By Katherine Schaller
Think you’re too young to start a business? Don’t underestimate yourself. Many baseball fans in 2006 thought the one-year-old Washington Nationals were doomed to decades of losing. But just like the Nats, who moved to Washington, DC in 2005, you can combine hard work with a few simple steps to find success with your start-up endeavors.
1. Find your great idea: Although the decision to move the Expos to DC had its critics, I think we can all agree that bringing America’s national pastime back to our nation’s capital was a fantastic idea. (If you don’t agree, keep reading anyway.) You can become a successful entrepreneur by taking your own innovative idea and making it happen.
2. Plan it out: For the Nats, “The Plan” originated with former team president Stan Kasten, but in 2009, Mike Rizzo became General Manager of the Nats and The Plan gained new life. Rizzo is a former scout, so he’s not just making decisions all willy-nilly. He has a road map in place, and he’s sticking to it. When you start your own business, you need a start-up plan as well as a three to five year plan that will outline the route your business will take to reach, maintain, and grow revenues.
3. Straighten out your finances: The Nationals organization would be nowhere without owner Ted Lerner, who took over in 2006. Don’t worry, you don’t need to have a relationship with a wealthy family to be an entrepreneur – but you do need to think through your financing options and figure out what strategies will work best for you.
- Start-up loans
- Tax info for business owners
- Small business health care tax credit
- IBR for student loans
4. Get support: You can’t start a business without good advice from people in your field. Manager Davey Johnson and his coaches have worked with the players to make the most of their talent, and you can do the same with the help of a mentor.
5. Use all available resources: The Nats have exploited all sources to make the best team possible: their farm system, the draft, trading for experienced players. When you start your own business, there are many resources that you can check out to make sure you have the tools to make the best of your idea.
- Resources for women (also check this out) and minorities
- Podcasts that offer expert insight and guidance on starting your own business
- Tips and advice from other young entrepreneurs
YI has put together a factsheet for young people looking to make their own jobs.
Check it out, here!