The recent economic downturn hit the job prospects of young people especially hard, but that should not discourage them, said entrepreneur Jacob Adamo. Millennials, those people born between 1982 and 2004, found when they graduated from school the jobs they trained for were not available. Some returned to further their education, some took jobs far below their education level, and many accepted positions outside of their field of study. Others, however, have turned their sights to the future and made jobs for themselves.
Jacob Adamo understands the challenges millennials face when starting a business. He said he believes now is one of the best opportunities in history for young people to start a business, as they have the skills and training to succeed.
And he should know. At 20 years old, Jacob Adamo became the youngest ever Director of Legal Affairs at Jacobs Marsh, LLC. He eventually ascended to the position of Executive Vice President. Then he moved forward to start his own company, JTM Capital Management, and has built the company from a start-up to one with revenues of more than 10 million.
“Many of the business opportunities that are driving our economy didn’t exist even a decade ago,” Jacob Adamo said. “The new economy is focused on technology and millennials are uniquely positioned to profit from the shift. We grew up using the tools that are now vital to the success of a business.”
Jacob Adamo Lists Keys to Starting a Business
The key to becoming an effective, young entrepreneur is to combine the enthusiasm and energy most young people have with established business practices. It is important to understand and adhere to the following business best practices.
Avoid Consumer Debt
Starting a new venture is difficult enough without having the additional worry of paying off consumer debt. This type of debt is defined as obligations that are owed as a result of purchasing consumable, non-appreciating goods. Generally it is debt incurred by an individual for primarily personal, family, or household purposes. More specifically, it is non-business related debt.
“A new business needs capital to grow and flourish,” Jacob Adamo said. “If an entrepreneur is preoccupied both financially and emotionally with personal debt it will be a drain on his or her time and resources.”
Consumer debt can also affect the ability of an entrepreneur to access the credit a growing business needs.
“A young person especially needs to prove to a lender they are responsible with money,” Adamo said. “Having a debt collection company calling makes securing business capital nearly impossible.”
Social media has made it possible to connect with clients and suppliers in ways that were never possible before. “Location, Location, Location” has been the rallying cry for success in business for years. Today, that’s not enough, Jacob Adamo said. A business needs to be readily accessible online.
“Customers need to be able to find you quickly and easily and the best way to be available is to take advantage of the platforms available through social media,” Adamo said. “Twitter, Google+ and Facebook are not just for personal updates anymore, and the sites have become an integral part of marketing a business.”
Find a Niche Market
Having a focus for your efforts will benefit the business greatly and pay huge dividends. It can be risky to enter a new market, but one of the advantages of youth is an ability and openness to take risks.
“Find a segment of the market that is underserved and concentrate on serving it,” Jacob Adamo said.
Companies like Facebook and Twitter are obvious examples of a successful gamble that paid off. There are opportunities to find a niche in every industry.
Network with Experience
There are many pluses to being young in business, but it can be helpful to talk with individuals who have the experience of time.
“Try to network with experienced people,” Jacob Adamo said. “They have wisdom that can be applied to help a company avoid pitfalls that are not readily apparent.”
This is especially important early in the life of a business. An experienced advisor can help steer a company through the many obstacles that a new business will face. The combination of the enthusiasm and energy of youth and the advice of an experienced professional can give the business a leg up on competitors.
The final say, however, has to be yours.
“If you believe strongly in your strategy, then follow it,” Jacob Adamo said. “You might fail, but the lessons learned will serve you well in the future.”
The advantages of youth when starting a business are many and varied. However one axiom remains from the past: if you don’t try you can never succeed. Jacob Adamo knows the challenges of becoming a successful entrepreneur are numerous, but he said the rewards are worth it.