Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk – there’s plenty of proof that it’s possible to start a successful business in your twenties. You don’t necessarily have to wear a turtleneck or hoodie to make your business a success. Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. You don’t need to quit your job

It’s common for people in start-ups to keep their job and create their own business over and above the daily grind. Whether you plan to sell T-shirts, develop an app or become a freelance writer, give yourself permission to start slow. It’s a good way to test your idea while having the security of a regular income.

2. Do your reading and research

It’s never been easier to research ideas and learn from others. You can watch clips on social media, listen to podcasts and read millions of webpages to get the necessary knowledge on how to get your business off the ground. Be thorough when it comes to investigating things specific to your business like your target market, pricing and competitors and pull it all together into your business plan.

3. Find a mentor

Having a mentor can be really worthwhile. They’ve already been through the rigours of business life, so are in a good position to offer you guidance, support and direction. It’s a great way to sound out ideas and discuss problems in an informal way. Mentors can also offer opportunities for you to broaden your business network through business groups and/or events – all of which gives your business good exposure.

4. Be open to risk

When starting a business you need to be prepared for the risks that come with that. First, you should identify any potential risks that could affect your business – whether they are financial, market, product, legal, technological, staffing or something else. Then you should analyse each risk and grade them on a) how likely they are to occur and b) how severe each one would be to your business and personal life should it happen. This will help you create a plan of action should any of these risks happen.  

5. Utilise social channels

It’s hard to start a business that social media can’t help build, so put some time into building an online profile for your business so you can spread the word and get some good reviews up there. Avoid mixing business and pleasure - it’s unlikely your customers will want to see a picture of you enjoying a coffee – unless your business is running a coffee shop.

6. Use your time wisely

Starting your own business means you’ll no longer work standard office hours. It may be tempting to work all the time, but this will burn you out. This also applies the other way - too much ‘me’ time can create a loss of momentum. Work when you’re feeling productive and stay on top of everything, but also make sure you have a break every now and again.

7. Accept your mistakes and learn

You’ll learn some big lessons and you’ll learn them quickly. Take what you can from your mistakes – your knowledge will grow as much from your setbacks as it will from your successes. If mistakes happen accept them for what they are – a chance to learn and grow.


Ready to get started?

If you’re ready to breathe life into your business, explore Starting a business.

It’s got info on:

1. Getting started, including applying for an ABN and registering a business name

2. How to get your business up and running, covering everything from writing a financial plan to considering which type of finance is best for your business

3. Products to consider, including a business account. Read why you may want to separate your personal and business accounts

Things you should know

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. As this information has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on this, consider the appropriateness to your circumstances.