The economic crisis has changed the status of traditional business methods. Large organisations have suffered severe job cuts adding to an already high level of unemployment. An increasing number of start-up businesses and entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are the new hub of employment and output in the UK.
As a result, young people are exploring the options for starting their own business. The topic “entrepreneurship” has become a dominant part of most young people’s lives, with it being integrated into education and ever-present on media channels. Rapidly, students, graduates and young professionals are becoming more resourceful and determined in their search for start-up success.
Despite this, the economy has made it increasingly difficult for start-up businesses to prosper. It is harder and harder to gain private and public funding and investment, acquire premises, suppliers, and the resources needed to become an established and competitive business. It is due to this that young entrepreneurs are put off starting their own business as the risk of failure increases.
As a result, they should now be taking advantage of the different opportunities to help decrease this level of risk and increase their chances of market success: business competitions. Business competitions offer entrepreneurs the chance to gain experience, knowledge and resources.
Further to this, business competitions can help with:
- Business planning and pitching training;
- Project evaluation and feedback;
- Gaining credibility by reaching the final stages of a competition;
- Free exposure to customers via online and media channels;
- Free exposure to investors and potential partners;
- An understanding of what investors and business partners are looking for;
- Gain access to mentors and business professionals; and
- Obtain business resources or capital through prizes.
Business competitions are a risk-free way to test and perfect their idea through being surrounded by other business ideas, judges and entrepreneurs; they will uncover areas of expansion and potential problems. Further to this, they will have to answer in-depth questions on their marketing, financial management, investment channels, sales and distribution and organisational structure. This ensures that the business idea is reality and feasible using unbiased opinions.
Entrepreneurs will be astonished to know just how many business competitions there are available to them in both the public (university competitions) and private sectors. It is important that entrepreneurs do their research on these competitions and find out the entry requirements, as not all university competitions require you to be attending the university; something that not all entrepreneurs are aware of.
Eric Brandenburg is is the UK manager for Marketest.