May sees business and marketing expert Alan Hemingway has been offering his expert advice on start-up businesses to a group of future entrepreneurs.
I have just got back to the office after myself and some of the Hemingway Bailey team have been real life Dragons at a local school with a class of Year 10’s.
It was really uplifting to hear the business ideas and a lot of effort had gone in to the presentations and out of the 5 businesses that pitched to us, we will be giving them all some capital to start their businesses.
Over the next 3 months with one of my team mentoring them (which will also be a great experience for my young team members) they will buy stock, price and market the products and services and have to negotiate with suppliers. When the money starts coming in they will have to decide how to reinvest and what is making them money.
The teachers at the school are fantastic, but no textbook can ever replicate the experience of running a real, live business. Any profits made are split equally between the students and school funds and so they have a great incentive to do well. Even more reason to keep on top of their figures and know what profit they are making ! At Hemingway Bailey we come across a lot of young people who have business ideas and we are always happy to help them as much as we can. It is much easier to start a business now for a young person than in the early 1980’s when I was that age. A lot of potential funding is available with the likes of the Youth Bank and Princes Trust for young people. With the growth of the internet, they have access to a lot more low cost solutions and also information at their fingertips.
You are never too young to start a business and the likes of Sir Richard Branson and Lord Sugar are great examples of this. In a lot of ways it is better to do it whilst you are young before your personal costs increase with the likes of mortgages, high cost rent and other commitments.
If you are a young person and you have a business idea, do not be afraid to ask for advice. I am always happy to have a chat over a coffee to offer advice and let you know what you need to be doing. The most important thing to stress is if you have an idea and a dream, go for it !