean that there are 50% failures: some stop by choice.

Having said that, even failure is good because starting a business is an experience that will allow you to bounce back. Having started a business, even if it didn’t work out, is a real plus in a CV. Entrepreneurship is a quality that recruiters look for, ”concludes Laurence Piganeau.

Discover some testimonials from young entrepreneurs without diplomas who have started!

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