3 Things Every Young Entrepreneur Needs to Know


As a young entrepreneur, I always question the relevance of advice from older businesspeople. Though I certainly believe in learning from experience, I feel advice can quickly become outdated, especially in the current connected environment. Nowadays there are several new tricks we can use to manage our time more wisely and glean only the usable information.

To gather relevant tips, I recently spoke with Nathan Resnick, a 22-year-old entrepreneur who currently serves as the co-founder and CEO of Sourcify, a marketplace for the world's top manufacturers.

In the past couple of years, Resnick has brought dozens of products to market, launched several Kickstarter campaigns, started a few successful ecommerce brands and been featured in leading publications such as the New York Times, Bloomberg and Fast Company.

Resnick started out like many other wannabe entrepreneurs, eager to apply new innovations to other industries. For example, when he was twelve, he helped implement the Autism Society of America's awareness wristband, raising over $200,000 for the nonprofit organization. This idea was sparked by the rise in popularity of Livestrong bracelets.

If you're looking to start out on the right foot as an entrepreneur, Resnick offers the following three tips:

1. Share your ideas.

One of the biggest flaws in many young entrepreneurs' mindsets is a belief in secrecy. An unwillingness to share your concept won't get your business anywhere. Collaboration can work wonders, and you never know how others may be able to help.

When Resnick was starting Sourcify, a marketplace for the world's top manufacturers, he consulted key mentors and friends to gain valuable insights. Without their advice, Resnick says, Sourcify wouldn't have recognized key performance indicators that have become invaluable to their growth.

2. Horizontal innovation.

If you're looking to find a new business to start, one of the most effective ways to ideate is to look for horizontal innovation plays. This means taking an existing product or technology, and applying it to a different industry.

For example, when Resnick was starting Cork Supply Co, he noticed an uptick in sustainably focused brands like Original Grain. Though he didn't use wood and didn't focus on the watch industry, the brand Cork Supply Co took similar roots in a fashion-forward sustainable outlook. This approach enables you to expand on proven businesses and move them toward your expertise or interests.

3. Be driven by results.

As an entrepreneur, you need to focus on data-driven results. You can talk and theorize all you want, but until you implement and test, your business won't be proven. That is why Resnick believes results outweigh any theories.

When testing new business ideas, Resnick starts by launching a simple landing page and driving traffic to it. He then tests the conversion rate of signups on that page to see if his business idea could gain traction. This method enables entrepreneurs to stay lean before investing too much in their ideas.

If you're a young entrepreneur looking to start a business, the one golden rule is to start now. The best way to learn is by doing, and you never know what will happen until you try. Entrepreneurship is a journey, and the sooner you start, the more you'll learn.

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