Donny's Blog: A Young Entrepreneur

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Sam from Eau Claire, WI writes:

I am 18 years old and trying to be taken seriously with my startup summer business. I operate a Lawn Care service but when I go door to door they think my young age might reflect poor quality.?? Donny, How can I show them I'm for real?????

Sam,
You are not alone - I receive so many emails from young entrepreneurs who are struggling to be taken seriously in the professional arena. Many of them feel they’re faced with negative stereotypes associated with youth while others feel their lack of long-term experience makes potential customers reluctant to go with their product or service. With hard work, persistence and time you can overcome the age barrier and achieve the professional respect you desire.

Whether you’re pitching a grass cutting service to your neighbors, or your “big idea” to a prominent company, being over prepared is vital prior to knocking on that door or entering into that business meeting. DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Know what your competitor is offering for their services. Be clear about how your product or service meets the needs of the audience you are speaking to. Brainstorm every possible question that may be asked, and have specific answers ready.

Given the current economic turndown you might also want to consider ways in which you can make your services more appealing. What kinds of incentives can you offer your customers? If they purchase a package deal of 5 lawn mowings can you throw in one free one lawn mowing or half off the sixth one? Or include an additional service like a hedge trimming, etc?

Not only is it important to be well prepared but it’s equally as important to show your passion towards your product or service. If you’re not passionate about it, why should your potential customer be? Also you might want to consider having a list of references on hand for potential clients. Displaying a list of those satisfied customers will heighten the legitimacy of your service. And don't forget....a happy a customer will spread the word! If you have a strong work ethic and your service or product delivers then your age will simply be a number and will no longer be a barrier in achieving your professional success. Go get 'em, Sam!!


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