Four Tips to Building a New Business as a Young Entrepreneur

When I was coming out of high school and knew I wanted to build a business for myself, I thought of the way I might do this.

I began looking at how the research and development aspect of 3D printing technology was moving forward. It was expensive, but I already understood the basics for how the technology worked.

I was able to convince young entrepreneurial investors to take a chance on me. I finally introduced my RapidMake 3D Printing technology and things took off from there.

Here are four tips I would give to young entrepreneurs trying to make it in a new business.

Mentors

First, find a great mentor. For me, this was easy because I had very helpful teachers in school. Everyone needs a mentor. If you’re passionate about something and you’re young, like I was at the time, it’s good to have this option.

I had a mentor of my own who was a teacher from high school. Whenever I wanted to, I could call him or email him and ask him what he thought about one of my ideas. I think this is important and I credit this teacher as being instrumental to those early days. Mentors can come in many forms -- teachers, parents, someone from the field you’re interested in itself.

Build relationships

Second, build relationships in that field. When I went to the trade shows I would make myself open to speaking with others from the field because who knows, maybe you might be working alongside those people later or competing against them.

You don’t want to be known as someone who is closed off to communicating with others in your field. Ask people you want to learn from if they can speak to you on the phone, meet you for lunch or a cup of coffee, anything that can open the lines of communication.

This will build your reputation and give the impression you are someone who others can work with easily. You want to be approachable.

Don’t stop designing

Third, don’t stop designing or experimenting. Just because you have come up with something new and your business may be succeeding doesn’t mean you leave everything to others now. On the contrary -- it should be more important than ever to be perceived that you are still involved in the work.

Never stop designing -- this is the reason you are getting into the business or have something new to offer to an industry as a whole. Design and experimentation never ends -- not even if you have a multi-million dollar business idea that succeeds. Keep pushing the envelope. It’s a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason, so take my advice on this.

Use social media

Fourth, utilize public relations and social media. Social media is your friend -- and it’s free.

You can be in control of your own public relations this way. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media should all be tapped early on in your endeavors and adjusted appropriately as you grow.

Social media is an excellent way to get your name and product out there. And as your products evolve, so should your campaigns through this medium.