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Tips for younger entrepreneurs learning from established business owners

According to the latest figures since 2016, millennials launch their own business ventures at an average age of 27, while social evolution and the relentless pace of technological innovation has created an entire generation of young entrepreneurs.

To put this into context, baby boomers started their own business ventures at an average age of 35, and this is part of a sustained trend that has seen business-owners become increasingly youthful over time.

In this respect, successful CEO’s like Mark Johansen-Berg at the SkateHut can serve as an exceptionally positive role model, and one that can empower young entrepreneurs in the modern age.

Here are some key lessons that aspiring business-owners can draw from Mark Johansen-Berg.

1. Identify a gap in the market

Whenever you launch a new business, it’s imperative there is a viable demand for your proposed product and core, business proposition. Similarly, you must also identify a gap in the market, regardless of whether you search diligently for this are exposed to it through a passion or hobby.

In the case of Johansen-Berg, the man himself admits there was no concerted effort to seek out a viable business opportunity. Instead, the seeds of his own business idea were sewn during a family holiday in Florida, as while he saw huge numbers of children skate-boarding in Heelys he quickly realised that these were not available for sale in the UK.

What is important is that you have an innate entrepreneurial streak and a mind that is constantly formatting new business ideas, many of which are developed in response to your everyday interactions and experiences.

This type of mindset will enable you to identify business opportunities and gaps in the market, even from a relatively young age.

2. Be adaptable and avoid putting yourself at the mercy of goals

Traditional business logic suggests that your business must be well-structured, with carefully-plotted growth plans for periods of between three and 10 years.

We live in an age where the technological, social and economic climate continues to change rapidly, however, and in this respect you must maintain an adaptable mindset that does not become a slave to individual goals. So, while you can develop initial growth plans, you also need to remain agile in your marketplace.

This is a lesson that could certainly be heeded by Johansen-Berg, who professes that he didn’t plan too far ahead and instead capitalised on the flexibility of owning his own venture.

3. Develop a clear identity one that has relevance in the modern age

When you start a small business as a young entrepreneur, it’s all too easy to become preoccupied by the practical requirements of commercial management. This should not detract from the importance of cultivating a strong and consistent brand identity, however, and one that is based on a number of core and unflinching values.

The SkateHut brand certainly embodies this, which has a clear ethos and set of values that have remained in place since its launch. A family business with a keen focus on sustainability and social responsibility, it has cultivated a keen sense of trust among consumers while also adhering to their contemporary needs.

Interestingly, Johansen-Berg has also talked at length about the challenge of maintaining these values while experiencing sustained and continuous growth, and this is something that all young entrepreneurs will need to be focused on.

This can be a challenging pastime, but try to build values that create personal attributes and a brand persona, as this is easier to translate through written and visual messaging over time.


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